the mice play, part the fifth

“Without kryptonite, Superman doesn’t matter, as he is without weakness, invulnerable and boring.” – Seth Godin, The Icarus Deception

I never thought of it that way!

The last full day of this ‘sitting job is winding down to a close, amid the loud, forceful grunts and battle cries of my brother-in-law’s karate class. Great strength, focused to a laserlike, pinpoint beam of accuracy, is highly admirable to me. This is probably because I consider it almost completely out of my league. This will never be me.

The teacher of the class didn’t recognize me, but my siblings and I attended his Presidential Physical Fitness challenge classes. Eight years ago. I clearly remember walking in the first evening, clad in a big T-shirt and stretchy pants, having never really worked out a day in my life. The teacher began the class with his customary, signature set of 25 push-ups. I was on the back row, timid and uncertain of myself, expecting to fail and not looking forward to it. I was keenly aware of the line of moms sitting in the back of the room, “watching” (they probably weren’t even paying a lick of attention).
Down I went for the first push-up, my elbows at perfect right angles, my back and legs straight as a board. I felt my muscles first engage to support and re-lift my body, and then tear in beautiful unison. My arms straightened and then melted, every limb a symphony of pain.

Yes, one push-up.

But it was a perfect push-up!

And I never went back to that class. My siblings continued and finished the challenge; I gave up.

Looking back, I know it would have been better for me and my physical wellbeing to finish. It would have been better to learn to stick it out and finish what I started. Oh well. It’s water under the bridge now, along with flabby upper arms.

Can’t win them all!


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