So my Fitness Challenge for February was max handstand pushups. I did 19 in my initial test and throughout the month I’ve been doing handstand pushups at the end my regular workouts. Started with 3 sets of 10, ended the month with 3 sets of 15. My goal was 30.
Well, I ended up doing 25. Not quite what I was hopping for, but still a ~30% improvement. In retrospect, I could gone a little bit harder in training, and warmed up a little bit more the day of, before my attempt.
My March challenge is the mile. I remember sucking at the mile in high school, and when I started running back in 2010, my first mile was around 12 mins. I’ll post my video attempt of that soon…
I asked you guys in my max sit-ups finale whether I should go with burpees or handstand pushups next. When all the votes were tallied, I heard more for handstand pushups so that’s what I went with.
Calling my first round “pretrained” is a bit of a misnomer. I did lots of handstand pushups as a nationally competitive gymnast, and even did a few while on stage at the Palms in Las Vegas singing Brown Eyed Girl with my buddy Ryan Hupfer.
But regardless, the point of these challenges is to see how much I can improve over the next month. I did 19 ast my start, and my goal is 30. I’d love to have you train along. There are a couple handstand pushup tutorials on Youtube you can check out.
Ignite is a very cool type of event that’s held in cities across the country with a simple premise: interesting 5 minute talks given with exactly 20 slides that forward every 15 seconds.
Public speaking is a skill I think it’s worth developing and Ignite looked like a fun event (I went to one in Mountain View a few years back), so I submitted a proposal to speak at Ignite San Francisco about my experiences with Rejection Therapy.
If you aren’t familiar with Rejection Therapy: it’s a social game invented by an introverted guy named Jason Comely, and the one rule is that you must get rejected by another person at least once, every single day.
Ignite San Francisco is run by Jon Bishop and Patti Chan and they do a fantastic job. The event was held at Public Works and was packed. Probably over 150 people came to support the speakers and they were a great (ie: supportive) crowd. I was also impressed with the creativity and delivery of the other speakers – here are some of my favorites:
Nice little gymnastics montage pared with a great talk.
Get back and do it again indeed. That’s what I thought when I blew out my knee. My doctors tried to set expectations low but I had already decided my injury wasn’t going to hold me down. While you still draw breath, there are no excuses for not pushing ahead.
Life is tough, that’s a given. When you stand up, you’re gonna be shoved back down. When you’re down you’re gonna be stepped on. My advice to you doesn’t come with a lot of bells and whistles. It’s no secret, you’ll fall down, you’ll stumble, you’ll get pushed, you’ll land square on your face. But every time that happens, you get back on your feet. You get up just as fast as you can. No matter how many times you need to do this.
Jason Shen is a Presidential Innovation Fellow at the Smithsonian. He cofounded Ridejoy, a Y Combinator backed ride-sharing startup and his work has appeared in Vanity Fair, Outside Magazine, Lifehacker and more.
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