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By Pam Burke 

The 30-Day Torture Challenge


May 17, 2013

Friends don’t let friends do sit-ups.

They don’t let them do crunches, either, or leg raises or this thing called a plank which is like a push-up that you just hold for, like, well, a plank. And they certainly don't have them do all these things together in a month.

Friends do NOT let friends do the 30-day Ab Challenge to gain that six-pack of defined abdominal muscles.

It’s ridiculous. No one in their right mind sets out to do15 sit ups, 5 crunches, 5 leg raises and 10 seconds of plank impersonation in one workout session and work their way up to 125 sit-ups, 200 crunches, 65 leg raises and 120 seconds of plank in a session — in just 30 days.

Did you see all those triple-digit numbers? It’s not just ridiculous, it’s ludicrous, it’s insane, it’s totally stupid.

What kind of a friend would even suggest such a thing?

Oh, right, that was me.

But, you know, then, who then would, y’know ... think up such a challenge? Yeah, what about that?

I can safely tell you that it was someone who is not me.

Thankfully, it wasn’t because many people must be cussing that person who thought up this stupid stupidness and then put it out there on the Internet for people to just pass around saying “Whadya think?” until some poor naïve, maybe misguided person with the best of intentions, and a slight problem with resisting a dare such as myself, to see and say, “Yeah, I’m in.”

That person is the bad guy. Not me. I just happened to show it to a friend at work, and she took me up on it — and who knew she would?! She’s about as big around as one of my thighs. I wouldn’t have guessed she’d say, “Yeah, I’m in, too.” Honestly, you wouldn’t think she’d be the type. Unless, of course, she just looked at my chunky chunkfulness and figured a little preventative exercising wouldn’t be a bad thing.

Whatever the reason she decided to participate, we commiserate daily. We live for every fourth day when we get a Challenge-free day of rest. She’s not fond of the plank, but me? I hate the sit-ups. I think they were used as a Medieval form of torture.

Yes, I think in 12th Century England prisoners were offered a choice between having their hand crushed one twist at a time in a screw vice or having to do sit-ups. They chose screw-vice every time — that’s why we don’t have records of sit-up torture. It was used so rarely and only for the most heinous criminals.

In fact, I’m sure that at some point some immeasurably awful guy was ordered to death — and beyond — by being shot, hung, stabbed, disemboweled, draw-and-quartered and order to do sit-ups until his spirit was crushed beyond recognition.

I’m sure it happened that way.

On the 31st day of May, the day after the 30-Day Ab Challenge is over, I won’t even sit-up in bed. I will roll out onto the floor and climb up the curtains. When I sit down, I will slouch and when people tell me I should sit up, I will say “Nuh-uh.” And when they say it’s better for my posture I will say “Posture this: It's the first sit-up-free day of the rest of my life. All around me is a sit-up-free zone, and I won’t even ask my dog to sit up for a treat. No sit-ups. No!”

My Ab Challenged friend will understand this.

Although, if she were that good of a friend she wouldn’t have listened to the person who suggested joining the 30-Day Squat and Lunge Challenge, no matter how awesome it promises to make one’s thighs and buttocks — because, yeah, of course, we’re in on that action. So much for enjoying June.

But I’m telling you, I will search the Internet high and low for a 30-Day Margarita in a Lawn Chair Challenge.

That, my friends, will make for an awesome July.

(Friends don’t let friends drink margaritas alone at pam@viewfromthenorth40.com.)


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