As Christmas week is about unwrapping and new experiences, I was wrapping up a 7 week personal challenge of new experiences. I didn’t think that this Jackpot Challenge was going to be as hard as it was, but then again I don’t know why I thought I would create something easy.
For review, what is the Jackpot 7 Challenge? It is a 7 week ladder completed in the last 7 weeks of the year. Each week I would add a new activity to the previous week’s activities. For each activity, I had to complete 7 miles total with in the 7 day period by the end of week 7 I’d have to complete 49 miles of activities. The week started at 12 am Sunday and ended at 11:59 pm on Saturday.
Week 1 = walking
Week 2 = walking, cycling/spinning
Week 3 = walking, cycling/spinning, elliptical
Week 4 = walking, cycling/spinning, elliptical, rowing
Week 5 = walking, cycling/spinning, elliptical, rowing, swimming
Week 6 = walking, cycling/spinning, elliptical, rowing, swimming, kayaking
Week 7 = walking, cycling/spinning, elliptical, rowing, swimming, kayaking, rollerskating.
Now week 1 – 3 went along pretty well. I didn’t procrastinate and I had friends helping to keep me honest. Sure my legs and butt hurt from all the gravity loaded activities. Sure there was a lot more jiggling of my bioprene. I only say this as my friend was conducting personal spinning sessions for me and she kept saying “you are bouncing a lot…up the resistance.” I replied that I just had a lot more stuff moving around than her. She may have had a point, but my legs could only take so much resistance.
Week 4 was a disaster. I procrastinated big time. I’m not sure why I did, but I did. I think it was partly because my friends were busy and weren’t able to walk/cycle which makes it a little less fun to do by myself. Plus I really dislike elliptical. It isn’t like it hurts or anything, which it kind of did. It is that it is VERY VERY boring and VERY VERY slow. It took me forever to get to the 7 mile total, so I procrastinated. This meant when Saturday rolled around I was walking, cycling and ellipticalling (Is that a word? It is now.) like a mad person. Not a good plan at all and the beginning of Week 5 was pretty difficult due to sore legs.
Week 5 was great, as I got to get back into the routine of swimming. Not like I needed this challenge to get back into the routine, but it did give me plenty of motivation. It was awesome in the pool. I wasn’t too out of shape and I could tell that the other gravity based activities were really increasing my cardio stamina in the pool. It only took this week to get back into the grove of the water and it was a nice change considering all the land sports I was doing.
Week 6 was again challenging. Again I was beginning to realize just how difficult this challenge was to complete. And I was becoming obsessive. I knew that this was a made up challenge. It wasn’t like anyone was tracking me or making sure that I completed it. And nobody would care if I missed a mile here or there…but ME. And I found out that I really cared about this made up challenge. I had to have at least 7 miles of every activity. If the distance marker was broken on one of the machines, I moved to another one. I could have approximated the distance, but that wouldn’t have shown the EXACT measurement and I couldn’t be even 0.01 miles shy of the 7 mile goal. Obsessive? Yes! Over achiever? Yes. Slightly neurotic ? Really you had to ask? Oh and to add to the challenge this week, I adopted a puppy. Yes a puppy. A 9 week old puppy that needed to be trained, fed, coo’ed over, played with and potty trained. Not the ideal situation, but Benten is a sweetheart and thank god for friend’s with dogs! Oh and the vet said it was good to introduce her to the kayak early, so I took her out on the kayak for the 7 mile – 2 hr trip. She was squirmy for the first 20 minutes and then fell asleep for the rest of the trip. I consider this a good sign.
Week 7 – Christmas week. As I was traveling back to MN for the holidays, this left me 2.5 days to complete most of the 49 miles of activities.
Sunday I crammed in a 7 mile kayak, 3.5 miles of elliptical, and 7 miles of roller skating. Roller skating is not “just like riding a bike” I remembered the motions of roller skating from my younger years, but there has been A LOT of shifting of body weight and center of gravity. Whew it was tough. It didn’t help that there were these skating professionals from whipper snapper age to 90s all out there in their roller skating outfits making it look easy and beautiful. Plus there was the whole math problem of figuring the size of the oval and exactly how many laps it would take to get to 7 miles. It was somewhere between 66 laps and 112 laps. I did 120 laps, which wouldn’t have been possible if my friend hadn’t held my hand during the couples skate for 20 minutes. Thank goodness for friend’s and hand sanitizer…I had very sweaty hands due to nerves from roller skating.
Monday, I managed 5.25 miles of swimming, 3.1 elliptical. Stupid elliptical was giving me weird readings on distance, so now I had 0.4 miles left of elliptical. 17 miles of spinning.
Tuesday = 2 miles of swimming – a 12 days of Christmas practice that was a lot of fun. 1 mile of elliptical just to be sure that I really had 7 miles and then 8 miles of rowing. This was the longest I had sat on a rowing machine. I LOVE ROWING. It is so relaxing. I will say that an hour of the rowing machine straight does cause some chaffing on the sit bones so I may limit my rowing to shorter intervals going forward.
Wednesday = I flew home for the holidays knowing that I only had to get in my 7 miles of walking and I would have the Jackpot 7 Challenge nailed. 2 x 1 hr treadmill sessions and a long day at the Mall of America and I knew that I had closed out the Jackpot 7. To celebrate, I got myself 7 – Lucky 7 scratch off lottery tickets, which only have the lucky # and then 5 other numbers for a total of 6 numbers which I found odd. Regardless there were no big winners and I didn’t even break even. Which seems on par for the Jackpot 7 challenge as I was hoping all of the land based cardio would help me lose 7 pounds. I didn’t. It wasn’t even like I was eating loads more because of all the cardio.
So that is the Jackpot 7 challenge all wrapped up and tied with a neat bow making the 2013 year a year of the 7s for me – Ocean’s 7 completed, my 7th Pennock Island Challenge, and the Jackpot 7 Challenge completed. I’d say it was a pretty good year. I can’t wait to see what 2014 brings.