Monday, Nov. 17, 2008
Dear Diary:

Note to self: Must get whimpering under control.

I'm pretty religious about materializing three times a week at the gym. That said, I've got to admit that during the summer I don't throw as much into my workouts as I do during the cold months when I can't get outside to play.

The problem, though, is finding something that inspires me to try harder once the weather changes. My current gym is full of retired folks who are hovering in their early 70's. Bless their hearts, it's great that they're plugging away at keeping themselves healthy. The fact of the matter is, though, that the women are using three, four or five pound dumb bells.

Their cardio efforts are best described as "stroll in the park". Hey, 15 years from now stroll in the park may well be all I can muster, and hoisting the Barbie dumb bells might well be a triumph. But right now, well, right now I should be able to lift a lot more than that and move a lot faster. How do I push myself, though, to do that?

Well, Skim got me interested in body weight exercises. She got me reading up about stuff like burpees (described on one fitness website as a favourite of the California prison population—and really, I think I speak for us all when I say that when you're looking for fitness tips, there's no substitute for the sort of insight you can get from convicted felons.)

This summer there was a sort of craze that swept through the female health and fitness blogs for the Hundred Push Up Program. A lot of women wrote enthusiastically about starting it and then a few weeks or months later they went into radio silence.

Hrm. That told me that there was a big drop out rate from this, which meant the project was stupidly hard. A body weight exercise that was stupidly hard? Something that would completely crush a woman's will to live?

PERFECT. Sign me up.

I went to the web site to read the instructions two weeks ago. I did my trial push ups so I could set my beginning level. I managed to crank out a pitiful three, count 'em three, push-ups and collapsed into a rubber-armed heap. This consigned me to the lowest possible level. On the push-up evolutionary scale, I was a microbe.

Fine.

The worst part of this? I couldn't blame this on my age or gender. At my old gym I knew a woman in her early 60's who could crank out 50 full body push-ups like a freakin' machine. No, what I have to face here is that my summer of relative slackitude has cost me dearly in terms of upper body strength.

It's hard not to be bitter sometimes.

Okay, so Friday night I did the routine that was the end of week two. I have to tell you that this program does work. I've gone from doing three push-ups and feeling as if my arms were going to fall off to doing ten push-ups and feeling as if my arms were going to fall off.

Nobody ever said that progress is pretty.

So, like I said, Friday was pretty brutal and in order to crank my final push-ups out I had to dig deep which involved a little whimpering. The spousal unit wandered into my office to see what the whimpering was about and like a fool I told him about the Hundred Push-Up Challenge.

He was intrigued. This seemed like a challenge he could enjoy, a manly challenge. To my absolute horror, he told me he wants to join in. So tonight he's going to do his push-up trial to establish his level and we're going to suffer together.

This is going to be so humiliating. I know for a fact that he has much greater upper body strength than I do, He's going to absolutely crush me numbers wise. Even worse, if I get sick and tired of this, I'm not going to be able to quietly wimp out next week because he's going to be all newbie keener about it.

Me and my big mouth, eh.

--Marn

Mileage on the Marnometer: 381 miles.

Going Nowhere Collaboration

Goal for 2008: 500 miles


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