I decided a month ago to do an exercise challenge for May: 1,000 pull-ups and 2,000 push-ups. I was a little worried after the first couple days, but eventually I settled into a pretty good groove.

Steady as she goes.

One of the nice things about working from home over the past month was that I could spread my sets out over the course of the entire day. I could do a couple first thing in the morning sandwiched around my run then sprinkle the rest in over the following 12 hours or so. I started with sets of 5 pull-ups/10 push-ups for the first couple days. After a week of this, I moved up to sets of 6/12. I stayed there for about 2 weeks before feeling comfortable enough to move up to sets of 7/14. And then I finished things off with one day of 8/16 sets.

Overall, the challenge reminded me of a couple ultra lessons that I’ve already learned. The first is that just because you’ve never accomplished something doesn’t mean it’s out of your reach. One thousand pull-ups was more than twice what I had managed in the past, however I was able to hit my goal fairly easily. I definitely left some Ups on the table.

The other thing I relearned was the value of embracing the process. Or the grind as it feels in practice. It’s repetitive and “boring”, but it was nice to see myself methodically chipping away at the project. Hour by hour and day by day, I slowly moved closer to my goal. I felt stronger and more in control the farther I progressed. And finishing up has filled me with a nice sense of accomplishment.

Now what should I do for June. . .