Long ago words of wisdom, delivered by the company commander of my unit during boot camp.
I don’t recall exactly what it was we had done to offend the man. Perhaps not enough of the ninety or so that we started with had been dropped back to other companies. We were a performing unit so no one could get pushed back into ours. We could lose, but never gain. Eighty-nine started with us, we graduated with sixty-two.
We carried the flags of all fifty states with the national flag and its color guard in the lead. I suppose he figured we only really needed about sixty of us to make the performance come graduation day. Maybe he thought that we truly needed arms ‘o steel in order to march for hours with a flag in hand.
Then again maybe someone just pissed in his coffee that morning.
Whatever the reason there came an early summer day that we were instructed to close all the windows and doors to the barracks, push the bunks against the wall, and commence to exercising. Not just for fitness, but as a punishment.
Over two decades ago now I was holding myself in the push up position, one dog tag flat on the ground, the other not touching. Most of the next few hours is a blurred recollection of sweat, pain, and tears. Memories of the room getting so oppressively hot and humid that condensation began dripping from the ceiling like a gentle rain. I don’t remember it all, but I clearly remember what he said to start us off.
“The world offends me, push it away.”
That was a long time ago now, a bit over twenty one years.
Hell, that memory is old enough to drink.
Well, as I mentioned last week I have started up with push ups again. The main difference is now I am doing them because I want to, not because of a grumpy man yelling at a group of teenagers.
The plan I am following seems to be working out pretty well. It is simple and straight forward with one goal in mind.
To be able to do one continuous set of one hundred push ups.
Something that once upon a time was easy as pie (mmm pie) is not so easy any more. The people who wrote this recognise that. It is designed to take your average couch potato and have them passing the test six weeks later. It is all progressive. It starts where you are and build from there.
When I first started two weeks ago I am sad to say I could only manage a grand total of twelve good form push ups before I was simply done. I could have pulled out a few more, but only by cheating. I would only have been cheating myself.
This morning I took the progress test to see how I am coming along. My single set was twenty- one.
It may not seem like much but thats just shy of double what I could manage only two weeks ago.
Now the voice yelling to push out one more is on the inside.
Right now that voice is telling me to stop writing and get back to my workout.
I should probably listen, apparently someone fed it assholieos for breakfast.