So Ellen DeGeneres and Michele Obama have had a press-up competition (push-ups for my American readers).
Obama vs. DeGeneres
Ellen wimped out after about 20; Michele kept going for another five, but looked like she had more in her.
I got into press-ups after the astonishingly buff Vikki Scovell, the Queen of Bootcamp, challenged everyone in her class to try them.
“Men think that press-ups are their preserve”, she said, “but there is NO REASON why women can’t do them, too. They’re great for burning fat as they’re working a large area of muscle and they’re easier than you think.”
That’s all the encouragement I needed. At the time I could manage about four before I collapsed. A year later I was up to 40 (and to be clear, we’re not talking knees-down “wuss-ups”, as Vikki calls them; we’re talking proper, “boys'” press-ups). Since I hurt my shoulder I haven’t been doing them, so I may be down to a paltry five again, but I can’t wait to get back at least to Obama levels.
So, come on, ladies. How many push-ups can you manage? Five? 25? 35? 50? Could you put Michele Obama to shame? Remember, girls. Press-ups are for everyone. Get down on the floor and show the men what you can do.
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“You are soooo competitive”, gasped my friend on the next mat, as she watched me furiously attacking another set of press-ups as though my life depended on it (not, incidentally, those half-hearted, knees-down, girlie excuses for press-ups known in boot camp as “wuss-ups”; we’re talking proper, boys’ press-ups here).
Now there’s no denying that I am ridiculously competitive (and more about this in a later post). Even when my muscles are screaming, I won’t stop if I know that someone else is still going. But I realised last night that there was more to it than that.
Ever since I came out as a rower (and the Godfrey shorts and Monmouth RC hoodie are a bit of a give-away, no doubt about it), I have felt that in some small way I am representing the rowing massive. So I may be small and slight, and sometimes I have to stop when I’m about to faint (low blood pressure and burpees are a lethal combination), but if I give up, what does that say about me as a rower? I have to keep going, because that is what rowers do.
So I may be aching all over today in places I didn’t even know I had muscles, but I can console myself that I did it for all you rowers out there. I hope y’all appreciate it.
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