Fighting my Failures

I suck at push ups. What's more, this year, two friends nominated me for the 22 push up challenge for veteran suicide awareness.

Yeah, I did 5 before giving up. Not 5 days, 5 push ups! That bad!

After my first failed attempt, day 1, I told myself I'll just hold off on the challenge until I get better... But If I never practice, I'll never get better. Right?

I needed to set up a routine to do push ups so I could get better, so I could take on the challenge.


This wasn't the first time I met a challenge I couldn't overcome. This January, several coworkers created a stair challenge at work. 6 flights up and 6 flights down, once a day.

Well, the first day I tried, I barely made it to the 3rd floor. That's right, in front of everyone else, I had to stop, sit down, and recover.

My legs were on fire and my breathe was gone. I felt pathetic I was so embarrassed. I knew the next morning everyone would meet back and they'd stop at my cubicle on the way to see if I was going.

I wanted to quit so bad. But I was also terrified I could only make 3 flights of stairs.

The Plan

So I decided later that same day to try the challenge again. I didn't get much further, but over the next few weeks I was able to reach the 4th floor without stopping. Later I made it to the 5th floor, and finally I reached the 6th without needing a break!

Of course, by that time, half the group quit but I realized I doubled my ability. Holy cow!

Why couldn't I do the same for upper body? I decided to try incline stair push ups.

Level 1

I began easy. There are 12 steps per half flight, counting the landing. Because of my height, I could use 8 of those step to perform my exercise. I decided my first challenge was to do 1 push up for each performable step. Simple!

Well, the last one was tougher than I'd like to admit but I did finish 8 inclined stair push ups my first day. Looking back, it doesn't sound like a solid victory, but it was to me. Shoot, entering the stairwell was a victory.

Confident, I tried the same challenge later. 16 in total plus a good work out at the gym. I was content with the day but I knew I could do better tomorrow. I needed to up the difficulty.

Level 2

My next routine was a pyramid of 20. 1,2,3,4,4,3,2,1. That's more than my body was used to. You should of saw my first attempt. My triceps were on fire!

What's more, my second attempt of the day was even worse. It was going to be a struggle to get 40 push ups in a day.

Still, I made the decision to do this challenge no matter what. After a few days, I finally completed it without a significant break. I was so proud of myself but it was only a single step on the road toward victory.

Level 3

For my next challenge. I decided to try an ascension of 46 incline stair push ups. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8. What a challenge! It was, in fact, a little too challenging!

By the time I was on 6, I was was finding muscle fatigue and failure. The last 3 steps I spent more time recovering than actually putting in the work.

So the next day I reversed the routine from 8 to 1. I was much more able to accomplish the revision so I stuck to it.

Level 4

After a few days, I accidentally did 10 push ups on the first step.

I decided it would be a great challenge to up my current routine to a descension of 10 to 3 push ups to build strength and conditioning. Twice a day, that's 104 incline stair push ups!

I'm also performing Elements from GMB. My shoulders and arms are getting their work out! Believe me!

I'm also going slower and focusing on the form, looking to land perfect push ups. That bumps up the difficulty quite a bit.

22 Push Up Challenge

I finally think I can start to attempt my 22 push up challenge. That mean a lot to me. It's incredible. To be honest, I didn't think I could be able to do it this year. Of course I won't if I don't try.

So I'm going to try. And maybe I'll suck the first few days. But at least I'm moving toward that goal.

Maybe you can use this to reach your goals too. Can you use this routine to improve your body strength? Are you wondering how you can even complete a 22 push up challenge?

Let me know. Good luck!

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