Project Revamp: “I Did 75 Push-Ups. On My Toes.”

Abby's treating her six-week, get-healthy experiment like her own personal Olympics. It seems to be working.

Pop quiz: Do you get goose bumps every time you hear the Olympic Fanfare music? Did you grow up certain that you would win a gold medal one day? Are you always a little jealous when you see an athlete with an Olympic rings tattoo? Do you have a crush on Ryan Lochte?

If you answered “yes” to any or all of the above, then we should throw an Opening Ceremonies party tomorrow night and bond over our mutual love of all things Olympics (primarily, good-looking swimmers). If you said no, I don’t understand you, but you can come to the party if you want.

I’m treating the revAMp like my own personal Summer Games. A six-week challenge of stamina, athleticism, and heart…or something like that. In all honesty, though, it has been a chance to push myself outside my comfort zone and approach my workouts like I’m training for something instead of just putting in the requisite hour of cardio because I feel like I should.

Terrible Wonderful things like this and this have been getting my butt in gear over the last month. I’m not saying I could go out there and give Lolo Jones a run for her money or anything, but I’m definitely in better shape than I was four weeks ago.

After spending almost 20 years as a casual-to-competitive horseback rider, I have what one might call “athletic thighs.” Pro: even when I’m not working out diligently, my legs stay relatively lean and strong. Con: when I am focusing on running and strength training, I sometimes have a hard time getting my pants above mid-thigh. This has long been countered by a major lack of arm strength. If I ever had to hold on to something for dear life, I would not be long for this world. For that reason (and more so because I’m in a wedding in October and want my arms to look good in my dress) I’ve been putting special emphasis on shaping up my arms when I work out. Yesterday, I did 75 push-ups. On my toes.

When you’re as impatient as I am, waiting to see results can be really hard. When things are hard, it’s easier to throw in the towel than it is to push through and work harder for the results you want. Thankfully, I have a handy contract reminding me that I signed on for six weeks of hard work, and there’s basically no way to put in effort over that time frame and not see results. I may not see a change every day, but there’s no denying that 75 push-ups is a lot more than the 20 to 25 I could do a month ago.

That’s my gold medal.


Abby McKenna, a management-training consultant living in Bryn Mawr, loves to bake and travels a lot for work. In June she signed a contract to revamp her health, fitness and eating habits in six weeks. She blogs every Thursday about her progress—and all the ups, downs, and in-betweens—right here on Be Well Philly. Catch up on the series here.