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Choose Your Own Adventure With the Whole Life Challenge

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Ten minutes of exercise a day doesn’t seem like very much activity for a fitness challenge, does it? As traditional challenges go, some rules — this one included — might seem a little relaxed on paper. It’s almost a bit like “choose your own adventure.”

As you may have noticed by now, you can use this Challenge to get in to great shape, but we had a completely different kind of transformation in mind when we created it. The underlying current of the Whole Life Challenge is that health and well-being are your total personal responsibility. No one tells you whether you did it right or wrong. If you say it’s good enough, we say it’s good enough. Ten minutes is not a directive. Ten minutes gives you a standard to measure “yes” or “no” by.

We’re not trying to get anyone to work out at 100% intensity for every day of the Challenge. That wouldn’t set you up for success during or after the Challenge. What we’re interested in is the development of your willingness to address your well-being everyday — and be conscious of how you did it.

You Get to Choose Your Own Adventure

From one day to the next you are in charge of what’s appropriate, what’s intense enough, and what fits with your life. You need to do something — but you have nothing to prove. You don’t get more credit here for doing more exercise, so you decide what’s going to count. It’s not a matter of intensity. It’s a matter of accountability.

For some people, ten minutes of anything can be pretty intense. For others, ten minutes is only active recovery. You’re in charge of where you fall on the spectrum. We’re not going to tell you you didn’t do it if you say you did.

You can fudge the truth to yourself, but you can’t really fudge the results. No one else is let down if you tell yourself something you know isn’t true. The responsibility for doing something that makes a difference lies with you.

The fitness industry has co-opted health and fitness and given everyone an artificial standard to measure their success against. But we don’t agree. We don’t think “fitness” means six-pack abs, rock-hard bodies, or tanned and oiled models. Our standard is different. We see “health and fitness” as the pursuit of well-being. It is the pursuit of a set of standards that works for you. It is something for you to seek out, create, and own.

So your success can truly only be measured by what’s important to you.

Ten minutes each day opens the door to the commitment. You get to take it as far as you choose.

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Michael Stanwyck
Michael Stanwyck is the co-founder of The Whole Life Challenge, an idea that developed during his seven years as a coach and gym manager at CrossFit Los Angeles.

He graduated from UCLA with a BA in philosophy as well as a degree from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, and feels food is one of the most important parts of a life - it can nourish, heal, and bring people together.

Michael believes health and well-being are as much a state of mind as they are a state of the body, and when it comes to fitness, food, and life in general, he thinks slow is much better than fast (most of the time). Stopping regularly to examine things is the surest way to put down roots and grow.

He knows he will never be done with his own work, and believes the best thing you can do for your well-being starts with loving and working from what you’ve got right now.