During the month of September, I participated in a 100 burpee challenge…
And this wasn’t just any challenge, there were guidelines and parameters that were set to be able to track the metrics to measure yourself from day 1 to day 30.
Every day there was a written philosophy on becoming a better human. To finish the challenge as a team. Twenty-six started the challenge and twenty-six finished the challenge…
Everyone improving their times from day one to day thirty.
But for me (and the rest of the story athletes that participated) it was much more than a physical challenge.
In fact, I would say it was 80% mental and 20% physical.
Each Monday during the month, we had to time ourselves doing the 100. Five Minutes or Fifty minutes… record your time of the work and rest in between for the entire 100
Before I did mine on the first test day, I purposely didn’t look at anyone else’s time. I had no idea what to expect. Monday happened to be day two in the challenge, but on day one I broke them up into chunks throughout the day. First test day I posted a time of 16:54. I about died, but I thought that was respectable. I don’t remember EVER doing 100 burpees in a row. Then, after I posted my time, I started seeing what other people were posting. Sixes, Sevens, and Eights were aplenty… but so were the Twenties and higher.
I had no idea how much faster I could get over the next 4 Mondays, so I set a goal of twelve Minutes.
Week two came along, and I knocked off over 3 minutes of time. So I readjusted my goal to sub ten minutes.
..then another 2.5 minutes… then another minute and two seconds… at this point I had one week to go and I just needed to shave off 8 seconds to hit sub ten.
During this last week of prep, I began to play with my strategy… Instead of 50 straight, what if I did smaller sets faster and rested in between. I was preparing for this last test day more intensely than I prepared for team sports in my prime. I began to use the mind to visualize the outcome, and to learn to ignore my mind when it tells me there is no more gas in the tank.
On September 30 I had to plan very strategically when I would do my final bur-pee test. I had to drop Brogan at school by 7AM and had to be on a plane by 10:20.
By 7:30AM my test had started. The mind is a wicked distractor, reminding me of all the reasons why I couldn’t shave off the eight seconds.
I’m too old
I’m too out of shape
I can say I came ‘close enough’
I didn’t get enough rest
I didn’t fast long enough
I don’t have to prove anything to anyone
Right out of the gate, I crushed my first 25 in 1:19, I could now rest for 41seconds
Going into my last 25, the clock read 7:20… so I had 2:39 to knock out the last 25… Again my mind started barking at me again.
…Good enough, coast in
….you are too fatigued to finish these fast
…your showing up is enough
I was able to put all that aside and blast through my last 25 in 1:50
And the total time read 9:10. Holy Crap! I almost hit sub 9.
On a side note.
I do feel stronger
I do feel able to conquer more
I do feel more confident in regaining my athletic physic
And I attribute it all to the power of the mind. There were many days that forced me to do my 100 at night (those sucked worse), and days where I didn’t want to do them at all. I knocked out well over 3000 bur-pees in thirty days and feel great for doing it.
Burpees suck… but the raw control I gained over my mind was worth the misery.
PS… This bur-pee challenge was started as a way to prepare for the Spartan Trifecta I committed to during 2020. So on that thought process, we as a group decided that every month we will be doing a 28-day challenge of some sort to continue our journey to the Trifecta. October is simply called a Grit challenge. Seven different workouts, one each day of the week, repeated for 4 weeks with the idea being to improve every week from your last week’s numbers. The only thing we were told going into the challenge… Get a Kettle ball, a sandbag, some resistance bands and find a nearby hill. Dates October 4 – October 31. Only day three and already a bit sore, LOL