A discovery, an apology, and an offer [Fitness challenge]

Parent Hacks 8 Week Fitness Challenge

This is a hard post to write.

Eight weeks ago I invited you to join me for a fitness challenge. Despite my loving the workouts and the entire experience,  I didn't follow through as well as I had intended. I didn't do every workout, and I didn't write.

I bungled this in a big way.

This was the first time I'd ever hosted a public challenge of any kind. My intent was accountability and fun teamwork, but that's not what ended up happening (for me).

Turns out the threat of embarrassment that hangs over public accountability is NOT motivating to me. Instead, it makes me crumble and hide. I ignored my gut and followed conventional wisdom (the exact thing Christine and I advise against in Minimalist Parenting), and it shut me down.

It's not about perfectionism. I have no problem admitting mess ups or struggles. The private Facebook group set up just for class participants was perfect and I loved participating there. But it was private. By promising to write here every week I crossed a public/private line I didn't know existed for me until it was in my rear view mirror.

I'm sorry. To those of you who took the leap with me: I let you down, and I apologize.

I'm doing things differently this time.

I'm signed up for Alisa's Spring Get Strong Challenge. Her workouts are FANTASTIC and real, the support and flexible scheduling is amazing, and I want to do this again as Asha the person, not Asha of Parent Hacks or Minimalist Parenting. I'm not setting myself up with promises to report as I go. But I will be there. And I hope you will be, too.

If you'd like to join me, sign up here (registration closes Friday, April 4). The eight-week program costs $50, but Alisa is offering Parent Hacks and Minimalist Parenting readers $10 off. Enter SPRING at checkout to claim your $10 discount.

I learned a hard lesson this time. Thank you for bearing with me as I stumble along.

Disclosure: Alisa is one of my oldest and dearest friends. We don't have a professional setup going — this is just me supporting her new business, and trying my best to establish an exercise habit.


  1. Nicole T says

    Props for apologizing when you feel you messed up. That takes courage.

    I also signed up. So WHOOPPEEE for inspiration!

  2. Katie says

    Asha, no worries- you inspired many of us to sign up so that in itself was a gift! I loved Winter Sweaters. Good luck in the spring challenge!

  3. Asha Dornfest (Parent Hacks) says

    Nicole T and Katie: Thank you both. My stomach was killing me as I wrote this because I really feel like I screwed up. I so appreciate that you popped right on with such kind comfort.

  4. suzanne knutson says

    You have been inspiring me since 3rd grade! I love to read your posts. You are wise and authentic and so encouraging!

  5. Asha Dornfest (Parent Hacks) says

    Kyran: I hug you.

    Suzanne: Now I AM choked up. Ladies and gentlemen, Suzanne Knutson, one of my best friends from elementary school!

  6. Asha Dornfest (Parent Hacks) says

    Thanks, Megan. Tough lesson to learn in public, but there it is. The huge upside are the comments and emails coming in…every single one of them supportive.

  7. says

    One thing I’ve learned in regards to working out is that different things motivate us. It’s not a one size fits all situation. For some, making a fitness goal public will do the trick. For others, creating a chart to be updated each day is the best motivator. Just find what gets you motivated and stick to it. Vanity motivates me the best … and so does (trying to) keep up with my fit wife!