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Dr. Erica did #75Hard. Here are 5 things she learned

On March 15th, I finished the #75Hard Program. For those who are unfamiliar the program consists of 75 days of:


  • Following a diet of your choice

  • Two 45-minute workouts per day (one of which must be outside, despite the weather)

  • Drink 1 gallon of water

  • Take a daily progress picture

  • Read 10 pages of a non-fiction novel

  • No alcohol


And if you failed a day? You'd have to start all over again at day 1.


It's called 75 Hard for a reason. It was hard.


Dr. Erica completing the Manitou Incline as one of her outdoor workouts. She cut 7 minutes off her record time on this hike.
Dr. Erica completing the Manitou Incline as one of her outdoor workouts. She cut 7 minutes off her record time on this hike.

So why bother with something like this? If I'm being totally transparent, at the end of 2023, I felt like my mental health was taking a tumble... quickly. I couldn't figure out why. Things in my life weren't progressing in the way I was intending and I was getting increasingly frustrated. I was feeling stuck.


It wasn't until one day I heard a quote that said "we must continually put ourselves in challenging situations in order to progress". That's when I asked myself: when was the last time I had done something to challenge myself?


I couldn't even remember.


That's when it clicked. The reason I felt stuck was because I hadn't continued to challenge myself.


Enter: #75Hard


Within a week I had started to feel better. My mindset was improving. Now, after completing 75 Hard, my life feels completely changed.


Here are the top 5 things I learned through those 75 Days:


  1. If you're unhappy with how something is in your life (in business, career, health, marriage, friendships, etc.), look in the mirror first. If you feel like other people are the problem, change how you behave around them and start leading by example. You may be surprised the impact it has on them. Sharing my 75 Hard journey with our team at Axon Health significantly changed how our team was operating. I also managed to inspire at least 3 other people to start 75 Hard - without having to convince them.

  2. Your body can withstand much more than we give it credit for. When your self-talk includes "I can't do that" or "my body won't let me do that", the biggest limiting factor is not your body. It's your self-talk. Once your self-talk starts improving, you'll start to notice how other people's self-talk is limiting them, too. This happened almost every day with little comments people would make about themselves. Things like "I could never cut out alcohol" or "I wouldn't have time for two workouts". They seem small and insignificant to most people, but the excuses are limiting them. This even applies to my patient care. The number of comments I've heard over the years like, "I'm special. I have a lot wrong with me. I'll never get rid of this complaint" is one of my top predictors of whether or not they'll get better.

  3. Alcohol was affecting me way more than I realized. Drinking was never a problem for me... or so I thought. I was one of those people who habitually had a single glass of wine with a few dinners a week. That doesn't seem like a lot, right? Well, maybe it isn't. But what I hadn't realized was that even that "small" amount of wine was impacting me on a daily basis. After cutting alcohol, I was thinking clearer, my skin was brighter, I was sleeping better and I had way more energy. Oh, and my bloating (which was a regular struggle for me) completely disappeared. My biggest surprise, though? I thought I'd miss it. But I didn't.

  4. 75 Days is not a long time. You can completely change your life in that period of time. You just have to commit to it.

  5. Hard things get easier the more you do them. That seems obvious, right? The more you throw a free-throw, you assume the better you'll get. The same is true with habits like those in 75 Hard. By the end of the program, scheduling in my second workout of the day was second nature to me. The time "problem" I thought I had was just a lack of habit and prioritization. If people more successful (and much busier) than I can complete this program, so can I. They have the same number of hours in the day as me. The best part of the program was also the one that had me overcome my excuses: the outdoor workout. The windy, blistery winter days were not fun. But it was a testament that even under the worst conditions, we can still make progress.


All in all, 75 Hard was a great tool to get my mind straight. It was also a great tool in building better habits. I will probably end up doing this program again in the future.


There is an ancient Cherokee proverb that goes like this:


An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”
 He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

My advice to anyone reading this who is still thinking "I couldn't do that" is to stop listening to that voice. In our team at Axon, we've started calling these voices the "dark wolf" and the "light wolf". Everyone has both voices inside their head. Start feeding the light wolf. Your body and life will thank you.


Dr. Erica on a hike for one of her outdoor workouts

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