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 [before it was sold out!], 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