After going through the Spring Challenge the past 30 days, I can honestly say that I had an awesome experience. My physical results were better than I had expected, but I think the most important thing for me was how much better I feel mentally and physiologically. Being a strength coach leads itself to having to be selfless and willing to sacrifice a lot for my athletes. Working long hours, having a ton of responsibility and trying to balance life outside of work left me with very little time to actually take care of myself and focus on my own personal wellbeing. This challenge was the perfect opportunity for me to lock in on my personal goals for physical and mental health, physique and athletic performance.

I was able to really give back to myself, allowing 8 hours of sleep a night, 30 minutes of foam rolling/stretching a day, scheduling in the time to work out from an hour to and hour and a half (sometime even twice) a day, making sure not to skip meals just so I could get more work done. All this has contributed to me being leaner, stronger, more focused and energized than I’ve ever been.

There were definitely some difficult times along the way in terms of discipline and focus. Going out with friends became challenging when forced to avoid liquor and only being able to eat from a limited number of things on the menu. But with that came the realization that everything is a decision, and the challenge helped highlight that there’s potential consequences to every decision. And it’s all about the priorities that you have and being able to focus on the big picture rather than the situation at hand.

Do I take the dessert now and doc myself a point for the day? Do I let this crappy meal choice negatively effect my goals of losing body fat? What will I regret more? Not having the drink with my friends or feeling lousy the next day from having a few too many? And that realization helped make the decisions for me, and made it much easier to adhere to the rules and allow me to progress towards my goals.

I’d say my biggest takeaway from the challenge is that if you want to talk about goals, then you need to have a plan in place if you ever want to accomplish them. I’ve been training since I was in 8th grade, and this was one of the first times that my main focus was a better physique (losing body fat) first and athletic performance second. And because of that, along with the help of the challenge guidelines, I was able to focus my nutrition, training, sleep and recovery habits towards reaching my goals, and I can honestly say that’s what I did.