February Challenge Progress [Feb 9th, 2015]

I’m about a third of the way into February and wanted to document the progress on my monthly challenges.

The three challenges for February:

  • Writing = write & post one short story
  • Health = hold a flat-footed squat for 5 minutes
  • Lifestyle = 30 minutes of meditation daily

So, progress?

Writing: I’ve begun writing a story about a boy who travels to Ecuador, and telling his life through those journeys. It started with a metaphor that came to mind while watching vultures encircle a stray dog above as the dig lay sickly. I wanted that somewhere in a  story, and knew it was strong enough to hold itself as a central metaphor in said story, I just didn’t know what that metaphor was. I don’t think I know any better now.

Luckily, however, something usually happens to me when writing a short story…..I think of other ideas for other short stories. While walking in Cuenca, that happened, and during then ten minute walk to a coffee shop, I was able to do the whole plot in my head. I put it on paper shortly after. That story is called Proposing At A Funeral Isn’t The Least Romantic Thing You Can Do. now it’s just editing and I may find myself with two short stories this month.

Analysis: Writing comes to me quite naturally. But to get either story to a point I’m comfortable sharing it will take some more steps. I’ll need to block off some time to finish the Ecuador story and to edit both.

Health — Man, squatting is hard. It requires flexibility and mobility in the hips, knees and ankles. I’m coming in with next to nothing on all of those. So it’s taken some work to make improvements and will take a lot more to get there. On Sunday I timed myself at 2:25 seconds in a squat but that was aided by standing so my heels were raised AND my arms keeping my balance in a doorway. To be able to get to double that time with NO aid is going to be really tough.

Analysis: I need a regimen FAST or I will fail this challenge.

Lifestyle — Meditation has been a part of my routine for almost all of 2015 now. I was always able to sit for 30-45 minutes, so the time isn’t hard. It’s the consistency. In the 9 days of this month so far, I’m 8/9, with several days going over 30 minutes. I failed to meditate yesterday (Sunday). I did not do so in the morning (when I usually do) and I found myself so exhausted at the end of the day that I would have had a terrible meditation. I opted to sleep.

My brain (and the brain is a maestro of excuse-making) told me that since I basically meditated for two extra hours on Saturday I could be off the hook. Nah. Mission failed.

Analysis: I will not complete this challenge with 100% success. I sacrificed the quality of something important to me (meditation) to not hit my challenge. In the short term, this means failure. In the long-term, I don’t know. Still, failure does not feel good.


There’s 19 more days left in this month. That means buckling down and finding the time for editing, squatting and meditating practically every day!