A month of Burpees

Halfway through my 30 day Burpee challenge!

As with the last challenge, my shoulders started hurting from the push ups. I knew I hated push ups. I decided that since it was our challenge, I could change the definition of “burpee.” There are tons of variations of the burpees, and not all require push ups. I do feel like I am cheating though! So much easier without the push ups.

I thought I might repost  some of the information gathered during my first challenge two years ago:

1. Burpees are named after their creator–Royal H. Burpee, who was an employee at the Bronx YMCA in the 1930s.  He used the exercise in his doctoral thesis for Columbia University in the subject of applied physiology in 1940, while the Bronx YMCA introduced it to their members.

2. I hate Burpees

3. Burpees are used in Spartan races if a racer can’t complete an obstacle as a time penalty, 30 for an elite athlete and 10 for those running in the general population. Burpees are also often used in CrossFit classes as a penalty if a participant is late.

4. I hate Burpees.

5. Burpees were used by the US Armed Forces as a measurement of fitness for applicants during WWII. The exerise let them assess the strength, coordination and agility. Twenty-seven burpees in one minute was considered poor physical form, while forty-one was considered excellent. I believe that would be the original Burpee, not  with a push-up. (I haven’t tried, not sure I really want to know)

6. I hate Burpees.

7. There are dozens of variations. Royal’s original was a 4 beat:  squat with hands on floor, kick feet back to a push-up position, jump back to squat position, jump up. A newer version (the one I did) has a push-up and a higher jump added. Do a search, however, and you will find Burpees with weights, jumps onto steps, jumps over obstacles and many more additions to make a Burpee more difficult. Like it needs help!  Check out Lifting Revolution’s blog to see some variations.

8. I hate Burpees. And push-ups, I definitely hate push-ups.

9. “On May 17, 2014, in Greenwood, South Carolina,  a gentleman by the name of Cameron Dorn broke two burpee world records. He performed 5,657 within a 12-hour period. He also completed the most burpees in a 24-hour period, finishing with a whopping 10,105. Another world record was achieved on October 21, 2013, in Portland, Oregon, by Lloyd Weema. He broke the burpee world record for the most chest to ground burpees performed in 72 hours with 9,480.”*  Yeah, I am not trying that.


*Dr. Axe

Weekly Rundown

Another week gone by. I took it easy, not because I was hurting, but because I was lazy! Guess we all gotta do that sometimes.

I did pick up towards the end of the week. I learned (again) the difference between  a treadmill mile and a mile on the hills in my area. Took longer, and was a just a smidge harder. Think I need to do more outside miles. Now, if Mother Nature would only cooperate.

Monday: off

Tuesday: a fast walk to start my day.  I worked my way up from 3.0 MPH to 4.5, and finished the mile in 13:50.

Wednesday: just a five-minute stretch, so pretty much off 😛

Thursday: Ok, I was slacking this week. I did 15 minutes of yoga,  then 1 x 15 weights (I know, big slacker). I did hold my plank for a minute. I got my husband Alexa for Christmas and she is most useful as a timer!

Friday: A run outside! I had to take my car down to the mechanics, so I thought I would drop it off and run home. He is 1.85 miles from me, so I ran a bit extra just to make it an even 2 miles. The forecast was for rain and clouds, but they said once the rain stopped, the sun would come out. What do they know! The rain stopped, so I played around in the driveway for 15 minutes or so, then decided to get ready. Halfway to the mechanic’s it began to rain again. I just love Mother Nature! Then I made the decision to go back and get the car when it was done. The second run (which I also ran a bit extra to make it 2 miles) was much harder. I figure running hills for the first time in months, then letting my legs stiffen before heading out again was probably not the best idea. On the other hand, I did finish both runs without any stops or walking. Oddly enough, the second run was about a minute faster.

Saturday: rest day–kinda. I knew my legs needed to be stretched, so I did 40 minutes of slowish, interval walking, and 20 minutes of yoga. I came up with a new  yoga routine, that is both stretching and strength. My first yoga routine takes about 10-15 minutes, depending on how many breaths you hold the poses for, and is mainly stretching.

Sunday: first, a walk with Daisy, who was most excited to get outside. Then onto the treadmill. I did an easy 30 minute run, which my legs mostly didn’t object to. I finished with the start of my Burpee Challenge. First day was only 2, so easy enough!



…..not learned?

I mentioned to my co-worker Wendy the other day that I was thinking about doing a Burpee Challenge again, and was she interested? Ten minutes later we had this:

I did my 2 for today, ony 746 more to go!

Why, you ask? Spring is coming. While I don’t much care what my bathing suit looks like, I do want to be able to race up hills and ensure that my kayaking shorts still fit.

This is a good way to jumpstart my spring training and strengthen my core. I went for a run outside on Friday for the first time, in, well, a long time. And I immediately noticed the difference between the hilly terrain I live in and the treadmill. Outside is harder!

Taking advantage of the (almost) warmth, I put a sweater on Daisy and took her for a walk this morning too.

Isn’t she cute? And led me on a 17 minute mile. Not bad, what with the sniffing and the pictures!

While the temp was only in the 20s, the blue sky and sun more than made up for it.


So, its Saturday. Three years ago today I had a really bad day. I didn’t know it was going to be a bad day. Started out just fine.

I remember feeding the horses, and I have a clear view of Daisy sitting on the rug, waiting for me as I came back in. I told her as I went by that I had to work and couldn’t stay home with her. I took a shower, and I remember deciding to take my running stuff so I could run at the hospital, knowing that by the time I got home in the early afternoon I wouldn’t want to run (an unfortunate decision, as I lost my running gear).

That is my last memory for about a week. They tell me some idiot (driving for a school with kids in the van) ran the red light and slammed into my driver side door doing 50 MPH. Totaled my car. Paramedics  got me out and took me to the hospital where I work (fortunately I was only about a mile from work at that point), and apparently I got a Life Flight ride to the bigger hospital down state. It does irritate me  that I got a helicopter ride for the first time ever and I wasn’t awake to enjoy it!

My lung was punctured, ribs were broken and my pelvic girdle  snapped in three places, along with various lacerations. After they stabilized me, my mom asked why my right foot was hanging at a really odd angle, and they realized my knee needed some help too. Strangely, that last thing they found is the longest lasting effect of the accident–besides me being a really bad passenger. I mean, seriously. You do NOT want to put me in a car and take me on the highway unless you have a lot of patience.

I was hospitalized for two weeks, one week in CCU and one week at rehab in my home hospital after my surgery for my knee. A marvelous surgeon rebuilt my knee, added some bone grafts and stuck a metal plate under it to hold it all together while I healed (he did another surgery a year later to take the plate out).  I spent two months home, using a walker and unable to put any weight on my leg. I was very happy when my home therapist put a basket on my walker–I couldn’t even get carry a cup of coffee til then.

Gonna say, it was boring! And daytime tv is awful. The doc okayed me to put weight on the leg on a Friday and I gratefully  went back to work the following Monday (with a cane). I used the cane until I started leaving it in patient rooms, then I decided I must not need it anymore.

I followed the surgeon’s rules (and added a few of my own), and have seen great improvements in my knee in the last three years. He thought I needed to look two years out before seeing how my knee would recover. I have actually made great improvements in this, my third year.

My best moment came when I sat on the floor and unconsciously folded my legs into a cross-legged seat. I’m short, and that was always my favorite position–on the floor, on chairs, wherever. It’s not a tight cross, but I am sitting with my knees bent. I never thought I could do that again.  My running expanded this summer too, I ran better times and even a  10K this summer.

Not that everything is perfect. My knees (yes, plural) did not react well to my pushing this summer, and I had to take most of September off from running. My left knee has been achy too, probably the effect of taking the brunt of, well, everything in the last three years.

But I am fine tuning my workouts to keep my knees happy, and I believe that I am seeing the full ability that my right knee will have. I can’t bend it completely, but when doing a quad stretch, I can at least hold the heel now.  I may not run a 10k again, but I am already planning my 5Ks for this summer. Now it is not so much about pushing my limits as much as it is just running.



Fun Fact

Everyone is always wondering if herbal medicine  works. We see all these vitamin boosts, miracle herbs, and energy mixes and wonder, hmmm, can that actually help me? GNC has definitely made a business of it. And I don’t know if they all work. I don’t feel the need for most of them.

But I do take turmeric for my knee. Shortly after my accident I read an article touting ginger and turmeric for inflammation. I decided to get turmeric* pills, and I added ginger root to my tea for a while. I don’t know that the ginger helped, frankly I think it is better for digestion. But everyone’s body reacts differently, so it might help with inflammation for some. The turmeric works for me. How can I be sure, you ask?

Well, I ran out. My knees were achy anyway (I don’t think they like the cold), and I realized the bottle was almost empty. I took one instead of two for three days, then forgot to order more. My knees reminded me when I was going down the stairs at work a couple of days later.

This happened right after I realized that I can’t run on an incline. I was on the full dose of turmeric when I tried to run the incline, I ran out directly after I ran the second mile on the incline. Bad timing!

I immediately ordered the pill from my trusty Amazon and they arrived yesterday. I am curious to see how long it takes for them to kick. It’s going to be warmer next week, so that should help. Meanwhile, I am doing a lot of walking and yoga!

*there is a wide variety of turmeric pills available. Unfortunately, not all come with curcumin, also known as black pepper. Curcumin is necessary for the turmeric to be absorbed into your body and affect the inflammation. Or do anything else. Something to keep in mind if your choose to try some.

Weekly Rundown

Another week where I learned my body will always get what it wants. Sometimes I just need to listen. I decided that since I was doing pretty much all treadmill, I should use the incline so that the hills weren’t such an obstacle in the spring. My knees did NOT agree. I did it twice before realizing that I should maybe not do that.


Tuesday: I got on the treadmill before work and tried a mile at the incline. When I got the ‘mill, I believe it said it had two incline levels. Never have figured out how to do more than the one, and I am not sure of the degree of the incline. But I did a mile at 6MPH, keeping in mind that going to fast isn’t good for my knees. It seemed to go fairly well.

Wednesday: didn’t get up early enough to exercise so hopped on the treadmill when I got home from work. I am always so proud of myself when I exercise after a ten-hour day! Not that I did all that much, just 1 mile walk and then 14 minutes of stretch-y yoga. But I did, in fact, do it.

Thursday: another morning run at the incline. I kept the same goal, just 1 mile at 6 MPH.

Friday: my day off, so normally I do a long run. But I went out to do errands early in the day, and I was exhausted by the afternoon. I did go out and clean the horse stall, and that actually took about 2000 steps, not to mention the weight of tossing the manure. They had been busy!

Saturday: Still bouncing back from the week, I decided to do one of the preset runs on the treadmill. I did 30 minutes, that ended  up being about 2.65 miles. I followed up with a 10 minute walk at 3.0 MPH.

Sunday: I had planned another long run, but the knees were definitely not feeling good at that point. So I did another preset, a walk that does a mile in 20 minutes, and continued another 10 minutes after. Realizing that I hadn’t done weights yet during the week (they are the easiest thing for me to forget), I did 2 x 20 session.