TransActive Fitness: Sugar and Spice, Real Push Ups are NIce


“OK...so if in our time together I am able to do two things, I will be happy. A REAL push up and a pull up.”
“Great, we will knock the push up part out today.”
I look at Mike very skeptically.
I have only ever done push ups on my knees or on an incline, never on the floor. I have 40 years of psychological and physiological training to reverse. When I was a young girl in gym class, I was set up to think that as a girl I needed modifications. Girls did the flexed arm hang rather than pull ups. Girls did push ups on their knees rather than planked. Girls climbed the knotted rope rather than just the rope. Girls played softball rather than baseball, flag football rather than full contact, aerobics/dance/cheer rather than hockey. I was told early on that boys were stronger in the upper body, and as smart as I am, some part of me just believed it. It became true for me because I trained my body using these “modifications” rather than going for the full expression of the activity. I stand on my hands and lift 180 lb people over my head and I still had never pulled off a push up.

Mike points to a bar for me to use for push ups, and at this 45 degree angle 15 of them are not problem. We move on to other things, and we come back to a bar that puts me at a 25 degree angle. It is harder, but also not hard. I work on another one of his requests and I come back to a stair step on two risers, this time it is 15 degrees and the last two are hard, and totally doable. Next time I come back to it it is just the riser on the floor. My arms are tired from all we have been doing..I look at MIke..

“Ya think?” “Yeah I do.” “Shouldn’t we have started on the floor? My arms are tired.” “You wanna go right to the floor then? Go ahead. You arms are definitely strong enough. It is engaging the core and getting over it in your head. Give me 3.” Skeptically I take to the floor, and much to my surprise, I not only do 1, I not only do 3, but I could have done a couple more. Mike catches on.
“Could you have done more?” “Yes” “How many more?” “Two I think” “Ok than next round give me 5 please.”
And I do. Leaving with 18 push ups under my belt that day. I am already 50% closer in doing things I had in my mind I could not do. I am glad someone didn’t believe me...