Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Breaking the Tape (without breaking my back).

An Inglorious Ending. But maybe not really the end.

Check out the unimpressive moment below.

Thank you to my kids for their wonderful assistance.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Coasting Toward The Finish Line...

By the beginning of October I was so used to hitting the floor – or the grass, or the dirt or the sand of the playground – that not only did five hundred pushups in a day seem little more than thoughtless routine, doing anything less sometimes seemed a vacation - though much more often by evening I felt the day, at least in one respect, had been an unproductive waste.

I wouldn’t have been able to conceive of such a mindset back in March. Six months later it had become just another way of looking back on my day. I guess this is the sort of paradigm shift that comes with going for a goal that seems, at the outset, barely possible.

Good thing I was able to reach that point, because in mid-October my pace came to a screeching slow-down. The new job had me up at six and out the door thirty minutes later – enough time, barely, to squeeze two sets of fifty in between hyperactive mouthfuls of granola. I’d get home around seven-thirty or so, just in time to help the wife get the kids bathed and into their pajamas, and after a couple stories and some stern pleading to go to bed already I’d have another hundred pushups in me. Maybe.

In November I managed a third of what I’d done in previous months. Still, that left me with having to do all of two thousand more to make it to the finish line.

We are now into December. I’ll get there in the next couple of days. Then maybe I’ll figure out what it all means.

Monday, October 1, 2012

That's Right Just Play Around Me

When I embarked on this silly adventure back in February my kids thought it was absolutely hilarious. So of course they wanted in on the fun, jumping on my back or my legs as if daddy wanted nothing more than to play horsie a hundred thousand times. Get...OFF!... I admit I wasn't a good father about it.

Then they started imitating me, getting down on the floor - often so close we'd bump heads (Get...a-WAY!...) - so I'd begin doing these kind of diagonal pushups so I could continue on, determinedly-uninterrupted. It didn't occur to me to just move over a foot.

When we weren't cracking skulls they'd be just far enough away so I could see them out of the corner of my eye, and I'd collapse to the floor in grudging, unstifle-able laughter. Have you ever watched a two-year-old try to do pushups? I could close my eyes - actually I tried it - but the image was there in my head from the first time and my kid's own loopy laughter would set me off and my arms would give out under me. I wished they would cut it out.

Now it seems I got what I wished for.

The novelty of me doing pushups, and of them doing them next to me, has worn off. They still gravitate toward me when I hit the floor, but now they just want to play with their trucks and cars and trains around me. 'Tunnel!' my younger son shouts as he sends one toy vehicle or another flying across the floor under my stomach. Or into my ear. My older son has taken to stepping over me to continue with whatever he's into in the moment.

Even my wife has stopped breathing through her nose at me when I'm grunting through a set while our baby daughter is crying her head off somewhere.

For better or for worse, they all now know where daddy's priorities lie.

Cranking them out these days, what with the impending job about to cut into my schedule.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Time For More Pushups

In retrospect I figure I should have tried to get some pushups in on the flight from Tokyo to New York. These days that would likely count as suspicious activity and I might have been taken in for questioning, the perfect premise for the kind of story that in our society merits national attention (assuming I could somehow get the incident up on YouTube). Then I could parlay the whole thing into a blitzkrieg of traffic to my writing endeavors. What the heck, it's easier than figuring out SEO.

Instead I planned ahead and blitzkrieged my knuckles in the week leading up to my August 15th flight - 4,150 pushups in seven days already clogged with birthday stuff for my son, packing for the trip home, and taking care of the kids while my wife ran all over town trying to get done what would be borderline impossible once her wedded babysitter was gone. I'd also cranked out 2,600 pushups the first four days of August to make up for the zero I was planning to do on a three-day camping trip with the family starting the 5th, so overall I would have no quarrel with my conscience about planting myself in seat 43D and watching movies for 13 hours.

What I didn't plan for was how long my day off was going to last.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Progress, Regress, Progress

Outside in the grass on the morning of July 1st I cranked out 80 pushups without pausing. Progress! I thought, awash in adrenalin or some psychological imposter. I managed three more sets, of sixty each, before it was time to pack up and get in the car and make the long scenic drive back down through the finger lakes region and back to New Jersey. Unpacking, unwinding, domestic drudgery and frantic errands and we were packing up again, for a trip to Japan.

On July 5th, on a straw mat floor in my in-laws' house, I got back to it, laboring through a few sets of fifty. For a week I kept stopping there, or at sixty on occasion, shedding my jet lag and sweating through the pressing Fukushima humidity. I'd get used to the weather; I'd work around the weird sleep patterns until they subsided. But then on the 14th the biggest factor and the heaviest hindrance to my ongoing march toward my goal made itself brutally apparent.

I have my son to blame, and thank.

I thought they knew by now to not climb on top of me, but there was my second boy, throwing himself on my back in a fit of laughter and disrupted biorhythms. I've had a series of long talks with myself lately, about how to be a much better father than I have been, so instead of growling at him to go stick a rice ball in his ear I welcomed him aboard and gave him the best ride I could. 'All the way up!' I grunted - and felt my arms push the rest of me further from the floor than usual.

Since July 14th I've been struggling through sets of forty. My jet lag is gone. The meteorological gods have deemed fit to bless us with a cloudy, cool day here and there. Yet forty pushups has only become easier in very small increments. I'm not about to discount any of the effort of the last several months, but I'm stepping up the technique and the vigilance.

July 14th, incidentally, marked the passing of a milestone.

On July 14th, as I resolved to make things harder, and better, I passed 50,000 pushups for the year.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Defining Goals

It's interesting, this pushup thing. It has become just another part of the routine. Not routine like brushing my teeth, though. More like flossing. Which, incidentally, I always seem to forget to do.

 I began this pushup quest with equal parts excitement and fear: 'Yeah I'm gonna do this!' and 'Shit am I gonna do this?' I found places and moments to crank out sets of pushups that, slowly, increased in both length and frequency. I put as much variety into it as I could - feet on the steps, feet on the couch, switching the direction of my knuckles. My right shoulder ached, then my left shoulder ached, then nothing as I rested and resumed, rested and resumed. 500 pushups turned into 1,000, which turned into 2,000 which turned into 10,000. I checked my calendar and did the math. Yup, I was right on track. Every day was a challenge (how many can I get in before lunch?) or a justified break (I cranked it out this week, I'll start another big week tomorrow).

Now, at least on some days, it all seems just an afterthought. I'm only doing it because I have to. By the beginning of this month I was doing fifty pushups at a time. Here and there I'd feel particularly strong - or light, that's a cool feeling - and I'd crank out sixty at once. Given the steady improvement since mid-February it only made sense I'd be doing a lot more sets of sixty by now.

But I'm not.

'Let me see if I can do 250 or 300 by noon,' I tell myself. Sometimes I do this with the day's goal in mind - 750 or 800 or 1,000. But usually, these days, it's only a matter of trying to get them out of the way. And the endeavor is little more than a chore, something to be done because it has to be.

Yet it doesn't have to be. I can say forget it if I want. I doubt I'll be remembered as the guy who bailed out on his 100,000 pushup thing. If I am maybe I need better goals to aim for. And right there, for me, is the thing.

I've wanted to do a lot of things over the years. And some of them I've done. Yet I've never been one to set goals - concrete, defined objectives that tell me how hard, or how much harder, I need to push. Theoreticals like 'I'm gonna do as many pushups as I can this year' don't cut it. Neither does the subtly vague 'I'm gonna do pushups every day.' It's all about a defined goal in a stated time frame - why did it take me forty-two years to figure this out? Actually I knew; I've just been terrible at putting it into practice, till now.

So many opportunities to set goals in life.

I think starting now I'll make sure I floss three nights a week.

Note: Did my 30,000th pushup yesterday.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What's a Month Without Pain?

April came and went without two things I had gotten rather used to: pain in my shoulders and posting about my progress. The former is something I have been happy to do without. The latter is something that, I imagine, everyone else has been just fine without.

The month began with three days off due to the arrival of our baby girl. I spent those days trying to be helpful until I learned that my usefulness lie in getting the boys out of mom's hair; I bring them down to the basement or out to the yard and do pushups while they fight over things neither of them will give a crap about thirty seconds later.

The pain in my shoulders - perhaps more precisely, the pain in my right shoulder that seemed to migrate to my left - has gone. Only once in a while I get a minor tendon out of place early on in a set; I do something like what Mel Gibson did with his shoulder in Lethal Weapon and it's fine so I can continue.

Stamina is increasing. Since April 12th I've done nothing but sets of 40 and 50, except for a couple of 30s on the 19th. And then there was that set of 3 I cranked out on the 29th; my mental powers were not enough to overcome the blacktop of my driveway eating through the tendons in my knuckles, I barely made it through that third one without screaming like Mel Gibson in Braveheart. I don't plan on doing a set of seven (or seventeen, or forty-seven or whatever) to round out the running total; I will keep it like that as a sort of badge of courage..or is it more like a scarlet letter?

With a bunch of decent daily totals I managed 11,773 for the month.

I haven't been keeping track of how many diapers I've changed in that time but I'm pretty sure it's far less.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Keeping On Top Of Things

Started slow this month. Okay actually I started out by not starting at all. My wife had a baby girl on March 31st, see, and I felt a twinge of obligation to help take care of the boys until she was at least home from the hospital and more or less able to walk. But things are now back to normal - for me anyway.

Not keeping track of my running total should, I think, motivate me to keep cranking out as many as I can to make sure I am way ahead of the game when counting time comes. But then my obsessive compulsive side creeps in stage left and I have to do the math to make sure I'm not behind in the game. Sure enough, by April 9th I hadn't even hit 2,000 - far short of the 10,000 I need to average each month for the rest of the year. and who knows when I might fall into a job which would really screw things up.

Today I took the day off, and I just realized now that this is my third consecutive no-pushup Monday. Wonder what that might mean. In the previous six days I cranked out 3,420. And even managed to change a diaper somewhere in there, I think.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


I've always been a runner. Not a good one, just a habitual one. And the habit wasn't particularly strong, it just lifted its head every once in a while, compelling me to go out and run five or six or ten miles, perhaps a sort of self-affirmation of my health - or a sprinting denial of my age.

There was a time the effects of these casual jaunts - heart pounding through my shirt, legs throbbing and wobbling, a kind of blurry double vision exhaustion - would wear off by the time I was out of the shower. Lately, however - and by that I mean since around 2004 - my legs have stopped appreciating such sporadic physical attention. Yet for all the lingering muscle aches and knee pains I've refused to acknowledge the solution: ease into it, quit these aggressive eight-milers until you can say you've done more than six minutes of stretching in the last month. Right now I am ignoring my patellar tendon, who hasn't quit whining since an overly-ambitious run around town on January 3rd.

When I started this pushup endeavor I took the same approach. I've done more dishes than pushups over the past year, but so what, I think I'll shoot for three hundred and fifty a day...on my knuckles...with my feet on the stairs or the couch to make it interesting. My right shoulder started hurting almost immediately and got worse from there.

After two and a half weeks of rest I resumed my pursuit of what seemed barely within reach when I began but now seems only a matter of easy, constant discipline. As long as I can control myself and take it easy out of the gate - a prospect that seems alternately wimpy and smart.

Since I resumed the pushups last Thursday I've kept them mostly to sets of twenty-five, with a few thirties thrown in to see how it feels. So far my right shoulder, the one that had been giving me grief, is okay.

Or maybe I don't notice because of the niggling pain in my left shoulder. Sheesh.

1200 in the last three days, including 500 yesterday - twenty-five at a time.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Baby Steps

Sets of 25 are a relative breeze. It only gets tough if I do a few sets without much rest in between. Which makes me think hey, if I spread out fifteen or so sets of twenty-five throughout the day - and do it most days for the rest of the year - I'll reach 100,000 without breaking a sweat, even in August.

And I'll be left, I think, with a feeling of empty accomplishment.

Need more time to ruminate on this.

Today marked the first time I did pushups in someone else's house. Also the first time I put my knuckles on a hardwood floor. One set of that was enough, and I pushed the coffee table out of the way to make room on the rug. 350 today, fourteen sets of twenty-five. And a touch of dissatisfaction.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Back on the Knuckles!

Almost three weeks since I put myself on medical leave. Like the variety of niggling physical maladies that I propagate through denial I suspect the shoulder thing will never completely disappear but forever ebb and flow, like nausea-inducing news of certain useless celebrities who refuse to go away because we just can't seem to ignore them.

Until I heard that mysterious snapping sound in my arm on the morning of March 4th I was pushing myself, slowly but surely, to increase the rep count and intensify the exertion. Now I am shifting gears, hoping shorter sets will allow my shoulder ('rotator cuff' says the majority) to heal even as I continue my pursuit of 100,000.

This is the deal I am striking with my body and my mind. I'd love to hear some similar stories from others.

Ten sets of 25 yesterday = 250 on the day.

Spring has sprung. Life moves on. It's beautiful today in New Jersey.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

To Pushup Or Not To Pushup

The nagging pain in my right shoulder will not die, no matter what I try to drown him with.

Work through the pain! the gunnery sergeant in my head screams. And I have been, but only because - and this makes no sense to me - it doesn't hurt when I'm doing pushups. It hurts when I take my shirt off. And when I pick up my kid. And when I twist the bottle cap off whatever I'm drinking to try to drown the pain.

But out of 460 pushups yesterday, only like 3 of them hurt.

When I sat up in bed this morning I felt a piece of dry spaghetti snapping in two inside my arm. Putting on my shirt hurt. Pouring a bowl of cereal hurt. (Eating while checking the sports section was painless.) All day, doing stupid little domestic things, it hurt. Except when I went out to the backyard to work on cutting down a dead 40-foot tree. This little demon is not going away - unless I rest him into extinction. A week off might do the trick, and over the long haul I'll be able to make them up and reach the goal.

Or I can just keep doing pushups, cutting down dead trees, eating cereal and reading the sports section.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Listen to Others, Trust Yourself

Yesterday I was searching for my blog page. Yes, this one. I needed to get the address for some reason that had nothing to do with self-aggrandization. And, like some people don't know their own cell phone numbers, I don't know the URL for my own self-aggrandizing blog. So I googled '100000 pushup farce'. And that's how I found my new support group.

You might be surprised how many people out there are trying to do exactly what I'm doing. You may not be surprised how many people are...shall we say...falling off this particular wagon. (Note: Vegas isn't giving very good odds on my finishing either.) But there are those who - by all absolutely unverifiable accounts - are kicking pushup patooty.

From what I gather, there seem to be varying ideas of what constitutes a pushup - touching your chin to the floor, touching your chest to the floor, bending your arms to ninety degrees (meaning you have to either look in a mirror while doing your pushups, which would make for an extremely rigorous workout, or guess what ninety degrees feels like - an approximation that will likely shift as you start groaning and drooling on the floor), straightening your arms at the top, and (for the beginner, and hey, we all have to start somewhere) there's the question of whether resting on your knees rather than your toes is acceptable.

Whatever any anonymous person says in some website forum thread, at the end of the day you have only to answer to yourself.

460 pushups yersterday. Three weeks ago I would have considered that unobtainable. Now it's no big deal. Funny how goals can change your perceptions.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Becoming Regular

On those first few days of this silly endeavor I spent every waking moment either doing pushups, resting after doing pushups or thinking about the next set of pushups. The first couple of nights, assuming I didn't do any pushups in my sleep, I spent the whole night either sleeping or lying wide awake thinking how in the world am I going to do all those pushups by December 31st?

Yesterday I spent long stretches of time carrying on with my day, having totally forgotten about hitting the floor. I almost felt like a regular human being.

Out of 17 sets yesterday, 8 were of 40. As I go along and I can do more at one time the number of sets I'll need to do will decrease - or I'll start doing enough each day that I can finish this endeavor around October and get back to being normal full-time.

550 pushups yesterday. All of them indoors on a rainy day.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Extra Day!

Hooray for Leap Day!

You know, I never even heard the term Leap Day until a couple of days ago. I also totally forgot it was Leap Year until a couple of days ago. Even with all the signs - the Summer Olympics, an upcoming presidential election, my birthday jumping ahead two days of the week from last year - the movements in the heavens and their effects on our imperfect calendar slipped my mind. Along with that resume I was supposed to send in.

So how to take advantage of this extra day?

I cranked out 510 pushups yesterday, including a hundred in the backyard (I've still got dirt and moss ground into my knuckles) and more in the garage on a swatch of industrial grade carpeting (after the first five my kid got down to do some with me and we cracked heads). That puts me over the 5,000 mark. Extrapolating it out over the next ten months, assuming both an increase in reps per set and life getting in the way on occasion, I should indeed be reaching my goal sometime in December.

So I'm taking advantage of this wrinkle in celestial time by giving my pesky shoulder the day off. He's been hanging in, but I can't even hold my kid's book up during his bed time story without him reminding me he isn't too happy about this whole pushup idea.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

In Spare Moments

'How much time do you spend doing pushups?' a friend recently asked me.

I said about thirty minutes, but it probably isn't even that. What's better, it can all be done in sixty or ninety second spurts, spread out over the course of the day. What's even better (as if this whole endeavor could theoretically get any better) is that most of the time I'm hitting the floor in moments I'd otherwise be doing not much of anything: waiting for something in the microwave to heat up; hanging out next to the bathroom during the boys' bath time to make sure my older son doesn't drown his little brother; trying to break through my writer's block; time outs during street hockey games with my budding Gretzky...

'You have too much time on your hands!' was one friend's response to this endeavor I've gotten myself into.

Actually, I've got just enough.

410 yesterday, most in sets of 35 instead of 30. Stamina's creeping up. But there's also a voice in my head telling me to do more sets with my feet on the steps. Damn conscience.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Hiding From The Kids

I love my kids. I really do. Which is why I need to hide from them.

When my older son, who is four, sees me doing pushups he gets all excited and says 'I wanna do pushups too!' And he lies down and starts doing this crippled inchworm thing. And he starts laughing. Then I start laughing, and there goes my set.

When my younger son sees me on the ground, or with my feet up on a chair or the bottom step which makes things even more enthralling, he starts laughing and giggling and he throws himself onto my legs so he can play cowboy or tame the giant inchworm or whatever. If he's balanced I'll keep going. But before that I start laughing too and my arms give out and I crash to the carpet.

I love playing with my kids. But sometimes I have to hide.

Took Saturday off, 455 yesterday, 100 or so in the living room with my feet on the red chair with the threadbare upholstery.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Spicing Things Up

Ten days ago I did the math and thought Man, over three hundred pushups a day, this is just stupid. Hence the title of this blog.

Now it seems that, barring serious injury or a full-time job, reaching my goal of 100,000 should not be so hard.

That is why I am changing my tactics.

A few days ago I was talking shop with my good friend Mark Clement over at MyFixItUpLife. I told him I was shifting my hand position from set to set both to try to save my aching shoulder while spreading the workout across a slightly broader range of muscles. I don't want to end up in ten months looking like I've grown a couple of tumors on my otherwise modest frame. Mark responded with a flurry of ideas for changing things up: wide hands, putting my hands/fingers closer together, turning my hands around, putting them further away from my shoulders either up or down, lifting one hand off the ground a little every pushup or every third or fifth or whatever, feet on the bottom stair, hands and feet on top of three paint cans, substituting some parallel bar dips (tougher than pushups), Rocky-esque one-handed pushups (uh, maybe in about October), feet up on the third step...

After a fairly slow start I ended up doing 495 pushups yesterday - 16 sets, none of them more than 40. This is not a big deal when you keep your set count low enough and spread your sets out. So in addition to switching up the routine I'm going to push a little harder each set, crank out a few more at the end to get more out of each day's total, even if the daily average goes down at first. In the long run I think - God, I hope - it will pay off.

All of this is easy to say right now as I've taken the day off.

2,425 pushups this week. Back on the floor tomorrow.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Bug Takes Out Man.

The devil sticking his pitchfork in my shoulder won't go away. And now he's got one of his recruits, maybe that guy with the long black coat from the first Indiana Jones movie, sticking me in the arm with a hot poker at random times throughout the day. But I keep changing hand position, keep pushing on.

Yesterday the Dark One introduced a new villain.

My stomach started feeling a little weird in the morning. Lunch didn't help. I missed dinner as I was curled up in bed groaning in pain for four hours at the tiny little bug wreaking havoc in my gut.

He must have had a twin in there helping him, as it took me two trips to the porcelain pot to scream them away.

Finally felt good enough around 11pm to down some cold cereal. Then slogged through three sets of 25 pushups while enjoying Jeff Spicoli become acquainted with Mr. Hand.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A father's Influence

My kid might grow up to be a tough one.

During the intermissions of our daily driveway hockey match yesterday I got down on the industrial-grade carpet samples in the garage and whipped out a couple of sets. As a four-year-old is wont to do, my son decided he wanted to copy me.

His form is terrible but I like his fervor. And he does his pushups right out on the driveway, not even a swatch of thin rug between his young palms and the blacktop.

445 pushups yesterday, including one random set where I could only do 20. I wonder if I lost count in the middle somewhere - 24...25...16...17...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Parking: Convenience vs. Character

Two days ago I ended up going the escapist route - four sets of twenty-five to finish the day. I went to bed feeling like I'd parked in the handicap spot outside the 7-11. 'But only for five minutes!...'

Yesterday I must have had something in my blood - a lack of booze, perhaps - and closed out the day with two sets of 35 and a 30. Afterward I felt like I had run to the 7-11. Disclaimer: I haven't run in a while.

I figure I only did 35 at first because it went so smooth, cruise control all the way though I felt myself running out of gas there around 31. The second 35 was a different story; arms shaking at 28, had to pause (on my knuckles and my toes only, to keep the set legit) at 30, then pause again at 33 before punching out the last two.

Minor sense of accomplishment behind me. Major sense of dread ahead.

Good thing late-night TV sucks; after a couple moments staring at a movie I didn't understand I got back down and cranked out the last 30. 'Cranked' as in 'sputtered'. Hit a wall around twenty-two; paused, sucked wind; pushed out two more; paused, breathed, drooled on the floor; two more; pause breathe drool repeat until 30 came, mercifully.

I hate when able-bodied people park in the handicap spot. Even for only a few minutes.

450 yesterday, the most productive day to date.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Efficient or Escapist?

With 300 pushups under my belt today and thirty minutes left before midnight (not that I'm afraid my bicycle will turn into a pumpkin if I'm not tucked in - though I'll hit the sack right now if it means my pregnant wife will morph into Cinderella) I decided I wanted to do 100 more. This led me to my quandary of the moment: do I try to do them in three sets or four?

What's the big deal, you ask? Maybe nothing, but here's what I'm wondering.

So far I've been doing sets of 30. Right now, after 300 on the day, cranking out thirty at a time starts getting tough, particularly for those last 5 reps, which, if completed, are as much of a workout as the first 25 when your muscles still have some twitch in them.

Doing four sets of 25 will likely be much easier than two 33's and a 34 or whatever. And there's my conundrum of conscience. Do I serve myself a little extra punishment or just get those last 100 out of the way and chalk them up? Is the goal just a number or should this endeavor aim to incorporate more rather than less physical effort? And what does my answer mean as it relates to the inescapable inquiry into the soul that this whole stupid idea will ultimately comprise?

Ah, screw it, I'll do what I can until my shoulder tells me to go find my glass slipper.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Me & Clint Eastwood

Drop and give me thirty...
I'm falling into a routine. Bang out a half-day's worth of push-ups in the morning; set the afternoon aside for playing (i.e. dealing) with the kids, pushing my to-do list back and forth across my desk, clearing the fridge of leftovers and playing with (i.e. poorly disciplining) the kids; then crank out as many more as I can once the kids are in bed - and before I hit the Captain Morgan. If I ever get a job that will mess things up royally so I'll burn that bridge when I get to it.

My pesky, whiny shoulder has his routine too. Start acting up halfway through the morning, then drown me in visions of damaged ligaments and outpatient surgery all afternoon - which doesn't help make me any more patient or kind a father. Then in the evening?

That's where Clint Eastwood enters the scene.

I don't know which movie it was, probably not the one with the orangutan, but good old young Clint was trying to muck a bunch of soldiers into fighting shape with this 'evaluate, adapt, overcome' sort of mantra. A week ago I would have deferred to the orthopedic surgeon in my head and left the pushup routine alone for a while - like until next year. But brilliant me, I decided to tell the world (not that anyone is listening) that I have resolved to complete this mad mad mission, and I feel I can only figure out a way to keep moving forward.

So I evaluated: continuing will suck, but quitting will suck more.

I adapted: keeping my arms closer to the sides of my body, I found, takes a significant amount of strain off the ligaments or whatever in my shoulder that are being all wimpy - enough that they barely let out a whimper.

And I overcame: this evening at least.

150 this morning, same this evening. Slightly under what I will need to do on average to reach 100,000 by the time the ball drops in Times Square, but doing 420 yesterday really was not that bad; in a few months 500 in a day should be entirely doable.

Unless I get a job. A job that doesn't involve doing pushups.

I wonder if Clint is planning a sequel to Million Dollar Baby...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Doing It in Public

Passing 1,000 pushups sounds like reason to celebrate. Yeah baby!

Passing 1% of my goal, on the other hand, sounds like...a reason to be damn glad it's only Feb 20th.

420 completed today, 60 of them on the grass outside my nephew's school - he had a hoops game, and they were just into the 4th quarter when my boys decided they wanted to go outside and play with toy cars and pieces of trash. 'Are you kidding me?? They just cut the lead to six!' My boys didn't care, if they were even listening to me.

On the bright side, I didn't have to witness the final four minutes of the game, when my nephew's team got ripped apart like wrapping paper on Christmas.

Friday, February 17, 2012

And On The Seventh Day...

...push-up boy takes a break. That means the seventh day since I started keeping track last Saturday, though yesterday was my first big day so I guess I have to face myself and admit I'm wussing out on my second day. But doing this right is going to take discipline, not just a barbaric assault on my knuckles. That resumes tomorrow.

Did 400 yesterday - 240 in the morning and the rest in the evening, when my shoulder started barking at me about hard labor and cruel and unusual punishment and someone not having a very good grip on his anger management skills.

I considered cranking out a few reps later on but saving it till morning, I've convinced myself, is the better call. Like I said: discipline.

So for today, in the words of the wise Homer Simpson, the agenda speaks for itself: 'Beer me!'

I'll have my knuckles back on the floor tomorrow.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Push-ups and...Car Crashes?

I am so screwed. I couldn't sleep last night - no doubt a case of acute obsession. The nocturnal manifestation of being sub-consciously scared out of my gourd about trying to do over 300 pushups every day for the next ten and a half months! What the hell am I thinking?? After I finally did conk out (judging from my bird's nest bed head I'm guessing it was around 3am) I had this wacked-out paranoia dream, worse than any nightmare about waiting tables (which I still get sometimes, fifteen years after the fact).

I was with a group of guys. One of them was a long-lost cousin I think, which made me feel particularly bad when I drove his parked car into another guy's parked car. Inexplicable why I would do this, in a dream or in real life, though not out of the realm of possibilities in either world. Anyway, suddenly I was behind the wheel of this second car (someone in my past who I don't really care for actually so it was all right), and I was rolling toward the car parked in my neighbor's driveway across the street. Of course I hit it, sending it rolling through the woods and crashing into the big wooden staircase in front of another neighbor's house on the next street. It was dark and quiet out. I tiptoed away.

The staircase was painted blue. I wonder what that means?

Next I was back home and some friends I knew were in my house, packing for their trip to Turkey. And that was it. Dream over.

Turkey? That must mean something... Turkey...turkey sandwich...spicy hot mustard...burning, unbearable pain...

Best not to mull this one over. I don't think I want to know what the turkey or anything else means.

Update: It's 10am and I've got 90 pushups on the day.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Stupid, But In a Good Way

Hi, my name is Kevin, and today I made a stupid New Year's Resolution. (I know, February 15th for crying out loud.) All right I admit this is my fourth or fifth resolution of 2012, but this is the first stupid one.

Last Saturday I decided to start doing push-ups again. (This was also my second resolution of 2012.) But this is not the stupid part.

Today I decided to do 100,000 push-ups before Dick Clark - assuming he's still with us - cues up Auld Lang Syne 320 days and 80 minutes from now, give or take.

But...this is not the stupid part. Nor is the part about doing them all on my knuckles.

The stupid part is telling someone (besides my son who can't count to 100,000 yet) that I am doing this. Because doing so will make it impossible to back out without risking social castration.

I've anted up with my conscience. I've done the math. So here goes, aging ligaments and responsibilities of fatherhood be damned.

Since this afternoon's schizophrenic moment of courage I've done 60 pushups. I'm going to count the ones I've done since this past Saturday when for no explicable reason I started keeping track. Which means 390 official push-ups so far. That leaves...kind of a lot to go.

What to expect from all this? I have no idea, but it should be fun.

For you guys at least.