I Lost 10 Pushups

Posted on August 19, 2016


Six years ago I started working out three times a week.  I started out following the guidance of Tony Horton and his P90x workouts on my flat screen TV.  Then I turned up the intensity and joined a local gym and worked out with a trainer twice a week.  I could do twenty pushups without much effort back then and muster up another five with heavy breathing and will power.  I was da man!

I felt strong, vibrant and there wasn’t a pair of pants in my closet I couldn’t fit into.  I almost talked myself into purchasing a couple more belts as I had to even wear them with shorts. 

And then. . . life changed.  I had to move away from the area and thus cancelled my gym membership.  I lost my P90X video collection as well as my resistance bands as a result of that move.  You know how the script follows.  I failed to join another gym and I never replenished that video collection.

A couple weeks ago, I started getting serious about my health and working out again.  I thought I would start with the basics, pushups, sit-ups, some yoga stretches and then move on from there.  Within minutes, I realized I had lost something more than just my former equipment.

I lost ten pushups. 

The first ten wasn’t bad, but the 11th one was strained.  By the 12th one my arms were shaking and by the 15th one I knew I was defeated and collapsed to the floor.

I had gained ten pounds and lost ten pushups.  Though I knew I wasn’t getting stronger by deferring to work out, I deluded myself into thinking I would retain my twenty easy pushups and my five effort driven ones despite my lackadaisical attitude (lackadaisical is a fancy word for laziness) .  Not only had I not grown stronger, I had become weaker. 

This is true about everything in life.  If you bury your money in the back yard rather than put it to work, it devalues year by year at the hands of inflation.  If you fail to put forth the effort into a relationship, the tie that binds the two of you together becomes feeble.  By not cultivating the talents within you, they become stale.  Steering off course from your goals makes the journey even longer if you even get back on the road.  In choosing to not devote time to enjoy yourself some, you forget how to laugh.

Everything that means something to us requires our energy, our focus and our commitment.  By the law of nature, we either bloom or wither.  Procrastination doesn’t allow us to keep what we have.   Procrastination is a swindler, a con artist, who baits us with the illusion of comfort, and then confiscates our dreams and our aspirations.

In the movie, Moonstruck, Ronny Cammareri shouts in masochistic frustration, “I lost my hand! I lost my bride!”

For now, I lost ten pushups, and I don’t want to lose anything more than that.