by Jennah Owda
As I was scrolling through TikTok one night, my For You page (FYP) was filled with people showing their progress while going through what is called the 75 Hard Challenge. After seeing the many positive results, I became interested and decided that I would take on the challenge. Author and motivational speaker Andy Frisella is the mind behind the challenge. His intentions behind the physically demanding challenge actually had more to do with improving a person’s mental strength rather than physical strength. While yes, your body will show major physical improvements during the challenge, Frisella’s objective focused on the power of discipline and what a person can accomplish when they hold themselves accountable.
After a long year of not routinely going to the gym and not feeding my body nutritional food, I was excited and ready to test out Frisella’s challenge, which consists of
Drinking a gallon of water a day,
Take a progress picture every day,
Working out twice a day for 45 minutes and at least once outdoors,
Read 10 pages of an entrepreneurial book a day, and
Stick to a diet that excludes alcohol.
Week one was definitely one of the tougher weeks emotionally and physically. After not going to the gym for so long and seeing how I had lost all the hard work I accomplished the year prior, I was discouraged by my own body. I knew if I continued with this mindset, I would end up becoming obsessive about my body image and lose sight of the intentions behind the challenge. To prevent that, I came up with reasons other than the physical benefits I would gain for attempting this challenge which was to feel motivated, accomplished, and mentally strengthened.
The “diet” I abided by was allowing myself to eat fast food once every three weeks. Everything else must be home cooked because I wanted to prevent the recurring pain I feel every time I shoved fast food into my body. This failed on the second week of the challenge, and we can thank Taco Bell’s new Crispy Chicken Sandwich Taco for that. However, for the most part, thanks to my mom's amazing cooking, I was able to abide by the diet with a few exceptions. I made sure not to become too hard on myself with this rule due to the fear of becoming obsessive with what I eat. I did not want to train my brain to feel guilt every time I did fail, so when I did crave something I made exceptions.
Drinking a gallon of water a day definitely helped with my bloating and my stamina while working out, but I have to admit, having to pee every 30 minutes gets annoying. As for the entrepreneurial book, I began reading “What Color Is Your Parachute” by Richard Nelson Bolles. It is a great book for those who are looking for comfort while job hunting and for those who may need a guide.
Working out twice a day at first went smoothly, especially since school was not in session when I began this challenge. Once I had to balance work, school, and working out twice a day, it became difficult. Because I was training for a half marathon, working out for 45 minutes outside was not a problem. In fact, I even broke my personal record with my running pace. One day I pushed myself so much I ended up running 7.1 miles with a 10’33’ pace, which was amazing for me. On this run, I was able to truly understand Fisalle’s intention with this challenge. I could have stopped at 3 miles because at that point, my ankle was hurting, and my knee was aching. I realized it was more of a mental block rather than a physical block.
Overall, I would recommend this challenge to anyone who is looking to improve their mental strength. While I did fail multiple times, I must admit the discipline made me more productive and energetic. Once I accomplished one task, I felt unstoppable and ready to go. So if you do attempt this crazy yet motivational challenge, I advise you to remember the main goal of the challenge, which is to improve your mental toughness and not just your physical strength.