Quick Breaking News: I might be on TV next week! Earlier today, I was briefly interviewed by a crew from “The Insider” for a piece they’re doing on Richard Simmons. If I don’t end up on the cutting room floor, look for me next Monday, October 17, 2011. Set your TiVos and DVRs!
Do you know what a burpee is? It’s an awful, terrible, torturous type of exercise, which means, naturally, that it’s a fantastic, effective, wondrous type of exercise. There are two main elements to a burpee: first, from a standing position, you leap as high as you can in the air. As soon as your feet hit the ground, you push them out behind you and fall into a push-up position, for the second element: a singular push-up. Once that push-up is complete, you pull your feet back under you and spring straight up from the ground into the first element, the leap. Then you drop back down, do a push-up, and continue like this, alternating from standing leap to push-up again and again and again and again and again and again and again.
Doesn’t that just sound awful? Believe me, they are. But they also use your entire body and are completely exhausting, which is why they’re such a great thing to add to your workout.
I did my first set of burpees back in February of this year, at one of my first boot camp classes with Craig Ramsay. I hated them from the beginning. Throughout the year, I’ve done burpees a few more times, always in Craig’s classes, and never ever on my own. Why inflect such cruelty on myself?
A month ago, due to some purse strings that needed tightening, I had to give up (for now) working with Craig. I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve done a burpee. At least a few months. I can’t recall the last time I’ve even thought about burpees.
Then, yesterday, I read “No Excuses,” the most recent post on a blog called Your Inner Skinny. A guy named Scott writes the blog, which I’ve been reading for a long time. Scott has lost and kept off over 100 pounds – check out how awesome he looks:
Like me, Scott blogs to motivate himself and keep himself accountable, and, like me, he prefers variety in his exercise (for him, it’s a lot of sports in addition to hitting the gym). Plus, he lives in a town way up near the Arctic Circle in Canada, and I like having a connection to different parts of the world, even if it’s just a guy who inspires me and will occasionally respond to my dumb jokes on Twitter.
Scott wrote something in his post yesterday that struck a chord. He wrote about falling off and on the wagon many times over the past 6 months, and then he wrote this:
“I know how to lose weight successfully and I just haven’t been doing it. It’s time to burn down the wagon and stop making excuses and start feeling better about myself.”
Amen, brother! Then he issued a challenge to himself, and invited his readers to join in. He’s going to set a goal to complete something fitness-related every day for a month. He hasn’t actually selected what his challenge will be, but he threw out some examples:
“It could be to do 15 burpees every day for a month. Or run at least 3 km every day for a month.”
There’s that word: BURPEES. I read that sentence and my heart stopped, just for a second. Fifteen burpees every day for a month? I can’t think of anything worse.
So, I’m doing it. I’m ready for a new exercise goal, since I just reached my last one a few weekends ago. We’ll see what Scott’s challenge ends up being, but for me, 15 burpees every day for a month will be challenging enough. And every time I think about how difficult they are, I’ll think about how Scott, that athletic bastard, can do them with only one leg. Seriously. Check out this video Scott posted on YouTube last year (the one-legged burpees begin at the 1:30 mark):
I just completed my first day of burpees. They were brutal. I had a take a few super short breaks, because I couldn’t do fifteen in a row. But that’s okay. I did all fifteen.
Tomorrow, I’ll do fifteen more.
Keep it up, David!
Keep checking back to Scott’s blog for more info on his month-long challenge, and join in the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag Scott created: #noexcusesYIS