Planking vs procrastination

It’s been really difficult to know how to comment after a month of burpees. I mean, was that easy? Well, no. Not for me, and not for the lovely and surprisingly many people who set out to join in. So if I just strut out here and go on with the next challenge or statement, then in some ways, I am not acknowledging how hard that one month was to maintain.

Burpees are hard. Being hard is not necessarily bad. The good thing about burpees is that the better you got at them, the easy they became. Seriously. That first week – awful. Then.. it got easier. It did. I know that it’s hard to believe, because burpees are awful, but if you keep at them, they get really easy more quickly than you’d believe.

The truly hardest thing was not DOING the burpees, but making the time every day to do them. Does this sound like I am blaming procrastination for not doing a burpee? Maybe. But realistically, when you are tired, and time poor, and run late every day to get the kids to school, then fitting in a couple of rounds of burpees was something of a challenge. And I know the obvious answer – get up ten minutes earlier and that’s probably the right answer, except for “see previous reference to being tired and time poor”. Ignore the fact that I am sitting up later now than I should be, to write this – because setting the “tired” thing straight would obviously benefit from me actually getting to bed before 11pm. Shall I mention “time poor” again..?

So maybe my next challenge should be to stop wasting time, to alleviate the time-poor issue. Which would mean stopping Facebook, which becomes a problem as I like reading the research (and I know, I sound like one of those guys caught reading “Playboy” who says “but I only buy it for the articles…” Seriously!), but I DO like to find good research to put out on my work Facebook page.

So my challenge is going to be:
– limit time on Facebook.
– go to bed before 11pm.
– and I might just throw a physical challenge in, just for fun!

Planks were suggested, from an article which I put on Facebook last week (see – here’s me justifying my use of Facebook – it’s sad, really!), and that is potentially slightly more time accessible, as I can fit a minute and a half in, at various stages of the day.

So how to quantify a correct plank, and how long, and how many times? A proper plank means having your hands below your shoulders, arms straight, with your shoulders flat (not arched or hunched), your back strong and flat, your core switched on and your gluts tight to keep your core strong. You can do these on your knees, but if you can do them *properly* on your toes, this is best.

When I say *properly*, this is the important bit, because there is NO point going “I’ll do 1 minute” if you are sagging in the middle, pushing your arms up into your shoulder sockets and hanging your head down. Ideally, do this where you can see yourself in a mirror, or take video for later critique, and if you can hold perfect straight back posture plank for 5 seconds, then start with that… It is not about the time spent doing it badly, it is about getting the movement strong and right, and building on that strength.

So, I’ll be videoing myself at various points holding a plank. Feel free to critique me! I may also use the time spent planking, to meditate a little. Being as I am chronically time-poor, and struggle to do “nothing” for a minute and a half. (Note: I am not sure that I CAN do a minute and a half yet – I’ll find out tomorrow!).

As to how many times? That’s a piece of string question… If you can do a perfect 5 second plank, then how many times can you do that 5 seconds during the day? And maybe the next week, you can do a few ten second planks… I am going to start tomorrow with a minute, maybe more, and maybe I will do more. Let’s see how time-poor I am, tomorrow!

Eve.  31 May 2017

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