Eight years ago, under a fair amount of stress and also noticing some obvious degradation in my ability to lift and move the occasional furniture, I started thinking about trying to forestall the inevitable. I played around with weights, but eventually I just started doing push-ups.

By Frank C. Müller, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1412143

By Frank C. Müller, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1412143

Good push-ups. Textbook. No dips. No yoga poses. Arms shoulder width, back straight, down and up. I did three the first time. Two months later, I was doing 300 every day, intermittently stopping and dropping to give myself 20.

Push-ups work the entire body, actually, particularly the core. You could do worse. I could certainly do worse.

And then, after about a year, I got bored or tired or disinterested. And from time to time, I’d still drop and try, learning the hard way that certain skills get awfully rusty, awfully fast.

So now I’m back, eyeing my age and not caring for it all that much. As it was in 2009, this week has been about rediscovering good form and building endurance. I’d get stronger faster (relative terms, of course) if I pushed up until I couldn’t push up anymore, but where’s the fun in that? So I do a few solid push-ups, and then later a few more.

And as before, it’s invigorating in a weird way, maybe mostly psychological. Look ma, I’m doing a push-up! Part of it, too, is that it appeals to the incrementalist side of my personality, letting the calendar do all the heavy lifting. In a month, we’ll see. Aging is not particularly fun, either, but I’m willing to try. And willingness is all I got.

Chuck SigarsComment