The first week of the 75 Hard Challenge is in the books, and I’m well into my second week.

If you’ve aware of what that is…it challenges you mentally, emotionally and physically in ways I know I never imagined. It was created by Andy Frisella, an uber-successful entrepreneur, best-selling author, consultant and public speaker.

It has 5 tasks to be completed each day for 75 straight days…

1) Stick to a diet of your choice, with no cheat meals or alcohol.

2) Drink a gallon of water per day.

3) Complete two workouts of at least 45 minutes apiece, with one being held outside.

4) Read 10 pages of a nonfiction book each day (I’m sticking to self-improvement books), but they can’t be audiobooks.

5) Take a progress photo each day.

It’s about the lessons, not the tasks

But 75 Hard isn’t about the tasks that need to be completed to conquer the challenge.

It’s about pulling you out of your comfort zone and showing you what you’re really made of.

And that can be achieved in many different ways. Because no matter what path you choose to test your mettle, you will learn more about yourself than you ever imagined.  I know I have.

And here are the lessons I have already learned…

* As organized as I’ve become with my daily schedule, I’m going to a different level of organization – because I truly am pressed for time but the “I just don’t have enough time” excuse isn’t an option.

* Same goes for self-awareness…

I’m much more conscious of what I need to do to complete each day’s tasks while not losing sight of what I set out to do each day – helping people discover the best versions of themselves.

* My body isn’t as young and resilient as it used to be, but my mindset is picking up the slack.

Outdoor workouts have been cold…no matter, plow through it.

Sore knees and back, bruised foot…no matter, plow through it.


Because if being cold, having sore knees, a sore back and a bruised foot are the worst of my problems, I consider myself extremely blessed.

Sharing lessons with others

* And I’ve discovered people are watching. 

Fernandes Fit clients are a bit more motivated than they were before. Family and friends are asking about the challenge or following what I’m doing. Neighbors are curious as to why I’m outside running and walking on dark, cold nights.

That first week was equally great and difficult.

But so has every challenge I’ve faced over the past 12 years…

Starting with turning my life around through health, fitness and finally learning that life is worth living, not simply existing.

And doing a complete 180-degree turn in careers, from sports journalism to health and fitness coaching, and accepting the risks that come with such a different and unpredictable field.

Moving to a new place here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland after becoming all sorts of comfortable back in Erie, PA

And starting a business on my own with previous experience in launching and running businesses.

Those are all challenges, whether I knew that or not at the time.

I expect more of the same moving forward with 75 Hard and anything else I place in my way to test my mettle and resolve.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Because deep down, people want to challenge themselves. They just have to find a way to build the confidence needed to tackle those challenges.