I have always prided myself on being athletic and strong when it comes to taking on a physically demanding challenge. Over the years I have been able to complete 10 K races and go on long hikes into the woods and feel fine.

I am getting older (45 this year!), so the things I used to do with my body are not the same as in years past. 

In the last year, with job uncertainties and an unpredictable schedule I have not been able to keep up with any type of regular physical activity. Even so, I have felt that my energy is strong. So, I try as much as I can to do physical exercise throughout the day, even if it only involves taking the stairs 4 flights instead of taking the elevator.

One thing that has been on my side is that my parents and family has always prided themselves on daily physical activity.

My dad used to take us as children on long arduous walks along the horse trails behind our house. Being little children, we were sometimes dragged along for what felt like hours and often ended the long walk in tears because of the time and effort it took to complete these outings. It was no simple stroll, but a death hike, because we never knew how long it would last. Still, these physical feats prepared me to push myself and my mental stamina.

These kinds of memories came in handy two months ago when my car decided to break down. I was without a car or a means to get to work so I needed to ride my bike to work.

At first, I wasn’t sure if I had it in me to make the 6 mile bike ride each way to and from work. After all, I hadn’t ridden a bike in years. Not even a stationary bike.

Still, I approached the physical challenge with a sense of curiosity and wonder.

Could I still do this even at my age and physical condition?

This is something I used to do as a teenager, take a bike and ride for an hour, no preparation. Just go!

The stress of getting to work on time made me a nervous wreck, but my body was up to the challenge. My mind was made up that I could do this, like any other challenge. It was all about having a positive attitude and having mental stamina!

As a child I went on those death hikes without any option or position to argue.

Now, I was in command, in the driver’s seat.

My body was ready to take on this challenge. I rode my bike to work 6 miles in each direction for three days. It was an unexpected challenge, but I knew I could not let myself down.

How did it go? I was hard but I proved to myself I still got it! Plus, I made myself proud for sticking to it!

Challenge yourself each day. You never know when you might need to push yourself to the limit.


  • Lily Ploski

    Personal Well-being Coach

    Lily Ploski graduated from the Holistic Health Education Master of Arts program at John F. Kennedy University in the city of Pleasant Hill in northern California. Lily has witnessed the power of education to positively transform and change lives during her 15-year career working with students as a student affairs professional and as a teacher. Lily sees learning as essential to health and well-being, as a path to building meaning, coherence, healing, liberation, restoration, re-invention, and challenge in our everyday life to be the best version of ourselves. Lily has an Associate's Degree from Diablo Valley College in Pleasant, Hill, CA. She completed her Bachelor's Degree from University of California, Berkeley, Master's Degree Teachers College, Columbia University in the City of New York, and Doctorate at Cal State University, Fullerton. Her book, Not Getting Stuck: Success stories of being Latina and transferring from a California community college (Alive Publications, 2017) is about positive self-transformation through education. Lily is a single parent and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area along with her son, Justice, and her dog, Max. Her personal motto is Make Every Day Count! Lily is actively seeking opportunities as a personal well-being coach, executive trainer, and international speaker.