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4/22/08
I am Weakling! Hear Me Roar!

Oh ya'll, it is a very sad day. I can no longer do a pushup. No, not one. I'm embarrassed even to admit it. In addition to Latin Dancing, I'm also doing a Pilates class. And it works me. It works me until I've got a good burn going in every muscle group, and I know I'm going to be sore the next day. And that's okay because even with a burn, my muscles have done everything that I have asked them to. Except for the pushup. My skinny twig arms totally bailed out on me when it came to the pushup.

Anyway, we started out well. I was laying on my little mat, pumping out stomach crunches like they were going out of style. I OWN stomach crunches. I'm a stomach crunching machine! Then my instructor suddenly stops with the stomach crunches and flips over into (dum-dum-DUMMMM!) the dreaded pushup position. At first I wasn't worried, because in my mind, I can do pushups. My mind has no trouble imagining me effortlessly doing pushups. Check it out, my mind yelled, one handed even! Look at me go! Sadly, the spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak. I was just supporting myself on my arms while the instructor went over breathing instructions when I noticed that my poor arm muscles were quivering like an 8.5 on the Richter scale. And I hadn't even lowered myself down to the floor yet! The instructor, perhaps noticing that I was shaking like a Polaroid picture, called out that if needed, we could drop to our knees and do "girl" pushups. I considered it. No one else dropped to their knees...not even the 65 year old woman in the back. On the other hand, I am a girl, and is there really any shame in doing a girl pushup? I am what I am, after all. Not dropping to my knees to do girl pushups would be like denying who I am. Like disowning my very own gender. Like...oh who am I kidding? I dropped to my knees five minutes ago. My arms couldn't even support my own body weight while I debated gender biases in physical activities.

In the end, the instructor had us do a pushup, raise one arm in the air, put it down, do another pushup and repeat. I gave it the old college try by laying on my mat and waving the appropriate arm in the air with the rest of the class. Hey, it's the thought that counts. (Truth be told, I was happy that I could even get my arm in the air to wave). And in my defense, I'd like to point out that all this pushup nonsense was at the very end of the class, so my arms were already tired. I'm sure that if they were at the beginning of the class, I would have had much better results. I hope.

In conclusion, I have decided that I will attempt the pushups each class until I can do them again. In the mean time, I am telling myself that I am like a t-rex; very strong legs and core, tiny weak little arms. But all in all, still a pretty darn intimidating dinosaur.

4 comments:

smc said...

Tell your instructor that they are called "modified" push-ups, not "girl" push-ups. And then do them without shame. I do the modified push-ups at the end of work-outs, too, and I can do regular push-ups and a good many of them. I'm sure that if they were at the beginning you would be a push-up machine, too.

Jean said...

Your mention of pushups reminds of my tennis days in highschool. We'd life weights all practice long and at the end she would make us do pushups. No girlie ones allowed. I think I cried a few times.

Becoming Me said...

OH no. I cannot do push ups either. I love your T-Rex analogy!!

Jon said...

At least you are a girl! I'm a 40 year old man, and after what seemed like an eternity doing the manly version last night in a pilates class, I finally had to go to my knees. The instructor just kept going and going!