What I Learned After Doing 8,000 Push-Ups

At the conclusion of last month, I ventured out to challenge myself in doing something that I have never done before. Being a certified personal trainer, I like to do things that would avoid a plateau in order to give my body something new and confusing to work on. While I do push-ups daily, I felt like doing them on an extreme level. So, I researched some push-up challenges, and thought to myself, “I can do that… right?” While the hesitation was feverish, I came up with a number that my body immediately took me off its friends list; however, the commitment was already broadcasted, so I had an increased level of accountability.

The number was 8,000.

This would require me to do double the push-ups that I usually do on a daily basis, without any kind of preparation to build confidence. But, I said i was going to do it, even posted it on Facebook (and we all know it is a cardinal sin not to commit to your Facebook statuses).

Before the challenge, I took about three days off to mentally prepare myself. Then comes day one. Not good. Those three days got me mentally prepared, but certainly not physically. I have to abruptly wake up my body, and abrupt wake-ups have a history of potential slaps to the face. Nevertheless, I was on my way to 8k (rhymed).

Then the first weekend comes. I catch the flu, and am down for three days. Two of those days, I did no push-ups, and the other one, I only did 20. However, when I fully recovered, I bounced back and did 404. It was still rough, but the flow forced me not to create any kinks in it.

Week two provided probably the biggest hurdle of them all. My chest absolutely hated my path to 8k, and was surely letting me know after EVERY move.Thankfully, I have an amazing wife who is a massage therapist, and was surely there to help ease the pain. As many times as she heard me whine about my chest hurting, she deserves a reward. Realizing my complaining – and how I brand myself on creating strategies on not complaining – it was time to practice what I preach. Suck it up. Easy for my mind to say, but not my body.

Week three rolls around, and I can see the finish line. I can’t stop now. I can’t quit. Keep focusing on the end. These were just a few of the encouraging words I had to keep reminding myself. As a result, week three produced the most push-ups of the entire month, completing a total of 1880 (that Includes one day that I “only” did 50).

Now, as of today, I can say that I have successfully completed something that I have never done before. And IT FEELS GOOD! Not my body, though. We still aren’t friends, but we will be again soon. When it looks in the mirror and sees the changes instead of focuses on the pain, it’ll say, “thank you.”

Let me reiterate that, and flip it a bit. When you are going through challenges that seem insurmountable, and you’ve never encountered before, the pain will end up working for you and making you look and feel better in the end. IF you let it, and don’t quit. Just keep focusing on the end, and grab someone that will encourage you and be in your corner. As a result, triumph and success is INEVITABLE.

Don’t focus on the moment. Focus on the momentum. Always keep the end in mind, and learn how to celebrate in phases. It works. I am a living witness.

8,000 push-ups – CHECK.

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