I achieve my target!!!
It’s done. One hundred a day, for a month. Three thousand push-ups. Honestly, you would not recognise me now, what with my powerful, overdeveloped forearms.
I look back in awe at the pessimism of the early stages. It turns out that my sister’s advice was right – they do get a little easier over time.
My initial plan, to break them down into regular batches of ten, was all very well, but – in practice – entailed me being available to do ten push-ups (plus recovery time) each hour for ten hours a day, which is a bit inconvenient if you’re in Tesco’s. I considered all sorts of potential coping strategies (massive doses of steroids; removing all clothes to lessen weight; tying helium balloons to my arse cheeks, etc.) before gloomily concluding that the solution to the Cancer Research challenge was going to be sheer, grim, hard work. Although not, it’s fair to say, as grim or as hard work as having cancer.
Anyway, after the first two weeks or so, I did get myself to the stage where I was ticking off fifty push-ups before breakfast. I don’t actually eat at breakfast time as a rule, but obviously saying that ‘I do fifty push-ups before breakfast’ makes me sound more sexually virile than ‘before I take the kids to school’. I’d have liked to have got to a stage where I could do the daily hundred in one go, but file under: ‘for the future’.
Besides, push-ups are an incredibly boring exercise. There really is not much to recommend them on the entertainment front, unless you are a particular enthusiast and aficionado of observing floor coverings at close range, and there’s not a lot that you can do to distract yourself whilst working through them. But – after a few days of pain – they do make you feel physically alive afterwards. Which, for me, is an unusual sensation.
Thank you – most genuinely – to everybody who encouraged and supported me. I needed that, and I’m quietly proud that I stuck with it. My daughter told me yesterday that she thought that this might have been the best thing that I’ve ever achieved, and my son agreed with her, which was a slightly moving moment between us, although he then added: ‘apart from that time when you put on that bear costume’, which ruined it a bit.
One thing still doesn’t feel quite right, however. Are they called ‘push-ups’ or ‘press-ups’? I always thought that it was the latter, but they’re called ‘push-ups’ on all the Cancer Research material, and I have spent the past month living in fear that by calling them ‘press-ups,’ I would prompt the man from Cancer Research to turn up at my house with a clipboard and say ‘aha! You have not been doing 100 push-ups a day after all, you fraud – you’ll need to start again, while I watch.’ And I’m still none the wiser. But push, or press, I’m going to try to keep them going.