We're nearly two weeks into 2014. that means that the 12 burpees of Christmas, thankfully, over. The festive period is naught but memory, a shadow, fading but somewhat jaded by the arrival of the bank statements and credit card bills! But, her in the monkey army we're more upbeat than that, so today we'll revisit the tail-end of the Christmas period and cast an eye to the future.
12 Burpees of Christmas
(Again, taking "Sets of" as read by the number)
Day 8 - 8 gecko burpees.
These were surprisingly difficult. It shouldn't have been a surprise, but it was! with one leg in the air, the arms, shoulders and chest take more weight and, for somebody as stiff as me, the hip opening proves to be a little uncomfortable.
Day 9 - 9 180° degree burpees.
As the name suggests, a burpee with a 180° twist in mid-air on the jump. Actually, I quite enjoy these. As fatigue kicks in, stabilizing the jump/landing can be fun but otherwise they're quite a light-hearted, pacy burpee.
Day 10- 10 Sandbag burpees.
A standard burpee but with a sandbag for company. Because sometimes you just can't have too much arm fatigue!
Day 11 - 11 Bodyblasters.
Courtesy of Mike Mahler. not strictly speaking a burpee but in the same vein of challenging the entire body. Squat down; roll backwards; roll forwards to your feet (still squatting); drop into the lean and rest; press-up; bring your feet back underneath you until your back in the bottom of the squat. That's 1 rep. what the heck was I...sorry, my true love, thinking?
Day 12 - 12 Tuck Jump burpees.
A standard burpee with an explosive jump which sees the knees brought to the chest in mid-air. Journal entry merely says "Thank God it's the 12th day. I'm battered!"
The aftermath of this yuletide smorgasbord was a lot of burpees but it was really liberating to be doing common or garden variety burpees again! Briefly! As my body started to remind me of the volume that I've done to date, the sense of liberation passed quite swiftly. It was like my body was a landowner thanking the bailiffs for finally clearing out squatters after a protracted campaign; a brief celebration swiftly replaced with the "who the hell is going to clear up all this mess!". But it was nice while it lasted!
the day after that, it occurred to me, as it frequently seems to, that the number to which I was now rounding, looked a bit lonely. So the 290 was served a dessert of 10 cheeky burpees and rounded up to 300. And so it will continue to be.
It's a movie ("epically forgettable" as one critic harshly described it!). It's the number of burpees that I'm now doing daily because of my penchant for rounding up. However, in two weeks' time, it'll be the latest mile marker to fall away in the rear view mirror on this burpee journey of ours.
In spite of myself I am looking ahead to that marker. While I am not averse to encouraging a bit of future pacing (mentally trying something on to see how it will be for you in the future, thus strengthening the connections to this future state), it can be dangerous to get ahead of yourself in many pursuits.
A couple of people have asked me "what challenges does 2014 have in store?" and "what next?". The answer to both is, as it has to be, "burpees". I can't look beyond this challenge. As much as I may want to, I can't.
It is flattering to think that some people think about these antics at all, but more so that some consider my completion to be a given. But this challenge still has teeth! I'm a father to a bonny two-year old; husband to a loving wife; volunteer coach; full-time employee, and chunky lad with >2,000 burpees per week to fit in. Granted, I don't doubt that I'll cross the finish line but it doesn't happen by accident.
It will only happen if I focus on the day-to-day pieces which make up progress. I know all too well what happens if you spend all of your time dreaming of the future without taking action to secure it... Before you know it the time has come, the future is the present and it finds you unprepared for its demands.
One way or another, there will come a time without burpees. If I continue to focus, that end will come in my time, in my way and in all likelihood, to my satisfaction. If I take my eye off the here and now, the future will take me by surprise. The demise will come and it will be accompanied by wailing and gnashing of teeth. If you spend too much time looking at the horizon, you miss the opportunities to correct your path to account for what is immediately in front of you.
300 may be a special marker, but at the same time it will be just another day. A day with burpees to be done, as had the day before and as will the day after.
Tomorrow's performance is impacted upon by our actions and inputs today - food, sleep, water, activity. Contrary to what the indomitable Gauls in Asterix taught me, tomorrow will come about (although, strictly speaking, when it does, it will be "today", so I guess tomorrow never does quite arrive!) but it will be shaped by us. For now, what is in front of Sheldon and I is the remaining 20% of the year. Or to put it another way
|"Zulu" (1964) from Diamond Films.|
To be honest though, even the finish line will be somewhat anti-climactic. I know Sheldon is hoping that champagne will fall from the heavens; doors will open, and velvet ropes will part. In fairness, in Alberta that may well be the case! For me there will be no tape to break; no belt to raise aloft; no podium; no victor to applaud. I'll probably print a t-shirt (I love stash!) but otherwise, the end will be met only by a gaping hole in my social media output as I stop bollocking on about burpees every day. Of course, that may be globally considered to be a good result!
To try to tie all this together, let's drop in a quote from 300
"This will not be over quickly. You will not enjoy this."
|"300" (2006), Legendary Pictures. A simple, bloody, effective movie.|
So, while other people may be planning things for this year; or while I might feel like stopping so that I can be more like "normal" people, I need to remind myself that there may yet be a giggle or two to be had, slightly sick though that may be. Let's try a slightly more poetic vein to carry that thought:
"I seek not what his soul desires.
He dreads not what my spirit fears.
Our heavens have shown us separate fires.
Our dooms have dealt us differing years."
As a final comment, by way of a stats update, with your help:
41 weeks down;
43,780 burpees done (3,500 of those in 2014),
And a flurry of sponsorship in 2014 too!
Not bad ladies and gents, not bad!