I like to think of myself as strong. Not just emotionally, but physically strong, too. I’ve got a pretty good constitution, and I know my legs are strong because I regularly set the weight machines at the gym to about double where I find them at. I can easily do a dozen or more leg extensions and curls at 100 lbs, and I’m finding the lower back extension thingee a little too easy at 160 lbs lately.
What I lack, though, is upper body strength. It drove me crazy that even after carrying around my ginormous babies who turned into ginormous toddlers, and even after religiously following a weekly strength-training routine at the gym for at least the past five years, I still couldn’t do a single proper from-the-toes push-up. I’d been doing a dozen push-ups from my knees for a while now, but each time I tried to push up from my toes with my body straight, I’d collapse in a quivering heap.
Last weekend, with sleeveless season on the horizon and my 41st birthday not far behind, I decided I needed to challenge myself. I was going to learn how to do a proper push-up once and for all. I’d start with one, if that’s all I could achieve, and add one or two more each week during my sacred Saturday morning visit to the gym.
Because it was a long weekend, I managed three trips to the gym last week instead of the usual one. My first visit, on the Friday, I managed one whole push-up. I doubled that on Saturday, and made it all the way to five push-ups on the Monday. (And then, I couldn’t raise my arms above my head on Tuesday or Wednesday.)
This past Saturday, I was actually looking forward all through my workout to the matwork I usually save for the end. I figured I’d squeeze out six, maybe even seven push-ups, and I was absolutely delighted with myself when I quavered out a tremulous TEN of them. Never mind the fact that I could barely work my arms enough to drive the car on the way home.
So proud of myself was I, and so in need of an explanation as to why my arms wavered in the breeze like overcooked spaghetti, that I bragged to Beloved about my accomplishment. Tristan, listening from the kitchen, scoffed, “Ten? Sheesh, that’s nothing, I could do ten push-ups.”
Without thinking about his easy prowess on the monkey bars, I told him to go ahead, showoff, and show me your stuff. Which he did. Easily. I figure he might have gotten to 20 or more before he broke a sweat, but I stopped him before he could show me up too badly. And then to add insult to injury, Beloved, who is let us say not as fond of the gym as me, also dropped and showed me 10 in fine form.
Lesson learned: it’s good to be strong, but sometimes strong and silent is a harder skill to learn!
Okay, bloggy peeps, ‘fess up. Can you do push-ups the hard way, with your back straight from your shoulders to your heels? I’m aiming for 25 by my birthday, but I may have to cut down on my blog posts because a day and a half after achieving those glorious 10 I can still barely move my arms to type this!