100 Pushups: The Triumph Of The Unlikely Over The Impossible

by Randy Murray on February 23, 2011

Last week, looking to give my workouts a little variety, and in a fit of apparent madness, I started the 100-pushup challenge. It’s exactly what it sounds like: work through a 6-week process until I can do 100 hundred pushups in one continuous session.

At first glance, success is completely unlikely, and, therefore, it’s what I’m attempting to do. I’ll soon be 51 years old and the thought of being able to do a hundred pushups sounds appealing. I am in pretty good shape, at least from the bottom of my ribcage up, and was able easily to do 25 pushups to start. That let me jump ahead 2 weeks in the 6-week program. By the end of the first week of the program I can tell that it’s going to be very challenging. Succeeding at this task remains unlikely, but it becomes just a little bit more likely with every workout session.

There are a lot of things in life that are entirely unlikely, but very few are outright impossible. It is unlikely that a 50-year-old fat guy could do 100 pushups. It’s unlikely that I could make a living without full-time employment, as a writer, no less.  But last year I did work for three nationally known companies, among others, and made a very nice living, surprising myself, my wife, and more than a few others.

Last year I wrote and published a book. That was completely unlikely. This year I have a play in production and I’m helping other authors publish their books. I’ll probably publish another myself.

All of this makes me wonder what other unlikely things I might accomplish this year.  Doing unlikely things requires plans, the right tools, and commitment.  The unlikely becomes the impossible if all you bring to the table is wishing.

But I now have a taste for accomplishing the unlikely. It’s a remarkably exhilarating feeling and I highly recommend it.

What unlikely things will you do this year?

Details on the 100 Pushup challenge: I’m following the plan from this site http://hundredpushups.com/ and using their iPhone app, too (you can find it here: http://itunes.apple.com/app/hundred-pushups/id301174591?mt=8 ). You can also print a nifty PocketMod version of the program: http://hundredpushups.com/complete.html.

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