A little background information:
1. I have recently joined a fitness website, where you earn points for exercises you complete.
2. As you accumulate points, you level up. I am currently a level 3, bucking for a 4.
3. At some esoteric times along the way, you unlock quests, which have specific sets of exercises you can do for bonus points, which in turn help you level up faster.
Now here’s the thing. I am an absolute sucker for anything involving points, leveling up, etc. Long-term goals don’t interest me–I’m too capricious for all that–but something short-term, measurable, and with immediate arbitrary rewards (like the chance to earn points, or stickers, or “props” from complete strangers)? Man, give me a quest like that and I am on it like a lion on a wounded elephant. (Do lions eat wounded elephants? I should really fact-check before I start writing these things.)
So I joined this site, and I got this quest which wanted me to do 100 jumping jacks in one day’s workout (among other things). 100 jumping jacks. When I read that line in the quest, my first thought was something like “uh-huh, and then I’ll build a ladder to the moon and bring you back some green cheese”. But I figured, “ehh, what the heck, I’ll give it a go. I won’t make the full 100–lawd knows I won’t make the full 100–but we’ll see how close I can get, and work up from there”.
And this is where the hilarity set in. First, as a person with approximately half her bodyweight to lose, I’ve got some … let’s call them “flappy bits”. Also, we live in a house that was built as part of the “let’s build a zillion houses as quickly as possible!” boom of the ’90s, so it’s a little creaky, and while generally sturdy, it does have its quirks.
Moral of the story: each jumping jack was a series of vaguely unsettling sounds. Creeeeak, went the floor as I leapt into the air; flap! went my extra insulation; THUD, went the floor as I plummeted back to earth; and *rattle*, went the windows as the house shuddered beneath my thundering Godzilla-like attempts to tear it apart from the inside. And that was rep #1. Of 100.
Creak, flap, thud, rattle.
Creak, flap, thud, rattle.
I did 25 of ’em, then had to take a breather. Another set of 25, and my legs started cursing at me. Another breather, then another set of 25, and by that point, I was committed–either I was going to finish these damnable ‘jacks or I was going to destroy the house, and either way, I was going to have an answer today, by gosh.
And then it was done. I was done. I had done 100 jumping jacks in one day’s workout (plus some planks and some crunches and some pushups…let’s just say that whoever wrote that quest is a creative sadist).
I did it. I did 100 jumping jacks, and both the house and I survived to tell the tale.
It wasn’t pretty. Sweet baby Tebow, it was anything but pretty. There was an unsettling amount of creaking and flapping and heaving and panting and sweating, and I may have had a brief out-of-body experience at one point. But I did it. I did every single one of those jumping jacks. I completed the quest, and I got my points, and I am now >this< close to leveling up again. Tomorrow’s workout should push me over the edge.
So given the flapping and the sweating and the grunting and the horrible alarming sounds, does this get to go down in the book as one of my all-time great moments?
You bet your sweet bippy it does, because I looked at something I obviously couldn’t do and then I just got up and did it.
I think today is a two-sticker day, thankyouverymuch. And I also think that if I can do this, you certainly can. If you can’t do 100 jumping jacks, do 10. If you can’t do 10, or if you’re prohibited medically from doing any at all, do something else. I don’t care what it is; just do something…
…because it is shocking what we can do when we get out of our own way and just go for it.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go make sure the window is still actually attached to the house.