Chin-Up Challenge Day 14: Show Boats and the Fire-Breathing Dragon

It’s Saturday night and the gym is empty. But not for long.

“So you’re doing 10 chin ups a day for 3 months?” my friend asks so absolutely, heart-crushingly, devastatingly innocently and I can feel a fire-breathing dragon rising up inside of me to vapourize him in one I-can’t-believe-you-think-this-is-easy puff.

But I take a sip from my beverage to put out the fire and cough out a garbled laugh, “no way! At the end of 3 months I hope to do 10.” The dragon lowers its head and goes back to its peaceful slumber.

“I can do 15, easy,” he says. One of the dragon’s nostrils flares.

“Yeah, I can do them,” another friend says. An eye opens.

“I want to see you do them,” my across the street neighbor says and she starts hustling us all to the gym that’s just down the hall.

The first guy jumps up to the bar and kicks his way to 14 quick chin-ups, each just a bit harder than the one before. The second guy starts from the bottom and muscles his way to 3 slow but impressive chin-ups.

… and, back at home, I still only lift up about 5 inches from a dead hang. Awesome.

I tried to find some real stats, but I don’t trust most of what I found as accurate or legitimate except, perhaps, that women have to work a lot harder than men to do chin-ups. But, I mean, I just got mind-destroyed by two men and maybe that’s just what I want to believe. However, I did come across one trainer who writes that challenging yourself to do chin-ups is incredibly frustrating.

Bang on, lady, bang on.

Now, I did have an arm wrestling match and managed to hold my opponent at a standstill… with my TROPHY WIFE arm! You all know how useless that thing is, so hip-hip-hooray for not losing (and who cares about winning? Right?) I can actually feel my arms getting stronger; today I used 15 pound dumbbells for all the weighted exercises (which, for me, is progress – a weakling’s progress, but still progress.) My controlled descent wasn’t as celebratory as before – mostly because I was supposed to lower for 4 seconds and it was quite a bit quicker than that yet.

This really is an interesting challenge for me because I really really hate failing and with this I have to fail so much on the way to (hopefully) reaching my goal. Alright, I don’t have to fail, but my strength level dictates that I will fail and I will keep failing for probably a long time until one day… I don’t. Well, except for the planks and pushups. I literally do those until failure. So, I mean, I will always have failure as part of my daily regimen. It’s probably for the best, you know… to keep me humble.

Today’s Workout

  1. Stick ups
  2. Scapular retractions
  3. Assisted pull up with 4 count descent
  4. Bent over row
  5. Dumbbell row
  6. Chest press
  7. Push ups
  8. Planks
  9. Shoulder press
  10. Dumbbell squats
  11. Side planks
  12. Spider crawl
  13. Sit ups

Ahhhhhhhhh. Bloody heck. As I was typing out the workout, I realized I just blatantly skipped one of the exercises. That was not intentional. I should have also done stability ball curls… 3 whole sets of them. Piss.

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