Antonia’s CHAARG Journey: I Am Perfectly Imperfect


CHAARG Journey Stories highlight our members’ amazing journeys through CHAARG — physically, mentally, + emotionally. Antonia was one of the three winners of the CHAARG Bootycamp 2017. We are so proud of her for learning to embrace her imperfections + utilizing the CHAARG Instagram community for what it truly is — an uplifting + supportive community to be inspired by! Read Antonia’s entire CHAARG Journey Story below! 

If there is one piece of CHAARG gear that I wish I had purchased , it would be the gray tank with the words “positive + passionate + perfectly imperfect” written on the front.  

I’ve always been competitive — as an athlete, a student, etc. [basically, I my personality in general is very competitive!]. If there is a competition, you better believe I’ll take it seriously. My competitive nature has made me the passionate + driven person I am today, but it has also led me to my biggest flaw//weakness: my fear of imperfection.

It sounds crazy. How can I fear not being perfect? Nobody can be perfect. But for a long time, this thought terrified me. I was afraid to show any sign weakness in any aspect of my life. I thought that if I showed that I was struggling, or didn’t know something right away, people would think less of me. I told myself I was just holding myself to high standard, but really I was holding myself to an impossible standard.

After accepting a position the CHAARG Exec Team for the following year, the pressure I placed on myself to be perfect only grew.  After all, I was supposed to be a leader portraying the CHAARG lifestyle to my Chapter + the National CHAARG community. I looked at so many _inCHAARG insta accounts + saw pictures of girls running marathons, cooking beautiful meals, + being active leaders in so many other amazing activities… I was intimidated. How were these girls making all these amazing accomplishments while I was on my third night in a row barely sleeping, worried about how I would even make it through my 8AM small group the next morning? To me, the girls in these photos were perfect; they had life all figured out + I doubted my ability to get to that level.

Going into CHAARG Bootycamp, the pressure grew. Between the two fit plans I’ve participated in, I had yet to actually finish one. I had always become so consumed with competing with the other girls + doing every extra FitPlan challenge that I burned myself out after week three. In addition, I knew I was going to struggle incorporating this FitPlan with my work schedule + balancing the workouts with rowing + training for my first marathon.

On the first day of CHAARG Bootycamp, I set my intention in my first instagram post. I talked about how I wanted to make this MY fit plan, learn to be proud of my abilities, + use the CHAARG community solely for inspiration + NOT a means of comparison.  

As I continued with CHAARG Bootycamp, I’ll admit it was hard at first to keep myself from turning back to my old ways. But within the first week, I realized something was different. The _inCHAARG Instagram community was a lot more *open* than in the past. Everyday, when I went on insta, I would see posts from girls sharing that their workouts didn’t go as planned, sharing a personal struggle, or reaching out for advice. I became so inspired by these girls. They weren’t using their instagrams only for the purpose of documenting their *best* moments. They were sharing their entire stories, their struggles, + they were met with overwhelming support.

Inspired by these girls, I took another step towards overcoming my fear of imperfection. I said yes to a new adventure: playing soccer on our intern soccer team. Having never played, I knew I wasn’t going to be good, but I tried anyways. As expected, I was terrible… However, I unexpectedly was no longer insecure with the fact that I had no idea what I was doing or that I didn’t always make the best decisions on the field. Instead, I was able to allow myself to mess up + my teammates were incredibly helpful with teaching me how to improve. Of course, I’m still no all star by any means, but I did get better + most importantly, I allowed myself to not worry about doing everything right [+ perfect] + I simply enjoyed playing.

Eliminating the expectation for myself to constantly compare myself to other CHAARG girls during this FitPlan, I was able to achieve far more than I ever thought I would. I may have modified some of the workouts, missed one or two due to sickness, + chose to do my own cardio most Tuesdays//Thursdays, but I did: chase the sunset every morning [#4AMCREW],  logged over 150 bolts, said yes to a new adventures, + ultimately, learned to be proud of myself for what I am capable of + allowed myself to be inspired + motivated by the CHAARG Bootycamp community. I am a work in progress… always have been + always will be. After the FitPlan, I can say that I am ready to start becoming the best version of myself because I am no longer afraid or ashamed to admit it.


++ Antonia Wuschner [ant_inchaarg]
University of Michigan CHAARG

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  • Rachel Valentine

    Hello! My name is Rachel Valentine, and I just wanted to say that you and I are a lot alike. I rowed at The University of Iowa for a couple of years at a D1 Institution. I ended my rowing career after my sophomore year because of a back injury. I have been trying to find a place to fit in. I am still in contact with my teammate , but I feel as though I have definitely lost a team. Did you find that team feeling by joining this group? I am trying to get back into lifting, but I am very scared to lift since that is how I got hurt in the first place with rowing progressing my injury without my knowing. I want to belong to something again, and I feel like In Chaarg is the place to start. Should I continue with this and join the group? Thank you for taking your time to read this. Please reach out with any advice that you think is necessary for me to hear!

    • Antonia Wuschner

      Hi Rachel! I feel like I’m reading my own story in your comment! — I also rowed D1 for Michigan and had to discontinue after injured myself (which they think is from lifting wrong then escalating the injury rowing). CHAARG definitely helped me find my team ++ I was surrounded by girls who were experienced in the weight room + would teach me how to lift safely. The CHAARG fitplans are also great for this as they give really good instructional videos to help you make sure you have proper form. Overall, the community in general is also extremely knowledgeable and always willing to help–with anything!

      When I stopped rowing I wasn’t really sure how to workout anymore since all I had mainly ever done was erg, lift, and row. Having the studio spotlights let me find new + fun ways of working out, having the community at school made me feel part of a supportive team again, + the national community was/is so inspiring as well. I definitely think you should give it a try! Send me a DM on my insta @ant_inchaarg if you want to talk more 🙂

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