How to use daily challenges to keep you on the path to hitting your 2016 health and fitness goals.
It's October 9th and I'm still on my mission to perform 10,000 push-ups in one month. After 8 days I am not on pace to hit my target of 10K, but I feel the tide is starting to turn.
My Daily Rep Totals:
This past week has been up and down. I started off with 400 push-ups on Sunday, which for me was the most ever for one day. I think I was feeling myself a little too much, or just feeling sore as hell because the following day I only did 250. Tuesday, I was still sore but got 300 reps and was ready to have a big Wednesday. Well, that didn't happen as I was even more sore and only did 200 reps for the day. What even worse was the self-doubt started kicking in and the little voice telling me to just quit was getting louder.
Calling it quits-I was feeling really bad. I talked up this challenge to everyone and even got a bunch of people to join in, and now I was on the verge of quitting. Then it happened, I saw those around me attacking the challenge. A team of my friends put their own spreadsheet together to track their reps and journey. These are friends of mine who don't regularly do push-up, but are determined to complete the challenge. This helped me to realize it's all about journey, whether you hit 10K or not it doesn't matter, it's about enduring the physical pain and fighting off that part of you that says "just quit". As the great motivator Eric Thomas said in his Secrets to Success speech: "Pain is temporary. It may last for a minute, or an hour or a day, or even a year. But eventually, it will subside. And something else takes its place. If I quit, however, it will last forever."
The Tide is Turning- Thursday I woke up feeling inspired by seeing others join in, and seeing people such as the legend Rodney Redd Harrison pushing himself to hit 1,000 reps in one day! I saw his update around 9pm that night, which is normally when I'm done with the reps for the day. I had already done about 350 for the day and was ready call it a night. But his post of 1,000 reps was a sign that I needed to keep going and really push my limits. I went back to work and before the evening was done, I hit a new personal record of 600 reps in one day. Far from Redd's 1,000, but I unlocked a new level. Now that I've done 600 it doesn't stop there, I truly believe we have no limits and I know my 1,000 rep day is coming real soon!
Just like one of my other loves, Hip Hop, New York City is the epicenter of the calisthenics community that is quickly growing across the globe. Calisthenics "comes from the ancient Greek words kalós (καλός), which means "beauty", and sthénos (σθένος), meaning "strength". It is “the art of using one’s body weight and qualities of inertia as a means to develop one’s physique” and consists of exercises such as push ups, pull-ups, dips, sit-ups, and air squats. It has probably been around since the dawn of mankind, but it was in New York City that it developed into a culture complete with various competitions, crews, creative artists and athletes, fashion, music, and more. For many it’s a way of life that influences everything they do similar to how hip hop influences its community of emcees, djs, bboys, and graf artists.
I recently traveled to NYC to compete in an event called the Pull Up Park Jam. The event is organized by Pull Up Park Jam Inc. which is a nonprofit organization formed for the charitable purpose of promoting healthy, fit, and strong lifestyles. Every year people gather from all over the world to compete in calisthenics events. The events are organized by weight classes, age and gender. Winners are determined by who can complete the most reps (with good form) within the allotted time of two minutes. The top three from each event receive trophies and are considered to be the best in the world.
The Message of the Pull Up Park Jam
It’s not just about the physical aspect of performing a pull-up, let me break down what I believe is the message delivered by the event:
1. Pull Up - The pull up is an exercise performed in which you pull your body up. This is symbolic for what the calisthenics community is all about. First you must pull yourself up which means improving your body, mind and spirit. Then, pass the knowledge on to others and motivate them do the same.
2. Park - The park represents a free place for the community to go and Pull Up. It is essentially an outdoor gym with free membership for all. It is a place to learn, grow, and evolve.
3. Jam - The jam is a gathering of spirits. People coming together for a common purpose. A celebration that inspires and motivates everyone in attendance to strive for greatness and also have fun while doing it.
When you combine the 3 elements of Pull Up, Park, and Jam it synthesizes into a pure example what I believe the human spirit is about: continuous movement, community involvement and infinite progress.
I was lucky enough to meet and connect with so many amazing people and hear their story. Similar to my journey, I talked to many who said calisthenics and its uplifting community was the light that guided them out of a dark period of their life. It's no wonder why this culture is quickly spreading around the world and making positive changes to the community. It was an amazing experience and definitely something I will take compete in again in next year's event.
Go Infinite Training
When I started hosting a free community workout about a month ago, I had no idea how it would turn out. I just wanted to find a way to teach and inspire people to live a healthier lifestyle and thought this be would great way to do it. I organized a FaceBook page to inform the people in my network and also created a MeetUp to bring in others throughout the city. The result has been an awesome collection of people striving to be there best.
By dedicating my time to helping others I have been able to meet and connect with some amazing people who are doing the same such as the BarStarzz and Bar Productive athletes from New York, Mario the founder of Street Workout Chicago and so many others. I’ve also begun to develop a tribe of my own with dedicated members who come out and give it their all every week. I truly appreciate you all.
It’s been an incredible few weeks, and I want to thank everyone who has come out to be part of the Go Infinite Training community. You all have shown such a supportive attitude every week pushing each other to be the best. Let’s continuing building the tribe and spreading the message of taking control of our health, so we may become healthier, happier, and stronger!