Today’s post is brought to you by a whole lot of joy and a big sense of accomplishment for doing something hard every damn day of the month of January. 💥💥💥
“What was that?” you ask.
While this is most likely only exciting to me, I share it with you in case it might stir up some ideas about something you’d like to challenge yourself to this year.
On January 1st I kicked off a much-needed 31 Day Push-up Challenge. Even though I had worked up to doing 10-minute plank rotations during Ironman training, could do upward and downward dogs until the cows came home, and could swim 2.5 miles, I could not do one freaking full push-up. It was shocking and quite frankly, embarrassing. Clearly I hadn’t worked those muscles, and perhaps even babied them more than necessary when coming back from a torn rotator cuff.
Sooooo after inviting my fabulous friend Emma to be my accountability buddy, we launched our challenge on January 1st.
Here’s how our simple concept worked:
Day 1: Do 1 full push-up.
Day 2: Do 2 full push-ups.
Day 3: Do 3 full push-ups… you get the idea…all the way to 31 push-ups on January 31st.
The first one was shaky, frustrating, and nowhere near the ground, but it was a start. ✔️ Day 2 wasn’t much better, but I followed each day with 20 knee push-ups, which I could do semi-fairly okay—even though they were also shaky–continuing that for the rest of the month.
On Day 4 and going forward, I also added what I called “ get-ups”—laying flat on the floor, then pushing all the way up to standing. I started with five then after two weeks I progressed to ten each day after my full push-ups and knee push-ups.
Today is a cause for celebration because on Day 31, after being fully dedicated to the process, and being inspired by Emma who has been there every step of the way, I was able to do 31 full push-ups in a row, 20 knee push-ups, and 10 get-ups.
Are my full push-ups perfect? Not even close, but I’m choosing an attitude of progress over perfection. Because I’m starting where I am at and working toward where I want to be, in one month I’ve become a whole lot stronger just by doing my best and giving myself grace.
Here are my January totals…
💪🏼 496 full push-ups
💪🏼 620 knee push-ups
💪🏼 211 get-ups
🙌🏼 1,327 TOTAL
When I totaled this up today, I was bowled over by how quickly each little bit really did add up. Doing over a thousand push-ups in various forms suddenly felt kind of badass, no matter how hard it was or how shaky they were.
What this has reminded me of is that difficult things are absolutely doable if you break them down into small chucks, commit to the work, and don’t give up on yourself (even if you are whining and swearing the entire time). Having an accountability buddy makes a huge difference too. Thank you Emma!
February’s challenge is now to reset, starting with one full push-up again, focusing this time on getting my chest all the way down to the floor. #ithinkicanithinkicanithinkican I’ll also continue doing knee push-ups and “get-ups” and likely add other forms of push-up fitness like burpees–along with all my other usual cardio and strength workouts.
If you’d care to join Emma and me for February’s challenge, we’d love to have you along! Before you hesitate or say no, just remember Day 1 is simply doing 1 push-up. From there you just take one day at a time. 🙌🏼 And if you think it sounds time-consuming, the most time I spent doing this each day was 7-9 minutes.
Cheers to pushing up and through our own personal challenges, getting stronger, and celebrating progress all along the way!