January 1, 2023 has come and gone. Hopefully you’re still holding on tightly to your resolutions, goals, new habits, “one word”, and gym memberships. Those are all great things. The challenge as we all know is sustaining them for the long haul. My weak resolution of “eating healthier” is already starting to fizzle as I find myself chomping down a Double Double with fries from In and Out Burger debating internally whether to top off this dopamine hit with a quick trip to Andy’s Frozen Custard. . .
I’d like to share something I discovered that I believe is better than a New Year’s Resolution. How would you like to substantially grow mentally, physically, and spiritually – in one day???
Recently I listened to a podcast interviewing a guy named Colin O’ Brady. Never heard of him – but I was immediately drawn in and intrigued as his life highlights were shared. Colin is an extreme adventurer and explorer. He has climbed Mount Everest (plus every other major mountain in the world). He pulled a 375 pound sled across Antarctica by himself, and he has scaled all of the highest points in each of the 50 states in a 3 week time span!
So . . . I wanted to share with you about his “Antarctica Challenge for The Common Folk”. Totally joking! Colin has written a book called The 12 Hour Walk. The title speaks for itself. He asks that you set aside one day to walk for 12 hours. Why? From his website he states:
“A new mindset. A life-changing experience. An opportunity to grow.”
“The 12-Hour Walk was developed as a one day prescription to eliminate your limiting beliefs and prove to you that you have the power to shift to a Possible Mindset™ to achieve anything.”
It is simple to get started:
- Go to http://www.12hourwalk.com/commit to read the basic info, FAQs, and to sign up!
- It’s free, you don’t need to train, and you can walk as little or as much distance as you’d like.
- You can download the free app to track your progress. You also are allowed to take rest breaks and eat prepacked meals or snacks.
- Phones can be set on airplane mode to not disturb you during your walk. It’s a good practice to let 1-2 people know your route beforehand.
- On the day of your walk (I used a backpack) – don’t forget sunscreen, water, proper clothing, sunglasses, a little cash, ID, and a hat (plus, I brought along my stun gun flashlight jusssssst in case . . . ). Plus, pen and paper to record thoughts.
Reasons why you’ll try to convince yourself not to do it:
- I don’t have time for this.
- Others questioning: Why are you doing this?
- I’m not in good enough shape. Plus, I’m tired all the time.
- I don’t need this. I’m fine.
Those are all valid reasons. My encouragement is to step out of your comfort zone and give it a try. Simply detoxing from your phone for 12 hours is worth it alone. Do you want 2023 to be different than 2022? The 12 Hour Walk is a tremendous way to usher in the new year with potential for new breakthroughs. Last night, I heard a pastor say the familiar quote, “To get to where you’ve always wanted to be – you have to do things that you’ve never done before!”
My experience highlights:
- I left at 5:30 am – so it was incredibly peaceful and quiet with very little noise from cars.
- I was able to watch the sunrise from a “coaches tower” on one of the soccer fields. The entire walk helped me slow down and see the beauty and details I would normally rush past.
- In Bear Creek Park – I discovered memorials to a 16 year old who died of cancer and an 18 year old who also died too young. Plus I came upon a “Rock Art Path” that I never knew existed.
- Near our town hall – I took time at a war memorial to reflect and give thanks over those that historically made the ultimate sacrifice of laying down their lives so we can be free.
- I saw the most colorful, beautiful cardinal I’d ever seen during my entire life (I believe was a “wink” from God – he knows that’s my favorite bird).
- Forgotten memories flooded my mind as I walked past 2 schools I have worked at in the past and multiple parks we used to take the kids to when they were young. Because of the large block of time – I was able to think, pray, plan, reflect, and clear my mind.
- I stopped at a QT to use the restroom. I was sitting outside on the curb in the shade. Still had 5 hours left – was in crummy clothing, sweating profusely, starting to tire, had my backpack by my side, and overall looked quite ragged. A gentleman got out of his parked car and approached me saying, “Sir . . . do you need any help?” He thought I was homeless. I replied, “Believe or not – this was planned!” 🙂
- I did not miss my phone or my constant gazing at it for sports, texts, news, emails, politics, alerts, social media, “likes”, entertainment, end times events, blah, blah, blah.
- And finally, I was challenged physically and mentally wanting to quit – but I pushed myself to the end. My initial goal was to walk 8 – 10 miles. I ended up with 18 miles!!! The longest I have ever walked 🙂
My challenge highlights:
- Initial impatience. Confession: The first time I checked the timer – only 10 minutes had passed! “Are we there yet?” 🙂
- Negative voices in my head when I began: “You could be at home in bed right now.” “You don’t have time for this.” “You’re missing all the NFL action today.” “This is stupid.” “What if you get injured or abducted?”
- Multiple times I wanted to quit and call one of family members to come pick me up.
- It was an exceptionally warm day with no cloud coverage. I guess that is better than it being frigid and windy?
- I did get lost in a fancy neighborhood at one point (you’re not allowed to use GPS technology). The homes were so high I couldn’t see for any decent length of distance. And I kept running into cul-de-sacs when I thought I had finally found the exit point. But hey, wandering aimlessly for about an hour increased my mileage total!
- I’ve battled MS for over 15 years. One of my symptoms is continual pain in my right thigh and heel because of past nerve damage. I was in increased pain and limping for about 3 days after the walk. But the limping went away!
The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride (Ecclesiastes 7:8).
Conclusion: So what say you? My challenge to you is to give the 12 hour walk a shot. Or, what is something else you can do that you’ve never done that will stretch you out of your comfort zone? Running or walking in a marathon, volunteering at church, starting a non-profit, self-publishing a book, speaking up where you are normally silent, reading replacing some screen time, creating art, starting a side-hustle business, going back to college, attempting a new sport, giving radically to a cause you believe in . . .
Please let me know in the comments here or through email: email@example.com if you take on the 12 hour walk. Or, please share something else new that you’ve done or doing to grow physically, mentally, or spiritually.