Alright, so we are past the mid-week point. I was away from my home base until yesterday, so although I would have posted a new weekly challenge at the beginning of the week, I was unable to do so for logistical reasons. For that reason, this current weekly challenge is going to last from today until the end of next week, at which point I’ll introduce a new one.
I’d like to start with an update about last week’s challenge: giving up Diet Coke. It has been an incredibly difficult journey, but I have been Diet Coke (and all soda, for that matter) free since the beginning of my weekly challenge post about it on 3/31/08. You know, I wish I could say that I feel like it has had palpable health benefits, like a decrease in sluggishness, or…I don’t know, something. But it hasn’t really had any effect that I can track myself. Of course, that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been healthier. I really, really miss it, but I am determined to stay away from it. And coffee is a pretty satisfying alternative.
And now on to the new challenge. I am constantly hearing about push-ups. Fitsugar encouraged readers to take the push-up challenge and even has a poll this morning about whether or not readers do push-ups; the New York Times recently ran a Wellness blog entry about how push-ups are the best measure of fitness levels; it seems like nothing screams ripped bad-ass quite like one-handed push-ups. Or, for that matter, one-handed push-ups with someone sitting on the back of the person doing the push-up. Oof. In the midst of all this hoopla about the miraculous push-up, I have an embarrassing confession to make. I am good for one, maybe two (on a good day), push-ups at a time. If I drop to my knees I can sometimes get through about ten, but that just doesn’t have the same value as the true push-up. For a while I was confused because I can hold a plank like it is my job. I can even go through the entire plank, upward dog, downward dog cycle about a trillion times without ever touching the floor for a brief rest. But I can’t do more than two stinking push-ups. What gives? It turns out that the strength I need, and that I don’t happen to have, for a push-up is in my chest. I have strong arms, strong shoulders, a strong core, and a strong back, but weak pectoral muscles. So for the rest of this week and the week following this one, I am determined to work on this strength and, hopefully, by the time I am done, I will have broken my two push-up record. All I am looking to do is three to five, really. I don’t mind starting slow. I just want to start somewhere.
I am interested in hearing about your experiences with push-ups. Do you do them? Do you enjoy them? How many can you do? Any fancy tricks (one-handed, clapping in between, etc.)?