Weakling, Weak Link

Some days I feel strong. Some days I am hyper aware of how much progress I’ve made over the last four years. Some days I feel like I’m invincible again and that nothing can hurt me.

Some days I don’t.

After my niece’s wedding, my brother and I were talking. Our discussion was spurred on by him (out of the blue) dropping to the floor and doing ten push-ups. Ten push-ups, like it was no big deal!! He said he was starting to fall asleep and didn’t want to miss anything so he needed to get the blood circulating. I chuckled and lamented that I didn’t think I could do a SINGLE push-up. And when I say push-up, I mean a full out plank push-up not a (!politically incorrect alert!) “girly” push-up on your knees. So I got down on the floor and did THREE full out plank push-ups. First off, I couldn’t believe that I could do three of them. Secondly, my brother started laughing and goes, “DUDE, your face is bright red!”

I admitted without shame that doing three push-ups was really hard for me. I remember a day when I would whip out twenty “real” push-ups without dropping a single bead of sweat. My brother (who is an orthopedic surgeon) said, “Your form is REALLY good – nice straight back.” I confessed that my core was super weak and that I didn’t work on core stuff as much as I needed to with my running plan. I also told him that I had been doing burpees as part of my workout schedule for the previous month. He adamantly said, “You need to be doing push-ups, not burpees.” His thought process being that when we do burpees it’s really easy to get sloppy with our form and we can do more harm than good. but with push-ups we get the same benefits of a burpee, but with the added benefit of being a slower exercise, thus allowing us to pay more attention to our form. As we ALL know, form is the most important part about keeping injury free when we workout.

I’ve thought a lot about what he said over the last week and a half but haven’t done anything about it because I already had my training plan in place for April, and that plan included burpees. God forbid I change the plan midstream. I mean, really, I’m not a monster!

It’s usually about this time each month when I get my next month’s workout plan put together, so I started thinking about push-ups. At the end of this month my running plan that I’ve been working on comes to an end, so I feel like I’m starting fresh with no races to look forward to or train for. (A little sad.) My training plan for May is going to be 100% low impact because I’m trying to get my plantar fasciitis healed up for good, so I’m swapping out my run days for cycling classes. (Kill me now!) In addition to my normal weight training, I’ll be adding in push-ups.

A couple of years ago (??) my daughter introduced me to this website. I did the Hundred Push-up challenge, but I did counter top push-ups, not full out plank push-ups. With my new need to do push-ups, I wanted a guideline, so I went back to the website. Now, I’ll say right now, I have no desire to be able to do a hundred push-ups. I feel it’s completely unnecessary and excessive. However, the guidelines that it uses for increasing the number of push-ups that you can do is really good. My end goal is to be able to do 40 push-ups (4 sets of 10) three days a week. This website lines that out in a workable fashion, so I’ve incorporated it into my May workout plan. I’m going to be so sad to be doing my burpees for the rest of this month while I anticipate my push-up challenge for next month.

It will be a different month where my workouts are concerned, but I’m hoping to use this month to gain strength in some of my weaker areas, namely my core. With any luck, my plantar fasciitis will heal up as well. Here’s to getting stronger!

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