The following is my interview with Becky Caldwell, the ring leader of The Audacious League and “The Quest for Salubrity.” If you’re a nerd and you want to get in shape, Becky’s got the motivational tool for you. If you like what you’ve read here, join the next “Quest for Salubrity” here.
A: Hi Becky, how are you? Thanks for talking with me today.
B: Good, how are you?
A: Good. It’s good to talk to you. Thanks for taking time to talk to me today about The Quest for Salubrity. So I’m looking at your facebook event for the next Quest for Salubrity and it’s hosted by the Audacious League. Could you tell my readers what The Audacious League is?
B: The Audacious League is my team of health and fitness fans who go through “The Quest for Salubrity” and its sequel “The Battle for Salubrity.” It’s my hosting group for these programs. If I were to build a production company, it would be called The Audacious League.
A: Well “salubrity” sounds like a $5 word. Could you tell us what salubrity actually means and why you chose to use that for the name of your quest?
B: “Salubrity” is Latin for a state of healthfulness; it’s the state of being healthy. I wanted to create an imaginary world, an imaginary world, a fictional world, and through that world, we would travel as a group to find our best health and wellness. I chose the word “salubrity” because it’s not English. If you do “Quest for Health,” it sounds like a lot of hard work and zero fun. That’s why I chose the word, “salubrity” because it sounds more interesting. It’s a great descriptive word once you know what it means and what we do, but I think it also sends you to a great mental place. We get bogged down in the words “health” and “fitness.” I didn’t want people to be weighed down with that. I wanted this to be a fun process. I wanted to approach health and fitness from a different perspective. It’s hard enough work, right? Exercise, keeping your stress level down, getting enough sleep…when you just talk about that, it’s simply not fun. I do not have fun eating kale! If someone said to me, “I want you to join this group where we eat a lot of kale and do pushups,” that would not be my cup of tea. When someone says, “Hey, let’s join ‘The Quest for Salubrity.’” That sounds interesting to me; I want to know more about that. It sounds like something that being a gamer nerd, I could get into. The sequel to “The Quest for Salubrity” is “The Battle for Salubrity.” Once you find your salubrity, your version of what your own health and wellness is, you have to fight to keep it. We created “The Battle for Salubrity” which delves more deeply into each of those areas of good health so we can start to master it and to make it into a habit.
A: Well, that sounds like something up my alley. I’m trying to work towards better health and wellness for myself. That’s never been something that’s been super easy for me to do. So if someone were to sign up for The Quest for Salubrity, can you tell me what does a typical day or week in The Quest for Salubrity look like?
B: Typically, the first week is what I call the “slapping water” week. I’ll go a ahead and put it out there, the first week is kind of a bummer. You have to slap some water before you’re ready to draw back the arrow. If you’ve seen the Arrow TV show, then you know that Oliver Queen goes through a whole training of slapping water, which kind of sucks, right? But that’s what builds up your patience, your strength in certain areas, builds your focus. The first week for us is all about mindset. Why are we doing this? What’s important to us? What are the consequences if we don’t make it to salubrity? What are we afraid of? What are we giving up to take this journey and who our traveling companion is—oh, that’s an element of “The Quest” that I didn’t mention. We each pick a traveling companion from fiction, so someone from TV, movies, or literature. What that does for us is that it gets us to look at ourselves from someone else’s perspective. We are often our own worst critic and it’s hard for us to say something nice about ourselves. However, if we look at ourselves through someone else’s eyes, it’s easier to say, “Oh wow, she really rocked out that workout this week.” “She’s really awesome with her nutrition program,” or “Wow, she’s super strong!” These are things we won’t say about ourselves, but we could easily say them through our companion and that makes us feel less like we’re bragging, less of a weirdo. Then we identify our secret weapon, which is something we can turn to when the going gets tough, and we also identify our feat of strength, which is a goal that we can’t do now, but would really like to do one day. So for me, my feat of strength is a handstand. I can’t do one right now, but I would love to be able to kick up next to a wall and do a handstand someday. My secret weapon tends to be my web cam. Because I tend to eat bad food secretly, but if my web cam is on, guess who’s not going to shove a pound of M&Ms in her face? That would be me. My traveling companion is always River Song from Doctor Who because we meet in opposite ends of our timeline. She knows my future and as the sort of game master of the quest, I have to know everybody’s future as I’m taking the journey myself. But other people have chosen Indiana Jones, Captain America…one of my favorite recent ones is Tyler Durden from Fight Club.
A: I guess they’re not allowed to talk about that, right?
B: [laughs] Shoot, you’re right. I broke the first rule! Someone chose Agent May from Agents of S. H. I. E. L. D. so we’ve had some fun traveling companions along the way. A typical day then, is morning post, like an activity or challenge for the day. It’s usually not something that will take 5 hours to do. Typically, it takes like a few minutes or it’s something you incorporate into your already scheduled work out or meal plan, and then in the evening, there’s a check in post related to the day’s activities. So here’s a good one I’ll read you. This one might terrify people. Well okay, here’s a very simple one; I’ll read two. The morning post, which is posted at 6am Eastern Time, says, “Shortly after you fell asleep last night, your camp was attacked by minions, sent by your enemy, Fear. Again, you fought bravely and even employed your feat of strength—poorly. How do they keep finding you? It is clear that you need to practice more, so spend today training on your feat of strength with your companion. How does your companion help you with your training? Post a photo or video in the comments. Then the evening check-in for the day is, “Are you getting stronger”? That’s it! That’s a simple one. For example, if my feat of strength is handstands, I’ll do a couple practice handstands up against the wall and my companion helps me by encouraging me, by telling me that she knows in the future that I do a handstand in front of someone important. Then I’ll post a photo of me in the comments doing a handstand. Now this next one, might scare some people, but it is one of my favorite days—this one comes about halfway through our time together. This one employs some other fun vocabulary words—the morning challenge, Day 15: Your next waypoint is Gerisi, a town you must pass through in order to reach Salubrity. The Gafellians have given you a map to Gerisi, but before you can leave Gafell, you must perform the ritual Dance of Gratitude for the guidance that the oracles have given you. Everyone knows oracles they lack the ability to generate their own humor or fun. Because they see the imminent, they are unable to enjoy the present. They require visitors to provide them with something joyous and silly to balance out the often terrifying future that is constantly in their field of vision. Post a photo or video of your dance in the comments.
A: [laughs] That’s awesome!
B: The point is to be just as silly and crazy and awful at it as possible. Like if someone was to post the equivalent of Elaine Benes from Seinfeld dancing, those just make my day. There have been several of those, including some of my own. It’s just been so much fun. DAY 15 CHECK IN: Be sure to post your Dance of Gratitude photo or video in the comments! You can make a youtube video private so that only people with a link can access it.” Some days it will be physical, some days it will be mindset oriented, some days are nutrition-oriented, it varies.
A: That sounds like a lot of fun. Some people reading this might be interested to know if your program is run by certified trainers, or if there are other certifications with this program?
B: I am not a personal trainer; I am not a nutritionist. I want to be very clear and upfront about that, but I am a Beachbody coach. I developed this as a way for my customers to hook into an accountability group and to help motivate them to do things that are not as fun, like P90X. I developed this using Beachbody tools because they have certified trainers, they have certified nutritionists, so they have programming that works. However, you do not have to be using a Beachbody program to be a part of this. Where I am an expert is that I’ve been an events planner and a theater producer/director for 20 years. I am great at motivating people. I’m great at creating a place where joy can happen. I’m great at coaching people, at knowing what makes people tick, and what makes them want to do certain things. I’m a great motivator and that’s where my expertise lies. While I can give you some basic advice on nutrition and exercise, this is really more about you using a program that you’re already into or that you want to try. If you’re already working out with a personal trainer, then this is a supplement. If you already have a gym membership, but you’re underutilizing it, then this is a great way to get you back to the gym and to hold yourself accountable. Maybe you’re following Weight Watchers or something and it’s kind of a drag—this will help you stay on track with that.
A: Fantastic, so “The Quest for Salubrity” is much more of a motivational tool.
A: So if people want to sign up for “The Quest for Salubrity,” how can they do that and is there a deadline?
B: Yes, the deadline is April 15, 2015, which sounds like another deadline in our country. I don’t like that association, but there it is. It runs from April 20 – May 24, 2015. You sign up by messaging me on facebook at https://facebook.com/TheAudaciousLeague or e-mail me beckybrettcaldwell [at] gmail [dot] com.
A: Fantastic, is there a cost associated with “The Quest for Salubrity.”
B: Yes, thank you for asking. This is not a free group because you get a lot of my time. So it’s $40 to do the quest, and that’s for the 5 weeks.
A: That’s fantastic. That’s great for people who are on a budget and need to get in shape, like myself.
B: Exactly. I figure it’s roughly the cost of a gym membership and it’s cheaper than most Beachbody programs, so if you’ve got something already that you’re trying to do, but just can’t get any traction, then this is a great way to buckle down and do it.
A: Becky, I think that helps answers my questions for today. Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to talk about “The Quest for Salubrity.” I hope you have a lot of participants and lots of cool companions. I think would choose Captain Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager.
B: She would awesome!
A: My goal is to be as awesome as Captain Janeway. That’s my life goal.
B: What would be your secret weapon?
A: That’s is a great question. I think my secret weapon would probably be my iPhone and here’s why. I work from home, I’m self-employed, so most of the time I stay in my pajamas all day and I do my work, but I’m pretty sedentary. So my biggest challenge is actually getting up and going to do some sort of physical activity, even if it’s just going for a walk, because that would mean I would have to get out of my pajamas. So with my phone, I think what I would do to hold myself accountable is to take a picture of myself every day going for my jog or my workout or whatever. Take like a before or after picture where I look disgusting.
B: [laughs] That’s awesome. What would be your feat of strength?
A: I think my feat of strength would be being able to run longer than two or three minutes without feeling like I’m going to die. I think honestly my feat of strength would be that. I’m not a runner. I’m short and have little legs. If you know the quote from Full House, Michelle says, “Wait for me, I have little legs!” that’s me, every day. I think being able to run and not feel like I’m going to die would be great. I think at this point I could run even run half a mile or even close to that, so in the long run, I think might feat of strength would be to run a mile without stopping.
B: That’s a good one, especially in a zombie apocalypse.
A: For sure. If there’s ever a zombie apocalypse, I’m getting nommed first.
B: That’s like number one, “cardio,” from Zombieland, and number two, “double tap.”
A: Well Becky, thanks again for taking time to talk with me today, I really appreciate it.
B: Thank you so much, Ashley. I really appreciate it. Take care.