Saturday, January 17, 2009

A little burpee anger...

I just encountered a little burpee situation that I feel the need to share with all of us doing the burpee challenge...

I am spending the weekend skiing in VT with people that I work with and two of us here are doing the burpee challenge. When we were talking about it everyone wanted to know what a burpee was so of course I had to demonstrate for all of them. After demonstrating one of the fellow guests asked if it still counts if someone does a "girl" push-up. I, of course, ask the man if he means a knees push-up, and he responds with "Yeah - you know...those push-ups that girls have to do cuz they can't do the real ones." Well now I am close to biting the mans head off but I nicely say "well, not all girls need to use their knees to do pushups (I had just demonstrated three burpees where I did "real" push-ups) but if someone, regardless of their sex, feels the need to use their knees then yes, that still counts."

I wanted to share this not only to vent a bit of my anger, but also because my exchange with this man made me realize one of the things that I love the most about this challenge: it does not discriminate against people based on their abilities. You can be a part of the burpee challenge regardless of the way you do your pushups...they count if you are on your knees, on your toes, if you are in a sling and push against a wall...if you can't do them at all...if you do them on a bosu ball or if you want to do them in a hand-stand - then go for it! The burpee challenge accepts all kinds!

To me, the point of this challenge is not about who can do the best push-up, or whether or not your specific type of pushup counts - it is about challenging yourself, and believing in yourself. It is about setting a goal, and meeting that goal, regardless of what type of push-up it takes you to get there. Of course, the best part of the challenge is that we are all in this together. We have the support...we have the friends and the team-mates that believe in us and push us to do those damn burpees even when we have no desire to do them for ourselves. I can't tell you how many texts I have received/sent since day one reminding me to do burpees or letting me know that someone has done their burpees. And while important on day 17, imagine how important this support is going to be on day 80. For me, this is the best part: a group of individuals all working together towards the same goal, and helping each other along the road, regardless of ability.

So thank you, to the burpee challengers...for believing in each other and keeping each other going. And thank you to the man, who through his discriminatory remarks, made me realize why I love this challenge so much.

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