They almost didn’t let me graduate from high school because I couldn’t do any pull-ups. My PT teacher said I won’t get my diploma unless I’ll do something about it.
I got scared and for a couple of months before graduation went to the running track in the mornings to exercise. Luckily, I made some progress and they let me graduate.
I’m 42 years old. Never properly trained in the gym for more than a few months in a row. Sure, I had my share of New Year’s resolutions, like every one else but they didn’t last long.
So why now? What’s the deal with those pull-ups?
A couple of days before I met my friend for coffee who has recently quit his main job and settled for a temporary solution for a year. During this year he was supposed to figure out what he would do when this year expired.
So this time I asked him how his future plans are going? He said, he doesn’t know what he will do next year yet and he can’t do anything about it for 6 more months because he is busy working in his temporary position.
Then I suggested the idea of experimenting and documenting his life in public. Basically Medium profile, pick a challenge for himself and document his way through this challenge. This way he will find his passions, he will find out what works for him and what doesn’t, he will see how the audience reacts to his ideas and gradually start to expand his network which will come handy when it’s time for him to monetize his efforts.
On my way home, I thought, what about my own experiments and challenges? Am I doing enough of those?
I went over the 4 main areas of my life: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. In all but physical areas I was fairly active and I realized that although I’m exercising somewhat more or less regularly now, I struggle with long-term commitment and progress.
I remembered those pull-ups from high school and discovered I wanted to start doing them again. OK, but what about the end result? What would my goal be? 100 pull-ups? This seemed unrealistic. May 50? Also too magical. How about 20? This seemed doable but I decided to settle for a smaller number because I didn’t want to waste my time.
If I couldn’t force myself to advance to 10 pull-ups, how I would do 20? If 10 pull-ups weren’t achievable so maybe those aren’t for me. Maybe I would need to find some other challenge. We’ll find out in a few months.
So there you go - I needed to start small so that I won't quit. I made quite a few efforts in the past but all of them didn't go anywhere because I was too ambitious. I always picked the wrong goal, the one which was too big for me.
But not this time. 10 pull-ups is something I see myself doing in a few months. And of course I don't have to stop there. If I'm successful with 10, next time I can challenge myself with 20 or 30 or 50 or whatever number seems realistic.
I found a rusty metal bar in my garden and put it between an apple tree and one of the buildings. I measured if it was horizontally OK and put a brick on one side to level it up.
That’s it. I was ready to do some pull-ups. Except… I couldn’t. All I could do was to simply hang from the bar for a while until my hands couldn’t hold it anymore.
So this seemed like my starting point. 0 pull-ups…
I decided that the next day I would do some sets of dead hangs for starters. We’ll see how it goes.
Oh, an by the way, feel free to join me in my challenge if you want or find your own challenge that fits your needs.