Check that off the bucket list!!
Mark this day down on your calendars folks as a day that will live in infamy. It only took 30 years, but I did my first unassisted pull up today at the gym!!! 2 in fact!!! The pull up has been my sworn nemesis for years (along with the rope climb). Back in elementary and middle school I remember dreading pull up day when we did the Presidential Fitness testing. I was that strange kid that actually looked forward to being tortured on a daily basis for few weeks by my gym teachers. Mostly that was because it came after the dancing unit and anything was better than being subjected to boy cooties. I would do push ups and run shuttles all day just so I didn’t have to worry about getting paired with someone who had eaten a tuna fish sandwich wrapped around a garlic clove for lunch. But pull up day, I would have gladly faked monkey pox just to get out of class. Sadly, I was also worried about ending my chances for a perfect attendance award at the end of the school year, so I sucked it up. And failed miserably. I could do the flexed arm hang for hours, but could not squeeze out one measly pull up. Each year, I earned the highest marks in all the challenges except one. Instead of getting the glory of the Presidential Medal, each year I had to settle for honorable mention. From that day forward, I vowed to make the pull up my bitch.
This summer, I finally started to realize that I could do it. I’m the strongest I’ve been in years. But I kept stalling at 30# on the assisted pull up machine at the gym. I revved up my back and shoulder lifting routine with lots of lat pull downs, bent over rows, single arm rows, and rear delt raises. Instead of settling for lots of reps at an embarrassingly light weight, I started banging out high weight, low rep sets. I instilled the help of some of my friends in the military to rag on me mercilessly until I finally did one. Feeling rather cocky today, ready to show no mercy. With a sports montage set to an 80s jock jam playing in my head, I hopped up on the bar. Slowly lowered myself down, and then back up. To make sure it wasn’t a fluke, I went for one more. Inside, I was jumping up and down like mad. Trying to play it cool, I made my way to my manager’s office where I treated her and a co-worker to my happy dance.