Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Week 4: A brief history of Push-Ups

For the benefit of those not in the know, I have researched the history of the push-up. It's original crude form was invented by ascetics in the 10th century as a form of self-flagellation. During the 20th century it was refined by the Nazis into a highly efficient means of torture. Adopted after WWII by U.S. Military will-breakers (aka. "instructors" or "Drill Sergeants") as a means of reminding green recruits that they're really not much better off than a Nazi prisoner, it subsequently came back into vogue amongst new-age self-flagellant sects going by such names as Fitness Fanatics and Health Nuts. The push-up is intended to not only cause pain, but guarantee humiliation, as onlookers realize the futile pursuit of the prone Atlas wannabe before them who -- at the whim of his "Personal Trainer," "Coach," "Drill Sergeant" or "Fitness Master" -- attempts to shove the entire planet away from them whilst holding the entire sky on his or her back. Preposterous.

On the upside, I apparently can now jump rope again. I suppose one should be thankful for small miracles. I celebrated by eating a burger and some fries, thereby guaranteeing at least one extra week of torture in terms of my quest to no longer look like the Pillsbury Doughboy. What the hell was I thinking? (A: I wasn't.)


Anonymous said...

Just to give you some more info you might not have been able to source - the pushup was done by the Medes in 5th century BC on a board as part of military training :)