Drop, and Give Me Two Hundred!

I challenged the girls in my class to a push-up contest; in the end it became a push-up or sit-up contest just to allow for different body types. Anyway, I promised one piece of candy for every repetition–I have ulterior motives due to an upcoming lesson: I need to know how many they can do when pushed to the limit of their ability–I'm supposed to reward them if they can double their number in a given time-frame. 
I figured on about ten to twenty per girl on their first try.
It's a good thing I didn't offer a quarter per push-up like I was going to! I'd be mortgaging my house. One twelve-year-old girl did 100 sit-ups. One Hundred! Who could have predicted that?! These were honest-to-goodness sit-ups, and I think she only quit after 100 because she got bored. I swear she wasn't even perspiring! What, in a month she's really going to come back and do two hundred?
I know I'm physically pathetic–I get that. I pummel myself regularly about my inability to fit in any kind of regular physical exercise–my only claim to a non-sedentary lifestyle is my job–I am on my feet twelve to sixteen hours a day. But 100 sit-ups?
I just got down on the mat and tried–I can do twelve before my brains start to bulge out my ears; I'd report on push-ups, too, but my wrists would probably snap and then I'd really be sedentary because I'd no longer have a job at all. 
I've always toed the line–whoever drew it, my whole life. I always turned in my library books, kept my hands and feet inside the vehicle, fastened the seatbelts, ate the vegetation, earned a 4.0 GPA, attended every church meeting, read, prayed, studied, said Yes, I can do that for you–I'm pretty compliant. So why is it that I've been able to tune out all the  admonitions toward physical health? Hmmm?

This lesson I have to teach next week is proof positive that the commandment to care for our physical health is just as binding as the commandment to serve one another or to be honest, and yet I've managed to avoid the issue my entire life.  

I get up there every Sunday and I assure these girls that all things are possible; that they can make positive changes, they can succeed, they can achieve. I cannot get up there and promise them things I don't believe are true in my own life–and so the question raging today is how?  I believe the principle is true; I doubt my own capacity–I have, after all, been starting and failing exercise routines for twenty years. Maybe the real question is why? Why do I fail and how do I avoid failing again?

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6 responses to “Drop, and Give Me Two Hundred!

  • Karen

    I like the European philosophy–incorporate exercise into your daily life. Exercise meaning movement. Americans think of exercise as a routine of activity in addition to one's life, when actually it can be something we do as part of our routines rather than in addition, and isn't that healthier? The fact that you are on your feet in movement for 12 hrs. a day–that sounds like exercise to me.

  • Kimber

    See, that's the thing–I can't bring myself to do mindlessly repetitive motions–it has to be accomplishing something–I always think, if I have enough energy to go walking, why don't I just mop my floor? And I've avoided obesity (runs in the family) that way probably–but there is something to be said about strength and stamina–I'd like to be stronger, have more endurance. I suppose I have enough strength and stamina to live the life I live, right? Maybe that's enough–who says I will ever have to run a marathon? It's not like I spend a lot of time sitting around–I even stand at the computer–but a lot of my "on my feet all day" is standing, not so much moving–ie, heart health.

  • viki

    We had a physical fitness lesson at enrichment a few months ago. Someone suggested doing a squat or two each time you use the potty, a situp or 10 when you kneel to pray, and pushups when you fall out of bed in the morning. They meant to tie an "exercise" to a normal daily activity. Just a thought.

  • P.S.

    12 huh? And are you going to double that?! (hehe) I am sure you will. I am terrified to try for fear of sending my neck out or something debilitating like that. Best of luck!

  • Jane Finchwood

    I used to be that girl with the 100 sit-ups. Way back in the day (25 yrs ago) I could do all that stuff. Today, you sounded just like me. My wrists are too bad for pushups, and I die after 15 situps. I keep making exercise commitments but then I break them. Perhaps the way to beat it is to make only one change at a time. Do it for 2 weeks, then add one more activity. I think I will take my own advise and start this week. I will do 10 minute Pilates four days this week after work.

  • Kimber

    I keep trying that–I say I'll just do ten situps, every day for two weeks. Ha. But best of luck to you!

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