So I was in this contest with my friend Keith at work. No, not that kind of contest. This was a competition known as the One Hundred Pushup Challenge. Frank, another friend at work, stumbled across a website that promised anyone could do 100 consecutive pushups after their 6-week training program. So Keith got the bright idea that we could invite people around the office to compete for cash against each other for the prize. Here’s how we set up the ground rules.
- All losers had to pay the difference x $2.00 to the winner(s). The difference was calculated as the number of pushups “eked out” by the winner minus the number the loser did.
- Anyone who met the goal of 100 pushups didn’t have to pay up, even if someone did more. In other words, if you did 100, then you were a winner even if someone outperformed you.
- Judgment Day pushups had to be witnessed by 2 other contestants.
We initially had only four optimistic guys sign up for the contest. Each of us was determined to get to 100. I wanted to get back to exercising, but I also wanted to win! After the first week, Frank bowed out with a bum elbow. So then there were only three. Then around the fifth week another guy got a new job back home in Texas. So then there were only two. Keith and I understood that they really weren’t quitting, so we let them go without any penalty. But the pot had shrunk to one person’s payout.
The results should have been obvious to us. We both started out with a max of about 25 pushups. How in the world we expected to quadruple our output is beyond rationale! When Judgment Day arrived, several spectators around the office were itching to witness the competition. But Keith and I were in no mood to show off our lack of strength. So we snuck down to the gym on a lower floor and did our pushups in obscurity. I went first and managed 40; Keith struggled to 32.
After some high-fives (hey, at least we saw some gains!) and an exchange of $16.00, we quietly returned to our desks.
So 6 weeks of waking up early and working out netted me enough dough to buy a CD, plus a little more strength, and a wife who is not really impressed. Somehow I thought that the sight of a pumped-up husband would make her happy, but I discovered that wives don’t really care about that sort of thing, especially when they are keeping their heads above water raising 4 little kids.
But I’m not giving up. The contest may be finished, but I’m still going for 100. It might just take me until 2010.