I normally don’t jump up in the morning excited to work out, but the first morning of Epic Weekend, I got out of bed and was ready to go early. The day started with a hike up “A Mountain” or Tempe Butte (the official name) in Tempe, AZ. This butte sits partially on the Arizona State University campus and provides views of the entire Tempe, Scottsdale, and Phoenix area. We arrived at sunrise and the view of the mountain was spectacular. The 331-foot hike has some steep inclines and after a landing three-quarters of the way up, there are steps that take you to the peak.
When we arrived, we were all gathered in the parking lot waiting for a “go” signal or something. Then they arrived. Yes, the infamous Chris and Heidi Powell. To say we were excited to see them was an understatement! They were there to kick off the amazing weekend and hike up with us. Of course everyone “fan-girled” and surrounded them to take pictures with them. They were both so very gracious and genuinely excited to see all of us. My introvert-self stood back and let others take pictures. I figured I would get my chance at some point during the week. Instead, I made sure to get a few pictures with my team and Bruce.
During the bus ride to Tempe, I sat with my teammate Erin. We live miles apart, but I always felt we had a connection and it was great to spend time with her to get to know her better. Over the weekend, we formed a bond that I know will be a lasting friendship.
As we began our ascent up A Mountain, it seemed pretty easy at first. But as we continued, it became a steeper and steeper incline. The amazing thing was watching everyone encouraging each other. Pushing each other to keep going and to not give up. We were determined that everyone was going to make it up that mountain. I have to give a huge shout out to my teammate Christy. She recently had surgery and was (still is) recovering and she even went up to the landing on crutches! CHAMP!
When I made it to the landing, I could not wait to keep going. Up, up, up the stairs I went. I made it all the way to the top. Now, did I mention my fear of heights? Yea, I am not so good with them, but that did not stop me. I was determined to make it to the top and I did!
Finally, we made our way back to the landing and there waiting for us were Chris and Heidi. I made sure this time to get the opportunity to get my picture with them. (Sweaty and all!) I had to hold back the blubbering. All I could say to them was thank you so much for everything they have done. That is all the words I could muster without full-blown ugly crying happy tears. I will treasure those hugs (again BEST ever) and pictures forever.
I also made sure to get a “Champ” pose with my amazing coach!
When everyone had finished taking individual pictures with Chris and Heidi and their coach, it was time for a group picture. Take a look at all those CHAMPS!
We made our way back down to the bus and headed to Discovery Park in Gilbert, AZ for a workout and lunch. Now, before we came to Phoenix, Bruce had warned us that part of the workout was to do seven minutes of burpees. I had not really prepared myself for them, but I was determined to do them as full out as possible. The coaches made sure to show all the different ways to do burpees depending on your fitness level. Anyone can do one. Even you! You don’t have to go all the way to the floor. Use a box to do the push-up part. There are so many ways to modify exercises until you can do the full out movement.
After a warm-up, we partnered up and the time started. I partnered with Erin and I went first. As I started, I was able to do them full out with a real push up and everything. That lasted about 5 burpees. Then, I realized I needed to pace myself if I was ever going to get the full seven minutes. I just kept moving. I knew that if I stopped, even for a second, it was going to be the end for me. So I just kept going and going for what felt like an eternity. Erin did a great job cheering me on and keeping me wanting to do more, but honestly all I kept doing was fighting the inner voice in my head telling me I could not do it. I could not make it the full seven minutes. I was unprepared and why did I think I could do this. But I kept going. I did not stop and finally when the seven minutes were up I had done 55 burpees! I had shut up the inner voice and achieved something I never thought I could do.
Then it was Erin’s turn. As she began doing her burpees, I started cheering her through each one. Surprisingly, a rush started going through me. I was so excited for her and just kept rooting her on even when (just like me) she wanted to give up and stop. She kept going and finished strong. The feeling I had was just pure joy and excitement for her. At that moment, I understood how Bruce must feel when we accomplish a big hurdle or how my husband felt when he was coaching football and a player would finally execute a play exactly the way he was supposed to. To watch someone work through the inner voice that is going through their head and watch them succeed is such a joy to watch. It was an even better feeling than my own success.
After a quick lunch, it was back to the hotel for a seminar with all the coaches, Chris and Heidi. This was probably one of the highlights of the weekend. To be able to listen to the stories of transformation of all the coaches and the amazing wisdom that they shared was inspiring.
Coach Doxey spoke first and shared about keeping your integrity and power promises. Just a few of the take-aways:
- You have to make sure you have a clear path on how you are going to accomplish your plan or goal. If you don’t have a clear path, you will never get there.
- Make sure you have a clear WHY and read it daily.
- Make a vision board so you can visualize you goal
- Make little promises that you can stack on top of each other, even something as simple as brushing your teeth every day. (Yes, that can be a real power promise. It does not have to be weight loss related.)
Then it was Coach Jennifer’s turn. Jennifer inspires me because I can relate so much to her and her story. She lost over 100 pounds and is now a coach for Transform. She did it mostly on her own by following Chris and Heidi’s books prior to the launch of the Transform app. She shared her amazing story of transforming her life and gave an excellent talk about the inner critic/voice. The take-aways from her talk:
- Recognize the inner critic
- Just because you have a thought does not make it true.
- It is a choice to listen to the positive voice.
- You don’t have to be perfect. No one is. Be perfectly imperfect!
- If you get off track, get back on immediately!
- Forgiveness is huge. Not for the other person, but for yourself. It is a weight that is lifted when you forgive. Even if the other person never knows.
- Forgive YOURSELF!
- Again, read your Why daily.
Coach Rachel spoke next. Her story of overcoming addiction both of drugs and food had us all in tears. She spoke of how change can be painful and how to identify our triggers. Some of the take-aways I wrote through tears:
- Don’t reward with food. (This is especially important for our kids.)
- Identify the issues that trigger eating
- Write down the issues. Once you write it down, you take away it’s power over you.
- Write down how you will overcome those triggers.
- View food as fuel and plan ahead.
And last but not least was Bruce. Bruce shared his story of childhood abuse at the hands of his father and how going on the show Extreme Weight Loss changed his life forever. While I knew his story and had seen his episode, I had never heard the whole story in person. There was not a dry eye. He is so inspiring and motivational. The main points from his talk:
- There will come a time when you have to confront your past, whatever it is. Once you confront it you can work to move past it and love yourself.
- Ignite the day!
- Give out three positive comments by 10am each day. This helps to set the tone of your day.
I wish I could have just recorded the whole thing to listen to all these coaches every day. There are so many days I need these reminders. As I sit here typing and reviewing my notes from the talks, I am having some ah-ha moments. We just finished a family spring break trip to Colorado, and I could have used some of these tips this week. Even after a year in the program, I need these constant reminders and I am still learning.
That evening we had dinner then it was on to laser tag. I will say this, the inner competitor comes out when you play laser tag, especially Bruce! The 10-year-old kid comes out in all of us and we had so much fun, even after an exhausting day.
It was late to bed and early to rise, as the next day was our professional photo shoot. I can’t wait to share all about it in my next post!