Monday, December 29, 2014


     About this time several years ago, I took up my friend Walt Esquivel's challenge to do 77 push-ups on July 7th.  The plan was for 11 on January 1, 22 on February 2, 33 on March 3 et cetera.  To see where I was physically, I pushed out 20 with a big effort.  That convinced me I needed more of a plan than just increasing by eleven each month.  I turned to and liked their program.  By the time July 7th rolled around, I was able to do 77 consecutive, good-form push-ups.  Unfortunately, I was in Georgia at the time and not able to attend the official challenge completion.
     Each year after the cycling season, I start back being more regular with the push-ups.  Usually I start at week 4 and work my way back up.  Interestingly, I have never done 100 and truthfully probably never will.  But 77 remains my goal.  I just completed Day 3 of Week 5, which works out to a total of 200 push-ups.  I created a closed group for this, and might just do it as an event this year.
     I hate doing abominable abdominal work.  Two years ago I incorporated planks into my regimen.  Planks are a good core exercise.  Last year, for my 2nd Annual Plank Praxis, I invited 13 folks and 9 joined.  What we learned over the two years are that keeping a regular program over the year is impossible for the average person. One tip: do it early, like between coffee and breakfast.  What I found worked best for me was to set a monthly minutes goal, thereby giving some leeway as to when they could be done.  I started off with 30 minutes and worked my way up to 60 minutes in May before cycling and trips interfered.  I'm back on the program and did 5 minutes yesterday, although the longest set was only a minute and a half.  I should get it up to two minutes for New Year's Day (while watching the Rose Parade) and have set a January goal of 60 minutes.  I'll be setting up a 3rd Annual Plank Praxis on Facebook later today.  If you would like to join in but don't receive an invitation, shoot me a message.
     Yoga also gets more attention now.  I found out yesterday that my hamstrings were quite a bit shorter than they were in May.  Really, I know better, but stretching daily just wasn't getting done.  That is my New Year's Resolution (maybe not daily, but regularly).
     Stay healthy and active this winter, even if it isn't always on the bike.

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