Every so often while I am busy doing what I do – being awesome – I am forced to acknowledge that as cool as I can be, I am not perfect at everything and thus need to expend some effort improving and becoming Even More Awesome. Recently, I’ve watched a few of my CrossFit buddies go through a 100 day challenge to improve their burpee technique and endurance, and although my burpees can *certainly* use some help, at the time they started their challenge, I was focused on other things (most notably starting a new job) so I didn’t participate. Turns out, the 100 day burpee challenge was TOUGH – as far as I know, only two members of my box, Brandon and Kimberly, made it all the way through.
Despite just finishing a challenge that took him over three months, Brandon is the type of guy who is always trying to do better for himself and help others to the same. I was not at all surprised when just a couple of days after finishing the burpee challenge, he said he wanted to start another challenge – and he ultimately decided on a 100 day pullup challenge. Well, I have done exactly zero pullups in my life, assisted or otherwise, but for a variety of reasons (some of which are best left for another blog post) I decided I want to do an exercise challenge of my own along with the pullup crew. I originally thought I might do ring rows, which I substitute for pullups in a lot of WODs, but given that the rules of the 100 day challenge require working the exercise every single day, I decided I needed to do something that doesn’t require equipment. I settled on pushups.
Let me be crystal clear on one important point. I suck at pushups. Really, I’m terrible. I still do them on my knees because I’m not yet strong enough to do them on my toes without putting a lot of pressure on my lower back, and my depth is not good – I can’t get my chest all the way to the ground, which is saying something considering that I have an ample chest. And on a bad day, I have trouble keeping myself aligned properly, especially when I’m tired. I tend to look a little more like this kid:Than I look like this ladySo, some may ask, why on earth would I choose to embark on a pushup challenge of all things? Well – I picked pushups precisely BECAUSE I suck at pushups. What’s the point of picking something I’m great at to work on for 100 days, ya know?
Here’s how the challenge works:
On Day 1, you do 1 pushup.
On Day 2, do 2 pushups.
Day 3 – you guessed it, 3 pushups.
Lather, rinse, repeat for 100 days, until your last day you do 100 pushups. The only key rule is that the pushup-challenge pushups are EXTRA. In other words, if I show up at the box on day 27, and the WOD has 40 pushups in it, I am NOT done. I still owe 27 pushups sometime that day. If you miss a day – you try to make it up the next day so you stay on track. I hope that I don’t get the flu around day 87, because that would make day 88 suck for sure.
While part of me would love to think I’d work myself into being able to do perfect pushups on my toes by day 100, I don’t really expect that to happen. My goal is just to emerge from day 100 of this challenge feeling more comfortable with pushups than I do today, and hopefully enjoying some camaraderie with some friends, both from my box and from elsewhere, while doing it. I’ve got 4 people from my work who thought the idea sounded cool enough to play along, and I’m sure that the big kids at CrossFit On Track who are doing this as a 100 day pullup challenge will enjoy hearing about my progress on pushups as much as I’ll like hearing about their progress on pullups. If you have an exercise you’re interested in working on being better at, I highly encourage you to do your own 100 day challenge!
Today is Day 1. Who’s with me?