I did 1000 Burpees!
I wasn’t planning to do 1000 burpees. Hell, I didn’t know if I’d be able to do the 748 burpees I owed at the end of the 2018 Sugar Burpee Challenge. I was dealing with a back issue that had been holding back from doing any high intensity interval training for 6 weeks, and just the thought of going through the burpee movement would send spasms down my spine. But as I sat in my car, trying to pump myself up before going inside EVOLVE, I told myself to take it one burpee at a time. I told myself that I’ve been here before and that the hardest part is getting started. Once that first burpee is done, the hardest part mentally is over.
Yep, the hardest part of this burpee challenge is doing the first one. When I talk to people about the sugar burpee challenge, the potential number of burpees that comes to mind for most people is enough to deter them from participating in the first place. I get it! The holiday season is meant to be enjoyed and usually that enjoyment comes with a whole bunch of tasty, but sugary foods. It was not my sole intention to punish myself for consuming so many added grams of sugar during the holidays, this challenge is designed to help identify food habits when it comes to sweets in general, and incentives accountability during such a tempting period of potential weight gain at the end of the year. Last year I owed 882 sugar burpees. This year, I owed 748 sugar burpees. For that reduction alone, I am proud of myself.
This year, Madison and I were not alone in taking on the Sugar Burpee Challenge. Some of the Evolve fitness family took on the challenge as well. Although most weren’t able to participate on the day Madison, Melissa, and I decided to pay up on our sugar burpees, many followed through with the challenge on their own. Talking about the struggles of resisting sweets and watching our burpee counts grow provided much needed motivation during the challenge. When it came time to pay up on the sugar burpees, part of the motivation to keep going came from the sugar burpee community we formed over the last 6 weeks. Like I said in my first post following the burpees, surround yourself with the right people and anything is possible..including performing 1000 burpees in 2 hours.
Alright so Madison was the most disciplined of us three that showed up to Evolve. She owed 360 total burpees, which were substituted for a combination of weight barbell squats, deadlifts, and kettlebell swings. Despite being 9 months pregnant, Madison was determined to follow through with the challenge. HELL YEAH! No way was I backing out now. She showed up, so I had to do the same. No excuses. Fellow Dallas Fitness Ambassador Melissa Chiranky also came out to pay up on her 789 burpees. She owed the most of us all, but that didn’t stop her from doing every, single, one. Showing out side-by-side with these incredibly strong women was incredible. No way would I have gotten as far as I did without them also going to war with the Sugar Burpee Challenge. We chose to be warriors, taking on a challenge beyond comprehension for most people.
By the time I was finished with my 748th burpee, Madison had finished her 360 reps along with an additional 75 burpees to keep me company as I finished. The woman is a beast! Melissa got started a little bit later than Madison and I, and still had a few hundred burpees left. So I decided to keep her company and do a few burpees here and there so she wasn’t suffering by herself. By the time Melissa finished, I had done close to 900 burpees. I was in pain, but all the burpees with Mads and Mel brought me closer to 1000 burpees than I ever thought possible. So, I decided to go for it. 100 more burpees and I can say I had completed 1000 burpees.
Another thing that helped on this challenge was having prior experience. I knew where the highs and lows were going to be in the challenge. I had a better idea of pacing, and followed a strategy throughout the entire day. The plan was to keep track of my heart rate. Every time it creeped over 170 beats per minute, that was my cue to take a break, grab some water, and settle my heart rate. Taking more breaks also allowed me to document the experience more thoroughly this time around. I also think that all the distance running I’ve been doing the last few months put me in better shape in comparison with last year when I wasn’t training for a 50 mile race.
Don’t get me wrong, it still hurt. As I’m writing this I’m squirming in my chair as every muscle in my body is extremely sore. Check out last year’s sugar burpee recap and you’ll get a better idea of the soreness that comes from doing so many burpees. I can’t think of another race, workout, etc. that creates this amount of total body soreness. Those last 100 burpees were the worst. But I didn’t allow myself to deviate from the plan. I kept a close eye on my watch that displayed my heart rate. Every time it started to settle, I did 10 more burpees. I focused on just doing 10 at a time. And before I knew it, I was only 10 away from my goal. And then, with a pair of shaky legs and Gumby arms, I completed my 1000th burpee.
I was pumped! I didn’t think I’d ever be able to do 1000 burpees, let alone willingly choose to attempt such a ridiculous number of burpees in the first place. That why I really do owe a lot to Madison and Melissa for holding me accountable and for pushing me to reach new limits of my potential. Surround yourself with the right people, and anything is possible. Thank you Madison and Melissa, thank you to Nick for taking all of these awesome pictures, and thank you to the entire sugar burpee crew. We are already exceeding expectations and crushing goals in 2019. Let’s keep it going!