There are some things that make me feel like a wimp or embarrassed to be a fitness professional. Ultimately I realize it’s my own expectations that cause the thoughts, but that doesn’t change the fact the thoughts exist. Lately the thing that’s been making me feel like a wimp are push-ups.
Until recently, throughout my career I’ve had two clients in the history of time that I’ve allowed to do modified push-ups. One of those clients was 72 and the other was 81/2 months pregnant. I’ve been anti-modified push-ups for as long as I can remember.
Push-ups were punishment in a class I took in middle school. They were also used as punishment during basketball practice. Despite the negative connotation I sometimes have when it comes to this exercise, it’s always been one of my favorites and one I’ve been good at (mostly because I’ve been doing them for so many years).
This all changed at the end of last year when my hip/back/hamstring/foot injury led to a pain in my shoulder for months. I never really thought the two were connected until I started going to PT at Finish Line earlier this year. A few months into treatment and my shoulder stopped hurting as abruptly as it had begun.
After several months of avoiding push-ups two things have happened. Number one, my arms are much weaker. Number two, I can barely do this exercise correctly. In fact last week at the Lady Foot Locker workout, I dropped down on my knees to do modified push-ups after doing about eight, bad full form push-ups.
It’s funny that a little thing like not being able to do an exercise I use to excel at has made me a more compassionate person. I now see people struggle with them every day and I let them do the modified versions. It’s even somehow translated into other areas of life and reminded me that just because something is easy for one person doesn’t mean it’s not extremely challenging to another person.