Thursday, Nov. 20, 2008
Dear Diary:

The cats find the whole thing endlessly fascinating.

Monday was Day One of the joint 100 Push-up Challenge. It's discombobulating for me to take on a fitness project with the spousal unit, who has heretofore shown exactly zero interest in the wonderful world o' fitness.

I like to exercise on a folded blanket, so I took a second blanket out of the cupboard for the spousal unit and arranged it beside mine on the floor of my office, which is the only room in the house with enough open floor space for the two of us.

Prior to the moment the blanket hit the floor, all three cats were sound asleep in our living room. Somehow, the sound of an unexpected blanket wafting down to the floor instantly woke them up and they all came into my office to see what was going on.

There was much feline milling around. They all decided that they must simply must flop down on the New, Unexpected Blanket. There was snippiness as a feline flopping pecking order was established.

The thing is, one cannot do a push-up on top of a cat, so the cats had to be removed from the New, Unexpected Blanket. That led to massive levels of feline disgruntlement. I tried to shoo them out of my office. This falls under the general heading of herding cats, and I was about as successful as you would expect me to be.

The spousal unit came in to my office. You could see the little thought bubbles above all three cats' heads, "But, but HE NEVER DOES THIS AT NIGHT. THIS IS EXCITING." Any hopes I had of keeping the cats out of the way promptly evaporated. For about the 1000th time I quietly mourned the fact that my office does not have a door.

The spousal unit did his push-up test and promptly cranked out 10 push-ups. That put him one level above me. Fine. I've had to kill myself to get to 10 push-ups and he can do it after a quick warm-up. It's okay. I'm fine with it.

Oh, who am I kidding? The unfairness of this drives me crazy.

The good thing was that the cats all came over and smelled his head each time he dropped down during a push-up, which I found extremely hilarious. Why the head smelling? I have no idea. Were they trying to sniff out The Crazy?

We can only speculate.

My turn. My Monday set was 10-12-7-7-9 with a one minute break between each number. I got all the way through until the final round, and my arms blew out at 8. There was no way, no how, that I could get that final ninth push-up out. This means I do not get to pass Go, and instead I have to repeat that set.

Which I did Wednesday. Arms also blew out at the eighth push-up, leaving me one push-up short of moving on. I'll have to do it again on Friday. Ad infinitum until I get it accomplished.

Crap.

I know that I have to expect plateaus. They are a fact of life when you try to build up strength. But oh, man, I've only just finished a few weeks and it kills me that I already have to tread water instead of making progress. It feels as if any gains to come are only going to squeeze out in tiny increments and that it's going to take me eons to get them.

Crap.

The good news here is that the spousal unit is finding this just as hard as I am. He thinks he'll hit his plateau on Friday, only one week in. He's keen to keep this up, though, which obligates me to gut right along, too. This is both the curse and the joy of having a workout buddy. There's no fudging.

Now that he's become interested in this project, the spousal unit's fitness curiosity has been piqued. He asked me what the top three body weight exercises are, and I told him if he wanted a complete workout, then he could get it from doing push-ups, squats, pull-ups and bicycle crunches.

A while back, when I launched my own pull-up project, he absolutely positively refused to have anything to do with a pull-up bar being set up in the house. Now? Now he's seriously contemplating the beams in the living room. I have known this man almost 40 years and he still surprises me.

That's a good thing, right?

--Marn

Mileage on the Marnometer: 387 miles.

Going Nowhere Collaboration

Goal for 2008: 500 miles


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This template is a riff on a design by the truly talented Quinn. Because I'm a html 'tard, I got alot of pity coding to modify it from Ms. Kittay, a woman who can make html roll over, beg, and bring her her slippers. The logo goodness comes from the God of Graphics, the Fuhrer of Fonts, the one, the only El Presidente. I smooch you all. The background image is part of a painting called Higher Calling by Carter Goodrich which graced the cover of the Aug. 3, 1998 issue of The New Yorker Magazine.

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