The Great Push-Up Challenge
I don’t remember the guest’s name, nor do I have the motivation or energy to look it up. He was in the government, or something. What I do remember was the guest’s age. He was eighty years old.
This got me to thinking about the last time I actually did a push-up. My best guess is that it was during the Bush administration, and I don’t mean Junior. I never was much good at any of the calisthenics exercises, but I seem to recall a time that I could readily knock out about twenty push-ups. Well, perhaps it was closer to ten. Time has a way, eh what?
I was never a big fan of gym class in school, as you might imagine. I always felt more comfortable when a teacher rolled out a movie projector as opposed to a rack of basketballs. But I did enjoy many of the team sports, including baseball and football, and even found myself having a good time playing an occasional game of that odd little foreign sport called soccer. But when it was time for gymnastics and “apparatus,” ugh, I would have been a lot happier sitting under a shade tree reading the latest issue of Batman.
I never, to this day, have done a pull-up. I did, after years of humiliation, one day succeed in doing a chin-up. I thought at the time it was a minor miracle, and I have no doubt my gym teacher agreed. I don’t recall ever getting more than six inches off the ground climbing that fucking rope, and couldn’t have cared less about ever touching that steel bar w-a-a-a-y up there on the ceiling.
The luckiest thing that ever happened to me was when we were being graded zero to five on the pommel horse. Just as my sure-to-be humiliating turn approached the teacher was called from the room. He handed his grade book to one of his star students, one who certainly knew the feel of the steel bar on the ceiling, and told him to continue. When he called my name I matter-of-factly said, “Just give me a zero.” What a trouper!
I suppose you’ve already figured what all this is leading up to. Yes tonight, right now, I am going to see how many push-ups I can do. I suspect that the effort will not only go a long way toward easing my curiosity, but will keep you all amused and snickering as well. And so I leave you now, and will return very soon (no doubt) with the results. You may talk quietly among yourselves.
First off, let me say that I was surprised. I truly expected that I might not be able to do even a single push-up. And before you start with the guffaws, let it be known that I did more than one. That’s right—I did multiple push-ups. How many? Well, despite my history on these pages of full disclosure I don’t think I feel like sharing that information with you, at least not right at this moment. Hell, I’ve already told you I couldn’t climb the rope, and wouldn’t even try to get on the pommel horse. How about you let me hang on to at least one tiny shred of dignity, okay?