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.