Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Push-ups, sit-ups and planks... oh my!

So, I have this friend. From high school. I mean, I knew him in high school. Then suddenly, 25 some-odd years later, he and a gazillion other peopleIknewfromhighschool show up on Facebook and KABOOM - instant reunion.

Except now, it's gone too far.
This is not me.
At the beginning of the year, he started this 2012 Push-up/Sit-up/Plank Challenge. The jist of it is, you do one or a combination of push-ups, sit-ups, and planks each day for 365 days. Oh, wait. Did I mention - you increase them incrementally by day. So on January 1, you're doing one push-up and one sit-up, and holding your planks for one second. On January 31 (today), you're doing 31 push-ups, 31 sit-ups, and holding each plank for 31 seconds. I know, right?

And of course, all my fit and cool high school friends are on it like white on rice. So I'm down with it, too. Because hey, I'm fit. These people haven't seen me for 10 years - and most of my pictures on Facebook are from the waist up. Sure. I got this.

Let me explain this challenge a little more. On second thought, let me just list "The Rules" as penned by my friend's friend, my other high school friend, another ridiculously fit (and smart) cross country coach (and physics teacher)  who posts pictures of him smiling and waving as he finishes his third triathlon of the day and whose favorite quote is  "Attack by day. Attack by night. Attack to the limits of human endurance and then attack again." George Patton. Suck it, wimps.

Anyway, The Rules, as posted on the 2012 Push-up/Sit-up/Plank Challenge Facebook page:

1. You can choose sit-ups, push-ups, planks, any two of these, or all three for the Major Award. (AK note: I have yet to learn what this "Major Award" is. A puppy? A new car? Is it FRAGEEELAY???)

2. The in-house competition acronym is SJC for Steve Jones Challenge, named for the founder.

3. The official name is: 2012 Push-Up/Sit-Up/Plank Challenge. Please use the official name in all press releases. (AK note: Because I write waaaaaay better than I exercise.)

4. Plancks would have been waay cooler. (AK note: That's a physics thing. I had to Google it.)

5. At the end of the day, either you did or you didn't. (AK note: I didn't.)

6. Always do. (AK note: **hangs head in shame**)

7. Full range of motion is encouraged and always lauded. (AK note: This constitutes making it up off the floor, correct?)

8. Never think about the next day. Focus on today. (AK note: Welcome to how I live my life.)

9. Never doubt. (AK note: I'm not sure about this one.)

10. Your butt is never allowed to go above your shoulder blades. Don't do this during exercise either. (AK note: This is VERY good advice.)

11. It never gets easier; you just do more. To put it another way: “The SJC is like fighting a gorilla. You don’t stop when you’re tired. You stop when the gorilla is tired.” (AK note: Also good advice when fighting teenagers.)

12. Harden up. See rule 13.

13. You are tougher than you think. See rule 12.

14. If you complete a day when you are sick you are a badass. (AK note: I don't get this. It's like saying, "If you go to work with pneumonia, you're going to get a promotion. Or die.")

15. The later in the day it gets; the more likely it is that you won’t do it. See rule 5. (AK note: Surprisingly, the reverse of this is actually true. By the end of the day, I'm riddled with guilt. In the morning, not so much.)

16. If the SJC was easy, we'd have more members. Congratulations, you're among the few. (AK note: Obviously, not a charter member.)

17. People who never fail are people who never try anything great. (AK note: My life is GREAT!)

18. The SJC is always enjoyable. Sometimes, though, the joy doesn’t come until the end. (AK note: Still waiting for that "joy".)

19. Breathe. In AND out. (AK note: Too many things to remember. Ixnay on the eathingbray.)

Comments on this 2012 Push-up/Sit-up/Plank Challenge Facebook page include lame stuff like, "Is it a bad sign that I'm now perusing the Internet for different ways to do push-ups?" (That's from our fearless leader, SJ) Or, "Taking the day off. Had a biopsy on two nodules over my thyroid and my neck is a little sore. Will try and do double tomorrow."  I'm tempted to reply, "Ate a Reuben and fries for dinner tonight - retaining too much water to even make it down to the floor." And then this one kills me: "I am still in and happily finding the push-ups are getting easier! And, I've added a new goal for myself: to run at least one mile for every day of the year. I had to play catch up after taking the first week in January off, but I am up to 18 miles on day 19. Any one interested in joining me?"

My response? This photo--->

BUT, I AM doing them. Most days than not. I mean, it really doesn't take all that much time. And honestly, I can do planks until the cows come home. And sit-ups aren't really a problem. Push-ups, on the other hand, are an issue. I've been breaking them up into sets for, like, two weeks now. But I think I've figured it out. It's not that I don't have any arm strength. It's just that the ratio between my upper body strength and my lower body girth is ridiculously skewed. If push-ups could be done with my legs instead of my arms, I'd be golden. GOLDEN, BABY.

I'll try to stick with it. I guess I should have made more of an effort in January, and not pick it up, say, in May, which by my calculations will be 122 push-ups, 122 sit-ups, and two minutes of planks.

This had better be worth it, or I'm not even going to consider showing up at the next high school reunion.

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