Early in January I matched with a man on Tinder who’s closing line was: Is there a woman out there who is brave enough to accept the 10 000 burpee challenge with me?
Not one for letting a challenge pass me by, my first message to him was: I accept.
Turned out that he was from America. He explained to me that the challenge entailed doing 100 burpees per day for 100 days. I told him I might struggle as I have a bad back and can’t kick my legs back. He told me that’s no excuse as I could just adapt it by putting one leg back at a time. I did a few to test it out and then agreed.
I committed to starting the following day. I sent a message to a number of my guy friends here in SA challenging them to join me. Only one accepted.
The first few days were slow and painful. I broke the hundred into sets of 10 with long rest periods in between. After every 100 I would send my local friend a green tick. He would send me one in return when his were done.
Every few days, I’d send the American a message to report my progress. He was very slow to respond an often didn’t even bother.
I started doing my burpees in between my sets of normal exercise at gym. I found that getting them done was much easier and it kept my heart rate up which I believe burnt lots of calories.
There were many days that I didn’t think I could do them because my back was so sore, but even though I felt and looked like an old woman, I got through them. I refused to give up.
After a few weeks of trying to make contact with the American with no responses I received a message from him saying he had injured himself and had stopped at 1700 burpees. He wished me luck and unmatched me. This made me more determined than ever to succeed.
By the time I reached 5000, my local partner had fallen seriously behind due to work and illness. I convinced another friend to start and join me for the last 5000.
At a party one night I bumped into a Facebook friend of mine who I didn’t see very often. She told me that she had started as soon as I posted that I was doing the challenge on Facebook and she was going head to head with me. I was so happy and assured her that we would finish together. I reported our progress on Facebook every 1000 burpees to keep us both motivated. Our friends were encouraging and cheered us on. There were many days where I forced myself to do the burpees as I knew I couldn’t disappoint my friends. They all had so much faith in me.
At the beginning of April I got a massive knot in my back . I almost cried with every push-up I did. With only 1000 burpees to go, I eventually went and got a valtaren and cortisone injection. I was instructed to give my body 5 days total rest. I almost cried.
With my original end date looming in 5 days, I resumed the burpees. I had to do 200 / day to make up for my lost days. My back was still knotted but I pushed through the pain. I think those were some of the hardest days of my life.
My proudest moment was when I could finally announce to my friends and the world that I had achieved my goal. I had completed 10 000 burpees in 100 days!
I posted an after photo of myself in a bikini on Facebook. The response was overwhelming. So my people said they also wanted to do something to improve themselves.
I am starting a Squat and Ab challenge with 12 new partners. This makes me happy!