You want goals? I’ll give you goals! (by Dana McMahan)

Out of the blue this week I got an email from Ben.

New goals

– 5 chin ups

– 500m row under 2 min

– 1 double under

– Deadlift 1.5 times bodyweight

You have 6-8 weeks to complete or you are the weakest link…


I laughed. And then I read it again. Holy crap. When I told him I needed to set myself some goals he took me seriously!

I was indulging in a bit of whining at my last workout, explaining that after my big Thailand trip that I was working towards, I felt like I’d lost some of my drive. Not having a specific goal or date I want to reach something by leaves me feeling a little aimless. It’s also tied into post-trip blues, which is a whole other story. Anyway, I needed something to work towards and the next trip isn’t for another year.

So Ben cooked up this challenge, which, frankly, terrifies me a bit. FIVE chin-ups? I’ve got my one, and I’m still mighty proud of it. But one’s all I’ve got — I’m wiped after one at this point. 500 meter row in less than two minutes? Working my fastest and hardest on the rower tonight doing 500 meters left me all jello-wobbly and nauseated. And I was nowhere close to two minutes, no matter how much Ben yelled to go faster, pull harder. A double-under (jump rope with the rope passing under me twice in one jump) is awesome when Sylvester Stallone does it in Rocky. I still chant ‘Cinderella dressed in yella’ in my head to get through my series of 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off, jump-rope sessions right now. And I’ve dead-lifted exactly once. With, if I remember, maybe around half my body weight.

And just to keep things interesting, I’m beginning to learn Olympic weight lifting in the meantime — an experiment in seeing just how far Ben’s patience will go as I chew my lip and stare at the ceiling, brow furrowed, struggling to remember the sequence of moves he just showed me four seconds ago. (So far he has the patience of Job.)

So this is a serious throw-down kind of challenge indeed, and I will have to do no less than bust my arse if I hope to meet it. But that’s why I’m there, right?


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