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.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Rounding Up

I don't know what sounds tougher, 120,000 pushups a year or 10,000 pushups a month. Doesn't much matter I suppose, it's the same ridiculous hobby however you slice it.

I haven't been thinking a whole lot about it lately though - because another goal has been creeping slowly, insidiously into my head.........

Since I hit the floor 20 months ago or so I've recorded 200,000 pushups. (I can't say exactly how many I've done because, as I've mentioned in previous posts, unless I've been particularly militant about scratching out another mark in the notebook after each and every set it's easy for me to forget how many sets I've done in the course of the day.) By the end of the year I plan to be at 220,000. 'So why not keep going to the nice round figure of 250,000?'

Because, odd as it may sound, that doesn't seem round enough.

If my math is correct (not a safe bet), if I do 11,000 or so a month I'll have recorded 1,000,000 pushups by my 50th birthday. Then maybe I can quit this idiotic hobby of mine.

We'll see.

Over 100,000 for the year now. The kids started ignoring me and my knuckled antics long ago.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A New You In Only 10 Minutes A Day!

Ten minutes a day. How hard is that?

Depends on what you're talking about. And if that ten minutes is a minimum (as in exercise) or a maximum (as in facebook).

All year I've been able to keep up my commitment to do 10,000 pushups a month. At the beginning of each month, usually the day after I've barely hit my goal for the previous month, another 10,000 begins. I'd take a day off if I thought I could afford it.

A set of fifty takes a minute, more or less. According to my math that means ten minutes a day gets me 500 pushups. Done every day that amounts to 15,000 a month. Take every third day off and I still hit my target.

Yet somehow, sometimes, it seems hard to do even this.

It's not the physical part. Fifty pushups at a time has become routine, and not a difficult one. (Not bragging, that's just how it is after 190,000 pushups over the last eighteen months.) The tough part then must be mental. And mental discipline, I find, is my personal holy grail.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Losing Count

I have found a new way to punish myself.

Counting to fifty should not be difficult. Not for a grown man. But on more than a few occasions recently I have been in the midst of a set of pushups and lost count of how many I’ve done. This happens mainly because I have this habit of not counting by ones.

Sometimes I’ll count to ten, then instead of eleven I’ll say ‘one’ and proceed to nine, followed by ‘twenty’. Then back to one, up to nine and then ‘thirty’ and so forth. And whether from a lack of blood reaching my brain due to the ongoing physical strain or a lack of brain cells from my ongoing brain-cell-challenged life, I will sometimes forget what should be coming after one of the nines.

On occasion I will count to twenty, then twenty again, then finish off the set by counting to ten. This should lend itself to fewer mistakes; how can one possibly forget whether this is the first ‘twenty’ or the second?

I don’t know. But it happens.

And when it does? I punish myself. I take the lower count and continue. If I don’t know if I should be saying thirty or forty, I say thirty and keep going. If I don’t know if I’ve done twenty or forty pushups I call it twenty and go from there. (Sometimes I have a real hard time pounding out fifty and have to suspect I’ve actually done seventy but into the books goes another set of fifty.

If I keep punishing myself this way maybe I’ll eventually start paying more attention.

Maybe I should just count by ones.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Journey

A journey of 100,000 pushups begins pushup.

But don't pat yourself on the back too hard just yet.

Starting is easy. Continuing is not. Not always.

The journey is full of highlights and pitfalls.

We enjoy the former and celebrate overcoming the latter.

Really, this has nothing to do with pushups.

It just seemed like a good venue for the thought.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Catching a Break

Okay so I haven't evolved; aside from pushups I get virtually no exercise unless you count when I have to run dragging my kid to his bus stop so he doesn't miss the bus again.

I have adjusted the schedule. This should count for something in the planning & management department.

After doing the math again it occurred to me that doing 1,000 pushups every three days gets me to 10,000 for the month, which is the ongoing goal. So do 350 a day and I'm covered right? Well yes, but I recently also realized how cool it is to be dragging my butt down the stairs to the kitchen to try to get my son fed and readied in time for the bus and suddenly think 'Hey, no pushups today!'

If you can't relate to this, substitute the word pushups with 'work' or 'wife'.

So now I make it a point to crank out 500 or more pushups two days in a row, then take a day off. The results have been unbelievable! With regular days of rest and recovery my pecs are now busting out of my shirt, and because of this people come up and give me free stuff on the street, chicks dig me (even more), book sales are up, I've got more friends and followers than ever and I just won Powerball.

Okay maybe not. But the days off are still nice.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Time to Evolve?

No this is not me. Yet.
While doing push-ups has become part of the routine, I still think every morning: 'Maybe not today...'

Soon enough I start feeling guilty and hit the floor.

But lately I've begun thinking: 'Maybe mix it up a bit...' This post might be a start.

Short month - didn't even have the extra day like last year - but cranked out enough in the last week to pass 10,000...almost comfortably.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Here we Go Again...

Maybe I missed it after doing next to nothing once I reached the 100,000 mark.

Maybe I needed a way to keep myself warm in my chilly house. (Why do people still heat with oil? Stuff's expensive.)

Maybe I'm bored. (Nope, not with a half dozen writing projects and three young kids to manage.)

Maybe I suddenly began feeling lazy. (Closer to the mark, methinks.)

Or maybe I have this deep-seated need to punish myself, to attempt to make up in some karmic way for certain things I've done.

Whatever the reason, on January 1st I started in with the pushups again. After a short two-week hiatus I could feel my strength had abated somewhat, instilling in me a mix of despondence and disconcertment.

After a month of few particularly high daily totals and even fewer days of doing nothing, I've hit 10,000. Who knows what the year will bring; maybe I need a bigger reason this time around than 'just to do it.'

Or maybe I should go see a shrink.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Well that's a wrap.

Totally slacked off once I reached my goal, and though I didn't miss it, something did seem to be missing.

I remember the day I committed to this. I remember that night even more clearly - because I could barely sleep. Part was excitement; I had just put myself out there and told the world (the tiny tiny portion that was listening) that I was going to do it. This was meant to motivate me to keep going, because I know more than a few people who would really let me have it if I gave up somewhere along the way. Part of it was also fear - stemming from the same source as my motivation. Honestly, I had no idea what I was in for.

For a while I went at it with a kind of purity. I'd do each pushup in good form; I'd do some with my feet elevated to make it a little tougher; every set would be a workout - no quick and easy sets of 20 just to get a few more out of the way. Time passed, as did that freak pain in my arm in March, and the adrenalin of excitement morphed into the mentality of duty. Further down the road the routine devolved into just that. It was just something I did in spare moments on most days.

I'd liken my pursuit of 100,000 pushups to many undertakings that extend over time. A job. A relationship. Writing a book. The excitement is there at the outset (well maybe not always with the job). After a while it gets comfortable; you know how to work it and what to expect. From there it becomes part of the daily routine, and this is where things get sketchy.