Wednesday, January 27, 2010

update on the push-ups and pull-ups challenge

I blogged here about how my husband and I were taking on the 100 push-ups and 20 pull-ups challenges.
And since now is just about the time that such resolutions begin to fade, I thought I'd report in.
Are we still doing it? Yep.
On the pull-ups: well, I can do one now! I can almost do two. I completed Week -2 and Week -1, but the truth is, I'm not ready for Week 1 itself yet. So, instead, I am just doing my max five times in a row every other night (throwing some slow, negative pull-ups in there as well) and will keep doing that until I can do 3 pull-ups in a row, and then I'll start Week 1. I'm hoping I'll be ready for Week 1 in ten days or so.
On the push-ups: I'm on Week 4! I just did Week 4, Day one last night. Ouch, ouch, ouch. On round 5 last night I only did 18 push-ups (instead of the 25 I was supposed to hit), so I'm going to repeat Week 4, Day 1. When I can complete that, I'll go on to Week 4, Day 2. I'm hoping I can get it on the next try - I was so close!
I felt badly about not hitting that 25 max on the fifth round (it's only the second time in the whole program I haven't made it all the way through all five rounds), but then my husband counted up for me that - all said and done - I'd just done 90 push-ups in the last ten minutes. That made me feel better.

I'm excited because at the end of Week 4, whenever I get there, I get to do another test-to-exhaustion, and I'm looking forward to seeing how much I've improved since I started.

And the last question: is it worth it? Well, so far, I think it is. It surely does hurt to do that many push-ups in a row. But during the 23+ hours a day I'm not doing push-ups, I feel really good. My arms and shoulders have a lot more shape, and I feel stronger. It's doing lots of good for my tummy region too, and let me tell you, after four kids, that's a great good thing! Push-ups really are an amazing all-body exercise. And you combine them pull-ups? Wow. They're just killer.

I'm beginning to have a new goal: some day, I want to do this kind of burpees:

(Um, probably not that many though. I know my limits. I think.) (Oh, and, warning: there is a small bit of profanity at the very end of that video.)
So, have I inspired anyone else to give this a try? It really is amazing to push yourself and see change happen.
For me, doing this physical challenge, and seeing tangible results, is having a strange effect . . . it's reminding me that the same principle is true in less tangible things: in my writing, and in my devotional life, in particular. If I push myself as far as I can go, I do hit a wall. And that can feel like failure. But the truth is, by pushing myself all the way until I hit that wall, the next time I try, I can go further.
peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell


MomCO3 said...

Dead serious-- I was about to email you and ask how the push=up challenge was going! You have NOT inspired to to do the challenge, but you have inspired me to do some. And that's better than the none I could do before last week. So thanks!

Amy said...

I'm impressed! I have never had good upper body strength but I want it now. Aging has really shown me that I need to work on every part of what I have :-) I'm starting smaller though - Wii Fit Plus.

Jessica said...

Thanks for the interest! And go you on being able to do more than you could last week. That's kind of the whole point, I think. Doing a bit more each time - or even just doing something at all (says the woman who just failed for a second time to get that last fifth round right).

Amy, are you liking the Wii Fit? I've heard that it's fun.