Now and again when I get bored with my normal routine, I like to take on new challenges. Yesterday I decided to see how many pull ups I could do over the course of several hours. I remember a couple of summers ago I had a bodybuilding.com friend who was deployed on a ship in the Mediterranean Sea. He told me he had a challenge going with a couple of buddies to try to get in 1000 pullups, 1000 push ups and 1000 crunches every day for a prescribed period of time (a month, I think). I gave the idea of doing a max number of pull ups, push ups and crunches in a day about 16 seconds of thought then settled on just the pull-up part.
Now, just for the record, I used a neutral grip the entire time. Before I started, I gave myself permission to change grips as I saw fit…thinking that if I started to fatigue, changing my grip for a few sets might help me. As it turned out, my left elbow started giving me trouble and any grip other than the neutral grip made it worse. I kept strict form….all the way down and all the way up…full, complete pull ups. No kipping or kicking my legs for “helpies.” This summer I had pull up contest with several other women. I managed to get 18 in a row with perfect form. The woman who officially won got 19 but she kicked her legs the whole time which makes the reps MUCH easier. I didn’t complain but in my mind, I crowned myself the winner.
I got to 100 (in a few sets of 10, some of 7, many of 5 and some of 4) and thought that was a good number but I had more in me and decided to keep on going. I thought I would stop at 150 but changed my mind and kept it up. Around 160 I was getting tired and apparently made some sort of sound while doing my set which sent my boys into hysterics. According to them, it was something like a bark…yeah, not like a dignified big dog bark but “like a chihuahua” according to my sweet darlings.
Barking aside, I was determined to forge ahead, however for the rest of my sets I had to hear repeated imitations of myself and was treated to gales of laughter from the peanut gallery. I asked them how many of their friend’s moms could do even ONE pull up let alone 160 but that only made it worse. I stopped talking to my
rotten spirited children and concentrated on the task at hand. Eventually I got to 200, then did an extra two for good measure (just in case I had a bad count, which I didn’t and in case a couple of my pull ups lacked proper form, which they didn’t). I’m precise like that and will always do a couple extra to make sure, absolutely sure I’ve met my goal.
All in all I was happy with my effort. I managed to do a pretty decent job at a new task (I always do a few pull ups on back day but usually not more than 30 in a day) and inadvertently provided some comic relief for my boys. I don’t think they’ll forget the day I barked but I can’t help but hope that one day in the future they’ll remember the context. Not every mom can do 202 pull ups and nobody told them about it…they witnessed it themselves. Maybe they’ll take away a teensy lesson in meeting goals and doing your best from the now infamous Chihuahua Tuesday.