The Thrill of… Push-ups?

Push-ups.

The very word struck fear into my elementary school-age heart. I hated them. I could do any other exercise they threw at us… sit-ups, jumping jacks, 10 laps around the gym… but push-ups? Ugh. Push-ups were the bane of my existence. At least in gym class. Outside of gym class, I didn’t really think about them. It’s not like I did them for fun. Besides, what use would I ever have to hold myself up with my hands and my toes?

High School gym was the same way. Oh how I hated the ‘Down….. Up! One’ count…  (My teacher wasn’t really evil, she was probably one of the best teachers I had. I just hated her during push-ups. Especially when she made us hold the down position. I lacked the upper body strength to make it through.)

So…. I joined a circuit exercise class. That’s right. A classic heart pounding, bicep- curling, jack jumping, mountain- climbing, push-up- doing exercise class.

But we couldn’t just do traditional push-ups. Oh no. INCLINE PUSH-UPS! I don’t know about you, but I think incline pushups are worse then traditional pushups. Not to mention there are 15 other people on the circuit who seem to have no problem doing them. And who all stare at me as I attempt to push my body away from the chairs.

Finally, I decided I had had enough. I was going to conquer push-ups once and for all. Or at least be able to do 10 of them.

So I increased my weight training, and did extra triceps kickbacks. I did triceps dips, hammer curls, triceps extensions and planks. I did a set of 5-10 pushups each day. I did wall pushups, inclined on the couch, inclined on my stability ball, and pushups with resistance bands.

And you know what I did this weekend at the end of my class?

I did 10 push-ups in a row in perfect form.

And it was THRILLING. I was ecstatic. I felt STRONG. I was STRONG! I could do it! I never had to be afraid of push-ups again- of going down and not being able to push myself back up!

I may never be a body builder, or bench twice my weight. But I can do 10 push-ups. Who knew such a simple, classic exercise could be so thrilling?

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