28 Day Blog Post Challenge 2018,  Personal

How Harry Potter Made Me Obsessively Challenge Myself

I really like to challenge myself. Over the years I have been drawn to challenges of all kinds. It all started with Harry Potter.

OK, picture me in the third grade. Tall for my age, skinny and blonde, and realizing that Harry Potter was THE BOOK everyone was reading. I actually already had the book, but the cover was goofy, so I hadn’t read it yet.

I recall looking around my little classroom and over half of the kids were reading this book my Mother so lovingly gifted me because she saw it on a best seller list and I thanked her by shoving it on a shelf. As soon as I got home, I ran into my room, found this book and started reading.

I got so excited, but The Sorcerer’s Stone did NOT hook me right away.

Challenge Day 1-1


That night, I took the book with me when the family piled into the car to go to town. I remember reading that first chapter by the dim light of the streetlights we were passing. I tried reading the same few pages of the first chapter at least three times before I started to understand what was happening. I have no idea why we were in the car, but I do remember thinking it was strange an old man had such a love for lemon drops.

This is where my life of consistent challenges with myself began. Back at school kids in my class were ALREADY reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets… AKA book two!

Basically, Alyssa went reader crazy. I read and read and read. I found time to ask Mom to buy me the next one so I could catch up.

For the next three or so years a new HP dropped into the greedy and obsessive hands of me and grade school children around the world like clockwork. We were crazy for Harry’s otherworldly adventures, and between wondering what pumpkin juice tasted like and imagining the feeling of flying on a broom, the kids in my class focused on being the first to read the books cover to cover.

Challenge Day 1-4Things really start to heat up in my fourth-grade class, when most of us were reading The Goblet of Fire. Well, one girl announced she was on the Yule Ball chapter and I was not there yet. I was really mad she was reading about this like magical dance before me! I couldn’t let this happen again. I needed to know before everyone else.

Reading challenges were a huge deal to me (and they still are, I.E. the Goodreads Reading Challenge and the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge). I would do the summer library ones (yeah still do those too), and I was always in first or second place with the in-class pages race in the fifth grade. (I won at the end of that year.)

As I got older, sadly the number of pages read between classmates didn’t matter anymore. So, I found myself challenging myself with different things. I recall always working to beat my mile running time, seeing how long I could get my hair to grow, and one time I tried to paint my nails a different color for as many days in a row as possible because of character I read about in a book. (Two days is all I did.)

With age came 10-day yoga challenges, healthy eating challenges, photography challenges and right now I’m doing a fitness challenge with my co-workers.

I cannot stop. I have “challenged” myself on so many different topics I don’t even remember them all. I would say I have a 50/50 success rate in finishing these challenges, but I like knowing I was interested enough to start and try!

My newest challenge is the 28 Days of Blogging Challenge. It has one rule: Post a blog each day of February in 2018.

Challenge Day 1-3

This is blog number one. Kind of like the first Harry Potter book, I’m apprehensive, but I think I’ll get so into it, I’ll want to keep on going. (Also, I was so worried about losing the above book, I put my old phone number on the front cover twice!)

I hope you will enjoy reading along on each and every post this month, as I have some serious goods coming your way. There are personal posts, helpful posts, creative posts, and a TON of awesome guest posts coming! You should be excited to hear from my guests, as they are all women with really interesting things to say!

The content these amazing women are dreaming up is simply amazing and will totally blow your socks off! So please stick around for the fun of February 2018!

I’ve come a long way from reading Harry Potter as fast as I can, but I can tell you that challenging myself is always a good thing. I challenge you to do the same!

See you tomorrow!

-Alyssa B.


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