The Labor Day Challenge is Kicking My Ass

Labor Day Challenge - Week 2 - 2About two and a half months ago I made the decision to live a healthier lifestyle. I committed to eating better and began working into exercise to my everyday life. Some days are harder than others but my hard work is paying off.

Whenever I complete an activity on Runkeeper, that activity is shared on Facebook and Twitter. To my surprise, a handful of people actually began paying attention to those updates and offered words of encouragement. Those posts have even inspired a couple of people to shed some pounds themselves.

This healthy living apparently made me a target for the Labor Day Challenge, as Ron Larimer, of When The Balloon Goes Up, calls it. I was asked if I had any interest in joining him in a month-long exercise routine. The goal was to cover 20 Miles and perform 2,000 Push-Ups and 3,000 Crunches.


Being as I’m a competitive person, especially when competing against myself, I thought long and hard about if I would be able to complete the challenge. Ordinarily if I would fail, I’d pass on the challenge. In this case, any additional exercise is a win, so I was tempted.

Covering 20 miles wouldn’t be an issue. In fact, I was all but halfway there when I saw the tweet from Ron. I didn’t think the crunches would be too bad since my current gym routine doesn’t have any abdominal exercises mixed in. The push-ups are where I became nervous. For a heavy guy that can’t do many reps, the number seemed rather ambitious. On top of that, how would it affect me in the gym since I had no desire to stop my current routine?

I threw caution to the wind and decided to take on the Labor Day Challenge. Being a week behind from the start, I knew I had some hard work ahead of me. To be successful I would need to run 0.8 miles and perform 80 push-ups and 160 crunches every day.

Day one came to a close with 2.75 miles covered, 96 push-ups, and 180 crunches. The added exercises took a toll on me and I was tired and sore the following day. Who would have guessed that push-ups worked more than just your chest? The following day in the gym I struggled with just about every upper body workout that I tried.

After I returned from the gym, I set out on completing Day 2 of the challenge. I was exhausted and my body ached. I pushed hard and was able to finish out the day with 1.9 miles covered on the gym elliptical machine, 100 push-ups, and 200 crunches. I had to break the exercises into numerous sessions in order to complete them.

Here we are on Day 3 and I can plainly say, the Labor Day Challenge is kicking my ass. I went out for a 2.34 mile run this morning and have broken the strength exercises into four session. I’m doing two sets of push-ups (15 reps and 10 reps) and 2 sets of crunches (25 reps per set) per session. So far I’m at 75 push-ups and 150 crunches with one more routine laying ahead of me.

I’m trying to get a little ahead each day so that I can take the occasional rest day without needing to make up a monumental amount of exercise. I have a lot of work ahead of me but I’m confident that I’ll be successful, even if it costs me a little in the gym.

Labor Day Challenge - Week 2

2 comments On The Labor Day Challenge is Kicking My Ass

  • Actually the challenge started about 10 minutes before I suggested it to you.

    I am doing another all core challenge and that with the crunches is killing me, and on top of that my daughter just learned to ride a bike so we are now a biking family. Yay exercise

  • Hey Walt,

    Keep it up! Just 2 weeks ago, I completed my first 5k. This was a huge milestone seeing as I grew up with life threatening asthma and up until about 5 months ago, couldn’t even run for 30 seconds. If I can do it, anyone can. I surprised myself. It’s not about being able to, it’s about pushing through it and being consistent even when it completely sucks. The biggest obstacle is ourselves.

    Now we are biking and running–a complete lifestyle change, and loving it!

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