So We Meet Again, My Archenemy (Pushups)

My archenemy’s name is Push Push (PP). Now let me answer three questions off the bat:

1.) Why did you give it a name?

Because I want to kick its rear end someday. I can’t really kick pushups, but I can kick the personification of it. Think about the self-help books that say quiet the inner voice in your head that spews out negativity and hurls insults faster than the speed of light. They’ll tell you to give it a name so that you can talk to it like someone who’s sabotaging you.

2.) Why Push Push?

Because I wanted an easy-to-remember name close to pushup that’s not a real name, and because Push Push sounds cuter with the repeated word (think of how “hi hi” and “dum dum” came to be). Pushups are hard and can be intimidating, so I wanted a name that could soften the blow. Nowhere will you find a villain named Hush Puppy or Care Bear… or maybe someone will flip the concept someday.

On another, perhaps tangential reason, there’s a new trendy song out there with accompanying gesture, thanks to Kpop yet again (think of Gagnam Style). TT by Twice (at 1:42) has helped to popularize the emoticon for crying T_T. What I’d like to do is to replace TT with PP, and give a one-two punch and another pow at the end to keep with the song’s rhythm.

3.) Why are pushups your archenemy?

I’ve never been able to do a pushup in proper form because I don’t go down all the way. My arms remain bent around 120 degrees. Any further and I more or less drop completely. It was hard back when I was a kid, and it’s hard for me now.

Pushups require a lot more than arm strength, there’s also the chest muscles, back muscles, and core muscles. At this time I lack the latter three, so I’m compensating somewhere and might injure myself without some assistance (i.e. doing an assisted pushup). I liken this situation to tower defense games. The only way to survive is to build up defenses to all of your entrances to ensure that nothing gets through. I’ve guarded one entrance up until now, and I’m overwhelmed at all my other entrances.

So you have a plan to defeat it once and for all, right?

I could, but I don’t. Why? Because I’m bogged down with life. Pushups are my archenemy because not only did I let it become one, but I also let it stay as one. While this blog and becoming a shero is a way to affirm my commitment to fitness in general, I have other priorities in my life. At this time, I’m in the best shape of my life. I want to do better, but I should also work at keeping my healthy habits.

Nevertheless, I have some initial thoughts on how to defeat PP. There’s the brute force way of doing pushups anytime, any place in order to build up the muscles to finally do one. However, brute force is rarely efficient. I could have a personal trainer to guide me and provide a training plan that will help me achieve this, but that’s costly. For now, I’m fine with going to fitness classes like tabata cardio and BodyPump, which always help to strengthen my core and work muscles I don’t usually work.

How’d we start on the topic of pushups anyway?

Remember how this week is burpee week and how the thought of a burpee mile tickled my fancy? Curious about how many burpees it takes to travel a mile, I set out to complete a quest (aka answering this question). Of course, when I arrived at my local track, it was closed due to weather conditions (T_T). Thankfully there was a stretch where I could do burpees without disturbing too many people.

I measured the stretch to and back to be about .12 miles, so I started on my merry way. There was a whole lot of rests after stretches of burpees, and I did run into a few people. The first was a dad with his two kids who wanted to race him to the end of the stretch. The second was a pair of women who cheered me on, “You go, girl! Don’t stop.” The third was an older man with headphones on who went about doing air exercises while slow jogging.   About 4 rounds of burpees, I checked in on Google Fit. 1 hour and 11 minutes of biking 2.67 miles. Thanks, Google. It probably had to do with the fact that I had my phone in my pocket as opposed to being latched on my arm.

Despite this #fail, 386 is the magic number. That’s how many burpees it took to go about a half-mile.

So close, yet so far away

Halfway to the supposed end, I decided to end this quest and pursue it again another day. I hit the wall that anyone that hasn’t properly prepped would hit. Towards the end, I was feeling the tightness in my arm muscles. Specifically, I was feeling the pull when trying to shoot web like Spiderman does (raise arm in front, turn hand towards the ceiling, and bend the wrist towards the floor).

I’ll continue to strength train and work my way to do this again — on the race track.


I don’t know how my story will end, but nowhere in my text will it ever read,”I gave up.”


One thought on “So We Meet Again, My Archenemy (Pushups)

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