Blog Post

Broken Open: A 34 Day Gym Challenge

It’s story TYme! Before we begin, you should understand what you are getting yourself into. The act of writing gives my soul freedom. Often times, I can feel when something healing is channeling through me. I can feel the process of transforming energy into words. Words are my art. I choose to use them as medicine. Don’t be worried, I will still cuss fuss and be funny but ultimately the purpose is always healing. Now let’s dive in!

I went to the gym on Sunday, November 25, 2018, just four days after my 34th birthday. When I got home I was making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when my spirit whispered nonchalantly, “go to the gym for 34 days”.

That’s how my spirit is, it’s not loud or forceful but rather direct. It took me a while to realize this, it was only when I turned down the volume of my life that I was able to become fluent in the language of my spirit.

There I was in the kitchen making a sandwich and my spirit spoke. I acknowledged what I heard with an almost automatic nod, as if my spirit and I were already engaged in a conversation. From experience, I know that my spirit tends to repeat itself until I confirm.

The nod was a physical reaction to what my soul already knew. This is how conversations with my spirit work. It’s simple yet, it’s not lost on me how profound of a gift it is to fluently speak the language of my spirit.

When I say, my spirit “said” something, it’s not actual words it’s more of an energetic impression. This is what I call them because it feels like a force pressing against and into you. It’s a still vibration that penetrates all of your senses at one time. If you are receptive and open, the words trickle into your soul with an ease that soothes you deep down into all of your dark places.

For me personally, that exchange is so pleasurable it makes my hairs stand up. Sometimes it feels like orgasmic glitter is being sprinkled on me. Let me stop there otherwise, I would go on forever and never cover the topic at hand.

Even though I nodded in acknowledgement, I didn’t really absorb the ask. It was a matter of fact moment. The truth is, 2018 was really a rough year for me and I was in a rut. I had not been feeling like myself for a long while. A part of me easily accepted the challenge because I knew deep inside that I needed things to change. I had no idea just how much change was in store.

Day one was already complete when I made up my mind to commit to 34 days, the rest of the days went as follows:

Day 1-12: The first 12 days were the most physically challenging days. I had not worked out consistently in over a year, so getting my ass in gear took a lot of effort. I started out with the goal of 15 minutes of cardio nonstop and 30-40 minutes strength training. Immediately, I was counting the minutes during cardio! What felt like 5 dramatic minutes was only 45 stingy seconds, it was absurd.

My spirit, pointed out that every time I told myself it was too hard, I struggled. Around day 4, I was up to 30 slow agonizing nonstop minutes, then my spirit advised me to time myself by songs, meaning make a playlist. BINGO! Four days of looking at a wall doing cardio (and dying) and my spirit finally piped up with a good piece of advice.

Day 13: I should have anticipated something would happen on day 13, if only for numerology sake. Thirteen arrives and I’ve hit my stride! Thirty minutes of cardio is no issue anymore, I understand the link between what I tell myself and what happens as a result. My resistance to the process is pretty low and I feel present during the workouts. I’m not distracted with texting or worries. Then my spirit clears it’s throat and says to me,

Think of all the black female bodies that have come before you that have been seen as disposable, disrespected in every way imaginable, and neglected. Here you stand in a perfectly healthy body with the privilege to move freely, eat what you please and you are choosing to neglect yourself by not honoring or prioritizing your health.”

And there I was in the middle of the gym snatched bald by my own inner voice and on the verge of an ancestral cry to wash my soul of the trauma carried and symbolized in my body. YES IT GOT DEEP!

As if my spirit was playing a video montage in my mind, I had visions of the women in my own family who suffered because they never learned self-care or had the privilege to make it a priority. I decided on day 13 that as long as I was able in this lifetime, working out would be a priority.

Day 14-16: After that message came out of me I noticed over the next few days I was annoyed and overly irritated at the process. Something inside my spirit had been surgically revealed and everything around it was raw and trying to heal.

I began to second guess myself. The journey was now a little bit harder, not physically but spiritually and I was not prepared. I contemplated quitting. I began mentally building my case to quit, “I have a full-time job, and a niece to raise, I have to cook dinner and clean, I was tired.”

Day 17- 18: The case to quit was strong but my spirit kept reminding me of the earliest lesson in the journey: your body will do whatever you tell it to do. I was telling myself it was hard again and it was becoming hard. I changed the internal narrative to, I ‘ll just go for a half hour. A mantra unburried itself from beneath my doubts and floated to the surface of my mind like an air bubble in a cup of water:

“I keep my commitments and I don’t break promises to myself.”

When I got to the gym, it was actually fun working out. It made me question why does the anticipation of this make me so negative when in the end I really enjoy it?

Day 19-22: This is when I realized the duality of everything. When an idea arises there are always two options “yes” or “no”. It’s ultimately up to you which one you will be persuaded by but each will be attached. So I saw that in working out, I could do it or not do it. By this point, I’m enjoying my time at the gym and I’m actually looking forward to it.

I’m sore as fuck!!!!!!!!! But determined to see this through, because I’ve told myself that I keep my commitments and I don’t break promises to myself. Thirty minutes of cardio is nothing! My favorite is the elliptical the stairs are the most challenging. Did you hear me, I said I have a favorite cardio machine! The same lady who couldn’t last 7 minutes, just 19 days ago.

Day 23: Then it happens, I break down. It’s HARD! I’m drained physically and mentally exhausted. I’ve been in the gym for 23 days straight it has caught up to me. My spirit’s chatty ass says,

“Everything in your life is a result of your ability to receive. You have counted yourself out so many times with your own words. What would happen if you truly got out of your own way.”

The message penetrates my bones, and I realize the agitation I felt days ago was an internal knowing that a truth I did not want to face would reveal itself. What if I’ve been blocking myself from everything I deserve because of my own words. My past excuses echoed in my mind, “I don’t have time, I can’t, it’s too hard, I’m not qualified.”

Under the weight of my own binding words, I begin to question “why haven’t I been living the life I deserve?” Why is it so easy for me to count myself out? There I am again in the middle of the gym ready to let the water from my eyes cleanse my soul. This process is tearing me open and I’m so tired, I don’t have the strength to resist what is unearthing itself from inside of me.

Day 24: On the morning of the 24th day after at least 3 emotional and spiritual breakthroughs, the thought that there have been times in my life that I have known for sure that God recognized me and spoke directly to me is prevalent. He saw everything that I’ve gone through and I felt his reassuring presence.

I have worried about lots of things I didn’t need to because history and experience has shown that the universe is always working in my highest favor. Every song that I listen to on this day feels like a personal love song from the universe. Specifically “This Is Love” by Jonathan Butler from the Live in South Africa album, it’s like menthol on my exposed soul.

This is love (love, love, love)
Kinda love that’s more than enough
This is love (love, love, love)
I never knew, I never had.

That’s MORE THAN ENOUGH…whew chile. Imagine realizing that you have the kind of love inside of you that’s more than enough and you never realized it. SHIT!

Day 25: I am confident energetic and aware that I need to work on my faith. Working out has officially become me time.

Day 26: My menstrual cycle is slowing me down. My body is drained and tired from the process, but I am still committed.

Day 27-28: I have a boost of energy, the end of the journey is in sight. I can see why my spirit suggested this! It all makes sense.

Day 29: My skin seems really alive colorful vibrant. I really feel good about intentionally making time for my health.

Day 30: I didn’t eat well, and it shows in my workout. My body does not have the right fuel my performance is suffering. Thoughts work the same way. Can’t tell yourself you can’t do things then muster the energy to get it done. You have to reset and feed your mind and body the fuel to get the job done.

Day 31: Home workout, gym is closed.

Day 32-33: By this point, I have documented nearly every day of the journey on my instastory so people are holding me accountable. I’ve even inspired a few followers and co-workers to workout. My co-workers are cheering me on each day. Everyone is invested in the goal with one common question, which I will explain at the very end.

Day 34: The final day! I set my alarm to wake up early to go to the gym and lay my clothes out at night. When I wake up something says, NO! I listen and lay back down, a part of me is disappointed because I really wanted to go in early (I am rarely excited about an early wake up). Instead I postpone as urged by “something”. The something is likely an angel because the voice is different. Two hours later I get ready for work and head to my car.

Someone had hit my car while it was parked overnight! I kid you not. On the final day of the fitness journey my car has been damaged and will undoubtedly need repair. I am exhausted beyond explanation! At this point, anyone could throw in the towel or postpone it to another day, ANYONE.

That “anyone” is not me, because: I keep my commitments and I don’t break promises to myself 🙂 So I call the police make the report and advise my job that I will be in late.

The car is still drivable so I go to the gym then to work. Even though I know that I will have to come out of my pocket to pay for an expense that I don’t want to, I’m still oddly happy on the 34th day. It’s at the gym on this 34th day, when I realize it is time for me to claim the life that I want and deserve.

I had no idea when I started this journey that on the other side I would gain more life clarity, stregthen the trust that I have for my inner voice, build more confidece in my gifts, encounter spiritial ancestrial healing (that was a major bonus) , and acutally complete the challenge.

The number one question throughout this journey was, why are you doing this? Unbeknownst to me, this challenge had been in the works because I felt a very strong disconnection between what I wanted out of life and where I currently was.

Having big dreams was no longer bringing me joy as much as they were a reminder that they were only dreams. My inner voice heard me trying to make sense of this dilemma. The solution came as what seemed to be just an idea to go to the gym.

The actual process of acknowledging and acting upon the idea helped me see that my words and actions were not inline with my desires, and this was clearly why my dreams were not my reality.

In conclusion, you have desires in your life whether they are clarity, abundance, joy, etc the only way to make them your reality is to act. You can’t sit around waiting for things to happen, you have to make them happen. Imagine if I would have never gone through with this or quit!

How many valuable life lessons would I have robbed myself of me? As a result of this challenge, I have gotten clarity of my business visions, what talents I am using to implement an abundant life style, completed two creative tasks that were on hold, and working out is really a staple in my week.

It may be odd to read how an internal conversation led to these lessons, but in my experience that’s how it works. I was led to a gym for 34 days in order to solve an issue that I had been battling with for a long time. If I’m completely honest, I’ve felt the gym calling before but I was too focused on struggling to surrender and take the idea seriously.

All of this to say to you, you have no idea how life can orchestrate the answers to your most pressing questions. The universe is creative beyond measure. Your only job is to say yes, to that which feels right even if you have no idea how it will end.

What challenge is your heart telling you to undertake?


Divinely, Ty