We asked our GreatistYou contestants to reflect on their six-week journeys. Regina's goal was to be competition ready for her first Muay Thai fight at the end of September. Here's how she got there.
What attracted me most to this whole challenge was that anytime I'd tried to do challenges in the past, I’d make it four weeks and be done with it. And I thought, with six weeks and the social media aspect, there was accountability. Maybe I would stick with it.
In the beginning 99.9 percent of me didn’t think I could do it. But I knew that I would try and that I wouldn’t give up. Typically my goals are something that I want to do but think I can’t do—and I didn’t think I was capable of this.
When I first started sparring with the same people I’m sparring with now, it felt like a joke. I wasn’t able to do anything. I was sparring 10 three-minute rounds, and that was the hardest thing. At the eighth round, I was keeling over and dying. My partner was just trying to keep me going. And now those 10 rounds aren't difficult. When I’m done, I continue training for another two hours.
So in terms of endurance, the progress I’ve made is incredible. I could feel my body becoming stronger about two weeks ago. Originally I had this extra goal of being able to jump rope for about seven minutes straight, but once I started, I realized the jump rope is the easy part—it’s the swim sprints that killed me.
Most people run sprints, but because I have old-lady knees, I swim. So instead of running 30 seconds as fast as I can and then resting for 10 seconds, I do that in a lap pool. Swim sprints suck, but they work. Those and burpees are the two things that helped my endurance the most.
In the past, it's also been easy to let excuses get in my way. And sometimes those excuses are legitimate—like my knee being in pain. But it’s not OK to use my knee as an excuse to not take action. I should try to find some way around it. Listening to your body is one thing, but being uncomfortable is part of the challenge. It’s a sign you’re continuing to move forward. And eventually, it becomes more comfortable.
Probably about a week ago, I started to feel really confident—like I was going to complete this. I can hold my own. I can do this!
Now that GreatistYou is over, the challenge has inspired me to do a couple different things. I’d never restricted my diet before, and when I did, I realized I was addicted to sugar. I don’t want to go back, because I feel amazing compared to when I was eating sugar constantly. So I’m going to moderate how much I eat from here on out.
I’d also like to do a six-week meditation challenge. The past six weeks have been an emotional roller coaster—I haven’t done any mind preparation at all. So meditation is my new personal goal.
Regina may have completed GreatistYou, but her journey isn't over. Her Muay Thai fight is Saturday, September 24! Follow @greatistregina on Instagram and Snapchat to see what happens. You can also catch up on all the GreatistYou action here.