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Reflections on Elf4Health and What it Bodes for Future Blog Challenges

So this past week marked the end of the Elf4Health challenge hosted by Lindsay and Elle of The Lean Green Bean and Nutrionella fames.

elf

I signed up for both weeks, but I have to confess that I only really participated in the first round. I had nothing against any of the daily challenges, and I think that they are great prompts for healthy living inspiration. But they just weren’t for me.

Why?

Well, if you refer to my Saturday post, you will see that I am not someone who likes to put absolutes on my passions and especially on the way that I live my life. I used to crave so much structure in my life that now, I just want to do ME, though based on strong foundations. Furthermore, my schedule is one that inverts the week/weekend balance: it doesn’t make sense for me to clean out my closet on the day that I am doing a double, or food prep midway through my workweek.

The lack of synchronistity between my and the Elf calendar was less of an issue during the first 2 weeks, when the challenges seemed to mesh a bit more with my life. But the second round just didn’t gel with my life needs. Also, to be honest, I found myself a little uncomfortable after a while seeing others and myself trying to shamelessly plug “achievements” or whatever on Twitter and the like, in order to win prizes. I realize this is a bit ironic, as I am currently writing a blog that shamelessly plugs my life, and BELIEVE YOU ME, I have shamelessly plugged my blog as I try to grow new followers, but for some reason, this just rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe because it was such a slim chance of winning, and so, so subjective as to who was the best? I thought that my Elf buddies and I did a stellar job, but we weren’t “favorited” or made as examples, and no one knows what we talked about in our emails. Does that mean that we were lesser elves? ARE WE GOING TO BE THROWN OUT OF THE NORTH POLE??????

No. Besides, I don’t like being cold and I have a lump of coal where my heart is, so the NP is out of the question. I would get one of the red Mercedes, though, if the commercial is any indication.

So what are my feelings towards the whole shebang?

I think Elf4Health can be a great inspiration for those that struggle with finding time for themselves during the holidays, and need that extra reminder to take care of the little things in life. For myself, I am sufficiently integrated and comfortable in my lifestyle that the prompts didn’t really cause any change in what I already do with my life. Furthermore, the fact that I would be unable to follow according to challenge schedule made it feel (to me) like my “accomplishments” didn’t count as much when I followed through on alternative days. And we know that simply to not be true. A cleaned out fridge is still a cleaned out fridge, regardless of what day of the week you do it!

That does not mean that I didn’t cull any benefits from the experience.

I loved, loved, loved connecting with Brandi and Katie, and I truly hope we continue to correspond outside of these few weeks. Far and away, getting to know these two fabulous ladies has been the big takeaway for me. Brandi and I actively motivated each other during the first few weeks, particularly with going to the gym even in the midst of hectic schedules. I loved talking to Katie about living in Chicago and the prospects on the horizon for both of our careers. Brandi and I adhered a bit more to the schedule, and Katie and I just talked. And you know what? I needed to just talk for the final round. I didn’t want to be told when to do what with my time, and certain things were less feasible by then.

So where does this leave me for the future?

First off, it confirms my “go my own way” mentality that I am currently in. I am not surprised that I wavered from the challenge schedule. Not surprised in the least. But right now, I need to just do me. In the future, and for different types of challenges, I might feel differently. I think I would do better with something like Foodie Pen Pals, or simply continuing to participate in link ups as they suit. My lifestyle is also one of my greatest passions, and I don’t want it to become work, or something that feels like an obligation. But I do want to continue to meet new people and expand myself and this blog. As in all things, only the future will tell.

Talk to me, Goose:

Have you participated in such challenges before? What were your reactions?

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