“Thirty push ups,” Sensei told the class, “Go.”
I felt the fierce joy surge up in me.
As I cranked out the first few pushups I realized I didn’t care about fair or unfair, hard or easy.
I remembered how earlier in the month I’d tested myself to see if I’d reached my 2016 New Year’s resolution goal of being able to do thirty pushups in one set. I had.
Fifteen. In no time flat I found myself halfway done. I cheered myself on.
Twenty – not so easy now, but I reminded myself that’s two-thirds done.
Twenty two – the number of push ups a friend challenged me to do every day for twenty two days. I was on Day 19. Twenty two was old hat. At this point, I smiled. Only eight more to go.
I had another surge of the fierce joy. At this point I was hoping Sensei was watching. I must confess I had the mindset of showing off what I could do. I was determined to shine. I wanted a witness that I’d reached my New Year’s resolution.
Twenty seven – finish strong. Twenty eight – I can! Twenty nine – I will! Thirty – I did!
With a quick contraction of my abdominal muscles I gathered my legs under myself and jumped up. Landing neatly on my feet, I snapped to attention and bowed as if I’d just finished a kata (form). No freaking way was I going to show any more weakness than I already had during the last three reps. I stood triumphant. But it’s not entirely my triumph.
I didn’t achieve this ability alone. I’ve had help along the way. I have online acquaintances and quite a few real-life friends, acquaintances, and Senseis who invested time into my push ups – whether that be by cheering me on, showing me proper push up form, or simply ordering me to crank out the reps. If you’re one of those who has helped me, thank you. You believed in me and I am thankful.
I think it’s time to set a new goal.