Challenge 2016

Plan to succeed…CHALLENGE

The thrill of crossing the finish line or reaching the summit propels us out of bed to bravely venture a new day of training or form of action out of our comfort zone. The anticipation of the victory lap, the step up onto the podium, the scale, or in our lives elicits a strength we didn’t know we possessed. We revel in our ability to rise to the occasion.

Many of us attach additional significance to the challenges we tackle when they relate to fitness. These challenges often symbolize a gateway to a new way…a fast track to change. The CHALLENGE, therefore, represents a testing period. The test to see what happens, how far we can go, stretch, reach, etc.

Is the challenge to cross the finish line or to sustain a change from training to cross a finish line?

In the case of the latter, the real challenge isn’t the stated challenge itself. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be so many challenges popping up when you Google, “Fitness Challenge“, or people doing their 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th…umpteenth challenge. The challenge is only an effective gateway to change if it sticks.

Think about your last 30-day challenge…what happened on Day 31? Or, if you “challenged” yourself to transform for a wedding, reunion, big event, what happened the night of or in the day(s) after? Did you need a secondary challenge? Maybe…maybe not, but you definitely needed a plan. Gonna wing it at the RISK of losing all of your results?

A failure to plan is a plan to fail.” ~Michael Battaglia

When it comes to fitness, you must have a plan once the challenge is concluded. Otherwise, you miss out on the biggest reward: staying in shape is easier than getting into shape.

Getting in shape the sustainable and healthy way is a slow process. Once off, then the ease…or the rebound begins. You choose. We can maintain, optimize, or rebound…plus. Most fitness challenges are an attempt to emulate a real-life athletic challenge that end the latter way with rebound plus.

Set your intention in advance. Is the challenge the challenge or the change it creates? Are you just trying to reach the finish line and revert to old behavior…or kick-start a lasting change and new way of being? Getting clear on your intention helps you keep your willPower activated long after the medal ceremony.

Sarah Ingmanson

Sarah Ingmanson

Sarah is a studio owner, fitness instructor and competitor. She is a former investment banker and equity research analyst with her MBA from the Wharton School and her MA in International Affairs from the Lauder Institute of the University of Pennsylvania. Sarah is fluent in Japanese and consults with Japanese companies on corporate governance, finance, and investor relations. Sarah's interest in Japan stemmed from her first tour with Disney On Ice as a professional figure skater. For more info on Sarah and her studio, visit