About a month ago, I was telling my friend Mark about my weight and my frustrations with not seeing any progress despite sticking to my low-carb and having almost completed another 30-Day At-Home Crossfit Challenge.
Alright, I'll be honest.
I was whining and complaining and moping, with a little bit of a rant thrown in.
There was no sympathy or empathy from Mark, though I wasn't surprised- I'd learned long ago not to expect what I wanted from him, but I somehow always get what I need. And usually it's a good swift kick.
As usual he delivered said swift kick, challenging me to do 100 days of pushups and squats, starting that day. Day 1 was 1 pushup and 1 squat. Day 2 was 2 pushups, 2 squats, and so on, until on day 100 you did 100 pushups and 100 squats.
I thought to myself 'Self (which is what I call myself), you can do this, no sweat.' So I picked up the gauntlet and did my first squat and first pushup right then and there.
It wasn't too bad, really, the first week.
In week 2, my muscles strained a little when I did my pushups, and my legs ached a bit when I did my squats, but I felt comfortable, and confident. Now, however, in day 30….Holy. Crap.
I'm sore….constantly. I have to break up the squats in sets of ten, and the pushups, well, most days I can only do 5 and then I have to rest for a few seconds.
I feel weak.
I'll confess, there have been days where I've skipped the workout. A couple weeks ago, we were busy filling a 40-yard dumpster without countless trips in and out, and by the end of the day, there wasn't much energy left for anything other than a shower and sleep. And last week, I skipped three days in a row, because my body just hurt.
But while I was still hurting that fourth day…I got up and did my squats and pushups anyway, and went on to do my yoga and some situps and lunges, and then a little Tae Kwon Do training. Because it's good pain.
I keep reminding myself that pain is weakness leaving the body. Sometimes I'm panting it out with clenched teeth while I'm shaking and wobbling and wondering if I'm going to fall flat on my face… but it helps.
You know what else helps? That my 6, 8, and 10 year olds are the ones training me in Tae Kwon Do. All three are green belts, and I've been watching them for months now during classes. In an effort to A) give me something new to do and B) keep them engaged and go over their training, I have them each teach me the basics. All three love to make me do the warmups, the one-step sparring, the basic forms, the kicking combinations. I love the way they encourage me and correct my (mostly purposeful) mistakes.
But I hate the way they make me do my jumping jacks and pushups 'the right way'.
But they remind me…it's good pain.
And it is.