What Doing One Push Up Taught Me About Myself

Once upon a time, I made a seemingly banal statement on Twitter.

That one statement changed my life in ways I never would have imagined.

It said….

“If I do 1 pushup on January 1, and 2, on January 2 etc etc. Could I do 365 on December 31?”

And as Twitter is wont to do, they encouraged this ill conceived notion.

Step 1: Can I even do a pushup? Nope.  Three on the knees.

Step 2: Start.

So, January 1 rolls around and I do one pushup.  And post my accomplishment on the Facebook.

Much to the amusement of my so called friends.

“Oh, you’re on your way to greatness.”

Yeah, fuck you.  You’ll see.

On January 2, I did two.

When I got up to the teens I decided I couldn’t do them every day so I went to every other day.  That lasted until August.  Around day 200 I was “noping” like a crazy girl.  So, for the rest of the year I did two big days a week and the rest were some unwritten rule of “a lot”.

Yes, I eventually did 365 on December 31, and it was fairly easy to do.

This is what I learned.

When you are starting out, you may seem ridiculous.  You may feel like ONE pushup isn’t going to do anything. Your friends will probably not understand. You won’t be able to comprehend the finished product. Start and don’t quit.  Tweak if you have to but don’t give up.

I also learned that your body can do amazing things if you require amazing things from it.

Once you start the rest is easy if you have rules around the process.  (God the free spirit in me hates me for saying that)

One pushup was way harder than 365.

You cannot listen to your friends feedback on everything.  Sometimes you just have to go with your gut.

Silly things can end up changing your life for the better.

What happened on my journey?

I became awesomer. Not only physically, from doing three on my knees to 365 in a day, but also mentally.  There was never a time I thought, I bet I can do 365 pushups today.  At most I’d have agreed to 10.

Physically, I dropped around 30 lbs, and dropped from a size 14 to a size 6.  I was also running at the time, but prior to the pushups the running hadn’t produced many results.  The muscles I gained put me into a fat burning mode all day long.

Relationally, people started to take me more seriously.  Before this I was an overweight housewife and I kind of stayed to myself.  Now, I was proud of what I was doing and my presence reflected it.

Professionally, I became a personal trainer during this.  Because I wanted everyone to be able to make changes to their physical appearance. Especially my fellow PE dropouts. I also became a health coach, because the two go hand in hand quite nicely.  

Almost eight years later, I am still very proud of what I did.  I have since been a running coach, and I now own a yoga studio that specializes in Yoga Trapeze.

I still  have, what some would consider, silly ideas.  Most recently I started Ukulele Club.  We sometimes even play the ukulele. Mostly I tell stories and we help each other solve our problems.

The ladies in the group have threatened to drag me to an open mic night at a comedy club.  I was very hesitant about it at first, but what if I did, and I didn’t die? Maybe something great would come of it.