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.


I didn't commit to doing 500,000 pushups, or even 200,000 pushups, because I figured that would be aiming  beyond the attainable. The super-gung-ho out there might poo-poo this approach; 'Nothing is impossible, maggot!' But how realistic would it be to say I'm going to run a three-minute mile? Or bench press my minivan? Although if I did decide to try to do 200,000 pushups who knows how many I might have done? More than 100,375 I'd bet. Still, we are human and humans have limitations.

Most of us, however, don't know what they are. And here lies the beauty of challenging ourselves.

I've got a few goals for 2013. And yes, one of them involves pushups. But I'll admit that while I've put a tentative number on this particular goal, I've also got a few others for 2013. And if I spend too much of 2013 on my knuckles, my other resolutions - most of them with much larger implications than more defined pecs - will not be given the attention and effort they deserve.

I don't think I'll be broadcasting my progress on any of my 2013 resolutions. Maybe I should; they'll be tougher to realize than 100,000 pushups. Or maybe I'll find a few good people to keep me more closely, more personally beholden to the promises I am making to myself.

I think I'll start with my family. Because they are who I am doing it all for.

Except the pushups. Those are for me - to remind me that the others are indeed possible, as long as I stick with them.

Some people don't bother with resolutions. Some are already motivated to a degree where resolutions are unnecessary. Some make one or two; some stick with them, some don't. Over the years I've largely fallen into the latter.