Tuesday, January 01, 2013

(Not quite) 2013 in 2013

Happy new year, friends! I hope the year is off to a good start for all of you.

I've found that one of the best parts of being a runner is meeting other runners: generally kind folk, but often a little bit "off," or "different" (read: more than a little crazy). A couple years ago, I met one such person, my friend Felix. He's not only a crazy runner, but also a crazy cyclist, who has actually done some of the toughest endurance races in the world, including the Great Divide Race (an unsupported off-road bike ride down the Continental Divide, from Canada to Mexico) and the Furnace Creek 508 (riding over 10 mountain passes in the California desert). I thought he was plenty crazy, but then Felix introduced me to his friend Stacey. She may be even more of a badass than Felix, as she completed a number of fitness challenges dragging an oxygen tank behind her (pre-transplant), then endured a double lung transplant, and continues to change everyone's expectations about what human beings with transplanted organs are capable of. And that's how, on January 1, 2013, I found myself participating in the "2013 in 2013" challenge: to do 2013 push-ups on the first day of the year.

I spent last week sick with a nasty cold, so my expectations going into the challenge were pretty low. I was ready to be content if I'd only managed to do a set of 20 without stopping to cough! I also had a number of other things to do on January 1, including helping set up for the first annual "Pajama Brunch" for the FoCo Cafe, the nonprofit cafe that will open in Fort Collins using a "pay what you can" model.

I ended up doing 100 in sets of 10, first thing in the morning, then helped with the Pajama Brunch, and throughout the rest of the day, did additional sets of 10. Felix, Stacey and I kept each other updated via Facebook of our progress.I knew exactly what Felix meant when he wrote that he was starting to have "zombie arms," as my arms eventually reached that stage where they felt totally dead, and perhaps about to fall off. Christi cheered me on throughout the day, and the dogs kept circling my yoga mat, wondering why I was still doing push-ups when most days I only do 30 or 40.

So what happened? Did I finish 2013? Alas, no. When I hit 1000, I thought I was done. Then I managed to push a little further, for another 100. I was really having trouble at 1200, and truly thought I couldn't do any more at 1300. It was right after I hit 1310 that I face-planted onto the yoga mat for the first time, arms quivering. But I squeezed in three more to at least do a number that ends in "13." So with a grand total of 1313 I rolled up my yoga mat for the day. Still, I consider the day a success. Never before have I done so many push-ups in one day, and it was a lot of fun to cheer Felix and Stacey along as well.

To stay strong for my running in 2013, and to help me prepare for the inevitable "2014 in 2014" challenge on 1/1/2014, I've decided to complete 20,130 push-ups this year... and thanks to today's craziness I've already got a head start (though I have a feeling that with my "zombie arms," I won't do any more push-ups tomorrow). But today was a lot of fun, and has helped me think about other resolutions and challenges I want to tackle in the year to come.

So, happy new year... and see you on the trail!
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