Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It’s 6 am on a Monday morning. It’s summer time, when the living is supposed to be easy. The sun is just getting up the nerve to show its face. The rooster that lives in our backyard hasn’t even sounded…  yet the sound of the alarm clock is jolting me from peaceful sleep and pleasant dreams. With everything that is in me, I want to hit snooze, or better yet, yank the noisemaker from the wall and sleep in until, say Tuesday. 
But I don’t. 
Instead, I roll out of bed, pull on my workout clothes, and lace up my running shoes. I stumble out the backdoor, trying in earnest not to wake any of my seven children. Within minutes of threatening the alarm clock, I have beaten every lazy thought in my mind and am logging miles down our winding country road. 
Really, why would I choose to start my day like this when cuddling with my husband in our cozy bed instead? The answer is simple: 

I’ve been Challenged.

You see, nearly 600 miles away, my friend since childhood is facing the same dilemma I am. 
Should she press snooze? 
Why get up so early? 
Will she wake her household? 
Why not start running tomorrow? 
She answers all of those questions with action. She doesn’t sleep for just 10 more minutes or roll back over indefinitely. 
 At an ungodly hour, she pounds the pavement through her quaint Central Florida neighborhood, confident that six hours north of her, somewhere in middle Georgia, I’m hitting my middle-of-nowhere roads and therefore, won’t beat her in our challenge. 
You see, it’s a win-win. 
We both get in the miles because we both have the accountability because we’ve both been challenged.

So what is the Challenge? Well, the big Challenge, with a capital C, is the idea that people accomplish more when challenged by external motivators. But the little challenge, with the lowercase letter, has to do with two life-long friends entering into a short-term, friendly agreement that encourages each party to reach for something beyond what they’re capable of on their own. This particular challenge is tailor-made to help each of us overcome what we have been recently struggling with. My friend, Jess, has been a having a hard time waking up early to get her workouts in. She finds that if she doesn’t get up and get exercise out of the way first thing in the morning, then the demands of life take over for the rest of the day and she just doesn’t get the run in. So her side of the challenge requires her to exercise first-thing in the morning, four days per week, for six weeks (at which time, she already had a trip planned to come see me). 
And my end of the bargain? 
As a long distance runner, I’ve been slacking on my mileage so I have to run a certain amount of miles before we see each other again in six weeks.  If she does not meet her goal, she has to buy me dinner when we meet again and if I fall shirt, then I’ll be footing the bill. However, if we both meet our goals then dinner is on our husbands! 
You see, it’s a win-win. 
If we both meet our goals, we’ve obviously been victorious. But if either of us falls short of our goals, we’re both still winning because we’ve accomplished more than we would have on our own.

Although this is my first official challenge with Jessica, I’m certainly not new to this idea of interpersonal challenges. My older brother, Chad, and I have been challenging each other for years- and with great success. These challenges have come to define our relationship in a way and, as you can see with my challenge with Jess, our challenges have spilled over into other relationships as well. We both now have extensive "Challenge experience" and the results, across the board, have been amazing. Because of the success we’ve experienced and witnessed with the i2i Challenge, we want to bring the idea to more people,  more specifically to You. 

We want to show you how Win-win challenges can get you jump started on any goal you have in mind and want to convince you that you can accomplish so much more in life when you face victory and failure with others. 
We want to show you how to stay motivated so that your small victories turn into winning journeys. 

All this is accomplished through an idea based on the proverb that says, “As Iron Sharpens Iron, So one Man Sharpens Another.” Let us now sharpen you so you can see how this easy concept can help you reach your goal. Get ready to  go i2i with another, and prepare to be sharpened!