Thursday, May 7, 2015

Back at it

So after 2 1/2 days off, I'm jumping right back into it. I did 10 pushups on Tuesday and 10 on Wednesday, so I have a few extra pushups to do over the next couple days. I realized at 9:00 pm on Thursday that feeling better means hitting the deck, so I dropped and did a set of 40-- my record for most in a set yet. I guess breaks have their benefits. I'm going to get about 150 pushups done and call it a night. Tomorrow has to be a 500+ day. I better stop typing and get to work.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


One thing that will stop me from doing pushups is a 100.2 degree fever.

Monday, May 4, 2015

They Just Don't Understand

My body has gotten used to the hundreds of push-ups every day; however, I'm still quite uncomfortable with the looks people give me when I hit the deck in public. I guess they just think I'm trying to be a macho-man, especially when I have a date right next to me. Whatever. They don't know my reasoning for doing push-ups randomly, and being a macho-man isn't a BAD thing, is it?

Locals are going to have to get used to seeing me drop and do twenty or thirty at the most random times. Confused looks from people and whispered comments such as "show off" aren't going to stop me from reaching my goal.

A New Push-Upper Takes Over

And It's About Time.

Nearing the end of 2013 I toyed with the ultra-stupid idea of going for 1,000,000 push-ups by the time I turned 50. This, however, would have taken too much time away from other pursuits, like making enough money to feed my kids. Or paying for a series of cartilage replacement operations.

Enter The Nephew.

My sister's kid Brendan has declared me an inspiration and has committed to doing 75,000 pushups by the end of 2015. Lunacy all around, but it's nice to have some company.

Welcome Brendan. Best of luck.

Make sure your health insurance policy covers cartilage replacement procedures.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

75,000 Pushups 2015

So my uncle's 100,000 pushup farce has inspired me to challenge myself and do 75,000 pushups by the end of 2015. Started a little late, but better late than never. I'll try to do posts day-by-day, if not that then week-by-week. -Brendan T.

22- 80
23- 270
24- 210
25- 120
26- 80
27- 100
28- 200
29- 220
30- 330

Small numbers, but you have to start somewhere
April Count: 1,610

1- 250
2- 540
3- 320
4- 350
5- 10 (sick)
6- 10 (sick, can't do 0 pushups, had to get in one set)
7- 180
8- 20 (world series of birding- 24 straight hours of birding)
9- 130 (world series of birding)
10- 80 (no excuse for this one)
11- 350
12- 200
13- 400

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Toughest Mile

In high school I ran cross-country, on a team coached by a guy who had no qualms about whipping us into what he deemed proper shape no matter how many of us puked in practice. Wednesdays were particularly tough – this was when we would run through the woods to a neighboring park and an elongated oval of a parking lot. We’d stretch and talk nervously before coach called us to the line, where he’d then explain what we were doing that day, none of it pleasant. Ever.

Sometimes we’d run – and I mean run – four one-mile intervals. Sometimes we did sixteen quarter mile sprints. Once in a while he’d yell GO! And then get in his car and drive a kilometer away, to a point up a long hill, and wait for us there with a stopwatch. While we were all still bent over and spitting up he’d get back in his car, tell us to get back to the line and drive away down the hill.

Coach was tough. And our team (with no significant help from me) kicked ass every year.

The easy lesson here is that hard work pays off. As does puking, in context. But what I remember most about all those Wednesdays of intervals (besides the pain and the puking) was the oft-spoken (oft-screamed might be more accurate) sentiment that the toughest mile, the hardest lap, the most excruciating, most leg-burningest hill climb is the second to last one. It’s not the last one because you know on the last one that this is it, I do this and it’s all over (except for the puking). For every other lap or mile or hill you know you have more to go – and the more you’ve done already the more your system is screaming bloody murder. No one ever verbally agreed with coach on the whole idea that the second to last is the worst, but from the looks on everyone’s faces I think the sentiment was positively unanimous.

The feeling resurfaced early in December.

I can’t draw any neat parallel between the second-to-last lap/mile/hill during cross-country practice and a point in the final month of 2013. I can only say that in early December my arms felt like spaghetti while my body felt like a slab of marble.

For the first several days ideas of quitting lay like a rock at the bottom of the murky ocean in my head. I searched for shortcuts, and prepared excuses. I’m already way past last year’s total... I can apply the extra push-ups from other months to December... Ah well, Christmas is coming, lots to do… Then suddenly, in the next week I felt like Rocky Balboa – more or less, though my knuckles remained on the floor – and by the 14th I found myself just shy of 5,000 for the month. The following week I felt sluggish again, muddling through 1,800 over seven days and doing the math in my head again and again: How many left to do? How many does that mean for each day left in the month?

And was with ten days left that I felt myself cruising down the homestretch. 350 per day would do it – which, for all intents and purposes, was my pace all year. One thousand every three days equals ten thousand over thirty days. Two days of five hundred each got me a day off if I wanted – and could trust myself to get right back on my horse in the morning. And after all this time, what was ten days of moderate push-upping? A walk in the park. A piece of cake. Yes, I had earned the right to say such things.

I didn’t do 350 a day those last ten days. On a few days I did an extra set or two; on a few other days I slacked off – and wittingly so. I was going to make it. On the 27th, the Friday I had to pack up the wife and kids and make the drive over to New Jersey for the extended family Christmas gathering complete with several large pizzas, Yuengling Black & Tan and a bonus drive to the airport, I only got in one hundred. No problem. And on December 31st, the last day of my drive to do ten thousand pushups every month for the year (coincidentally, December 31, 1946 was the official end of World War II) I breezed through three hundred pushups – fifty more than I needed, just because I felt like it.

Because that last mile, that last lap, that last hill or that last set of pushups – it’s really no big deal.

It’s everything before it that makes you puke.

Which, in context, is all right.

It’s 11:30 in the evening, January 1, 2014. I’ve done no pushups today. Because this year I think I will pursue other things. Things that involve other people.

Whatever your goals this year, may you make it through your toughest mile.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

On Second Thought...

...Forget that last post.

I could do it. But there is so much more to life than set after set after set of pushups on your knuckles, no matter how many different things your three-year-old can think of to put on your back while you are in mid-struggle.

Plus my elbows hurt.

The real impetus behind this sudden change of heart, though, is the gym access that comes with volunteering at the local fire department. As an EMT-in-training I get this cool little gray thing that unlocks all the magnetically-sealed doors at the fire house as well as the substation where, downstairs, they have a decent little workout room. In addition I can, I understand, go over to Gold's Gym and look foolish for free.

I plan to finish out the year doing my planned 10,000-a-month. From there we'll see. Who knows? Maybe I'll find I'm not cut out for stethoscopes and middle-of-the-night rescue calls and I'll lose my Gold's access and my little gray thing. And then it's back on my knuckles.

And my giggling three-year-old.

10,040 for November.