On Friday I was sitting at work listening to the National Public Radio show Day to Day, and they were talking about an article in the New York Times, "An Enduring Measure of Fitness: The Simple Push-Up". The idea behind the article is that the ability to do a push-up is actual a good test of overall fitness. The idea is that the pushup doesn't just test arm strength, but the back, chest, hips, legs. The article goes on to say that a 40 year old man should be able to do 27 push-ups.
"Twenty seven push-ups for a 40 year old", I thought, "I'm not quite 40 yet, so my number should be more like 30 push-ups. I should be able to easily do that". However I resisted the urge to drop to the floor in my office and start doing push-ups beside my new office mate (she's pretty easy going, but that might have been a bit much). Besides, for the past several years my test of fitness has been the ability to survive a guided back country ski trip that my brother arranges for me annually. Every year that I live through the trip, I figure I am at least somewhat fit, so 30 push-ups should be easy.
I didn't think about the article again until this morning. As I told my wife about the article she said that she did 25 push-ups just the other day (turns out she did the push-ups where she was on her knees and not toes). So I got down on the floor and started to prove to myself I could do 30 push-ups. One, two, three..., four... (ugh) ... five...(gasp)...eight...(err)...ten. Sadly I was only able to do (um) ten push ups. In all fairness to me, I did have two little girls that thought daddy was playing a fun game and immediately jumped on my back. So for the time being I am giving up on push-ups (at least while my daughters are around), and instead I grabbed my 15 month old (who is surprisingly heavy) and did a few curls with her.