Hello, beautiful people.
Today is the day I announce The Gauntlet winner. Isn’t that exciting? Well, maybe not. If you didn’t compete, I guess this can just be a post to read about people who have bigger balls than you.
Zing! That was harsh. I take it back mostly.
If you’re new around here, let’s catch up real quick: I do 365 challenges, I have a series called Lollipop Tuesdays where I blog about having tried something new that I totally suck at, and sometimes I have contests. The Gauntlet was a contest where I combined these things and challenged everyone to pick something they suck at and do it every day for 30 Days, no cheating. When they were done, they were to write to me about it so I could judge their awesomeness. The most awesome wins a $100 Visa Gift Card.
Behold, Judgment Day has come.
I should come right out at the start and say that most of you sucked at this. Which is okay. It’s hard to make time to do the same thing every day for 30 days. Work happens. Kids happen. Oversleeping happens. Lots of things are there to get in the way before your brain even has the chance to try to talk you out of it.
It’s amazing, the variety of things we suck at. Some of us suck at being more proactive about job hunting, others at taking time to be creative, and still some at keeping in touch with certain people. There were promises to be more social, oaths to wake up early every day, and the ever-popular commitments to exercise.
But most of you failed. Kind of pathetically so. I received confessions of all kinds – texts, calls, in-person confrontations… people treating me like their priest, walking me through the things that tend to hold them back, the thought process that led up to stopping… humans are strange creatures.
I should note here that establishing habit is attempting to break your will, discipline your mind, and change the way you’re wired in order to redefine comfortable. People sell all their things, go to India, shave their heads and join monasteries to do this. This is not an easy task.
That’s why I was impressed by every single submission I got from readers who completed the challenge. And while I appreciated every single one of them and could see how hard each person worked to overcome obstacles, I’m fortunate that one submission was a clear standout to make the job easier.
The winning submission logged each day of their Gauntlet participation in a journal detailing activities, dedicated their participation to a cause, and is hoping to use the winnings to donate even more. Isn’t that ridiculous?
Michelle Laurie initially joined The Gauntlet quietly. She didn’t tell anyone, she didn’t even email me – she just made up her mind to do something for at least an hour every day to help animals, educate herself, or call others to veganism. But when she realized that a $100 gift card could really help her cause so she raised the bar and spent the next 30 days watching documentaries, ordering campaign materials, compiling and distributing information packs, working at Vegan Society bake sales, and even sponsored a hen named Scrags.
Like I said: ridiculous. You can read all about it here.
So here’s to you, Ms. Michelle Laurie. You’re the clear winner of The Gauntlet and I’m inspired by the depth of your commitment to a cause and your ability to go all in. You’ll be hearing from me shortly.
But I’m not done. I mean, I’m done with Michelle but I’m not done talking about awesome people. Though I’m far too poor to be establishing award-receiving runners-up, I would really like Annette Padfield over in this corner of the Interwebz to take a nice big bow.
Though Annette technically failed because she missed one day of the thirty, she managed an enormous feat of a different kind: she completed the contest anyway.
So many people say they’re going to do something, mess up, and take the energy that could be spent on trying again immediately on focusing on their suckiness.
We all suck. There’s no need to get all inside yourself about it. It’s okay.
Annette treated herself to a needle felting machine and let it gather dust in the corner for a long time until she challenged herself to make something with it every day for 30 days. There was one day within that span that she produced absolutely nothing. She could have given up, because that was a pretty big bummer and she’s tried to commit to things in the past and failed. Instead she just pretended that day didn’t happen when she woke up the next day, finished the challenge, and in the spirit of being a finisher, emailed me her update – confession and all.
So that’s pretty awesome. Also, I didn’t know a needle felting machine was a thing. It’s a thing. Take a bow, Annette. I’m too poor to give you a real reward, which is good because people who did their challenge without missing a day would probably resort to violence, but you’re awesome for making a way instead of making excuses.
This concludes The Gauntlet. There will be no more tweets or posts or hounding about it, and there will no longer be an enormous picture of a gauntlet in my right sidebar. It’s been replaced instead by an updated layout, buttons to stalk me, and a rabid bunny you can click on for a random post. Enjoy.
Thanks to everyone who entered; I’m impressed by all of you. Some of you started year-long challenges, some of you inspired others to join, and some of you simply learned a little more about yourselves. All impressive things. If ever you’re feeling down on yourself for missing a day or not putting forth as much effort as you’d have like, just remember that just by continuing to try you’re getting closer to your goal than all the people who are still paralyzed by their most recent defeat.
And to all those paralyzed people, remember: any day is a good day to get back on the train. ♣