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My Turn

Wayne Chan

From The Asian Reporter, V26, #11 (June 6, 2016), page 6.

Ready for the sitting-still-in-a-lounge-chair challenge

The social network thing? Iíve got it all worked out.

From my observation, every post on Facebook and Twitter can be sorted into three categories:

1) Videos showing how to make various recipes that involve at least one of three ingredients ó butter, bacon, or Oreo cookies.

2) Pictures and/or videos of your friends on vacation doing something far more entertaining than you since you are sitting at your computer watching them on vacation.

3) Videos of people being challenged to do something in honor of a good cause, usually involving some form of humiliation or needless discomfort.

Itís this last one that Iíd like to talk about. Iím sure youíve seen one or even been a participant. The most famous, of course, was the ice-bucket challenge, which swept the country when celebrities, politicians, and everyday folks voluntarily poured a bucket of ice water on their heads in support of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) research.

While I managed to escape that challenge (I decided to just donate to the ALS Association), I wasnít as lucky with a recent challenge ó a good friend of mine nominated me for the 22-day pushup challenge to support our troops.

The challenge basically entails filming and posting a video of myself doing 22 pushups for 22 days. When I learned of my nomination, I thought:

"Why not? I havenít done any pushups for a while, but itís for a good cause ó and a little exercise never hurt anyone, right?"

Add to that, the fact that I could show everyone I was a naturally gifted athlete. Whatís not to like?

Sure enough, my first day of pushups was a piece of cake. To give you a sense of what I was thinking while doing the pushups, this was my level of confidence:

"These pushups are a breeze. If I wanted, I could clap in between each pushup, but maybe thatís a bit much. No need to brag. But seriously, this should be the 72-pushup challenge because this really is nothing for me. Wow, Iím done already. Maybe I should breathe a little harder so everyone watching will think I had to try. I wonder if the rules say whether I can do handstand pushups next time Ö"

I finished my pushups, stood up, looked and felt great, smiled to the camera, gave it a quick wink, and let everyone know I would post my second set of pushups the next day.

The following day comes, and after playing tennis with some friends, I asked one of them to film me doing my second day of pushups. I had just finished playing a set of tennis without really breaking a sweat, so I figured why not just get this second round of the pushup challenge out of the way. I proceeded to drop to the ground to get ready.

As I started my first pushup, hereís what I was thinking:

"Gyahhhhhh!!! What the heck was that?"

It was like someone shoved a garden hoe into both of my shoulder blades.

You know how you can use a muscle in your body that you usually donít use? How does that muscle feel the next day? Well, let me tell ya:

"Holy Schlamole! Is somebody walking on my back with high heels? What is that!?! Ahhh!! For the love of all things decent, somebody make this stop! Iíll give you 20 bucks to turn off that camera! Yowza! Iíve got 19 more to do! I need a doctor! What sadist came up with this stupid challenge?!? This canít be legal! Iím going to need a shot of B12 and an aspirin after this! I think my arms are going to fall off! Gyahhhhhh!"

Of course, all of this was recorded for posterity and posted to social media. The only saving grace is that itís hard to hear my screaming over the laughter of my friends standing next to me.


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