The Postscript: Pursuing the Push-Ups Challenge with Bob

Published 11:46 am Friday, March 6, 2020

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The Postscript:
By Carrie Classon

Bob suggested we all do push-ups.

I guess I should mention that I don’t know Bob. Peter, my husband, knew Bob in high school. To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure Peter and Bob were even close pals in high school. But Bob sent me a Facebook friend request shortly after he became Facebook friends with Peter and, even though I don’t know Bob, I accepted. Then Bob challenged me to do push-ups. 

“Join me in the push-up challenge!” Bob said. 

I was delighted that I been invited. I love the idea of a personal trainer—although I am far too cheap to hire one. Here was Bob, offering to provide encouragement and support and that’s important, especially as we get older. A person can coast through their thirties and forties without a care and then one day, you flap your arms in the mirror and discover you look like a bat. It’s not good. 

Now here was Bob, offering to save me from my bat wings. I was delighted. 

Looking back on it now, I’m not sure Bob really intended for me to take up his challenge. I suspect he was thinking that other friends—friends he actually knew—might be inspired to start doing push-ups with him every day. But I appreciate when someone challenges me to try something new. So, when Bob suggested that we should all start doing push-ups, I started doing push-ups. 

I wasn’t very good at first. 

But the nice thing about having a long-distance coach is that Bob was not very demanding. I figured if I added one push-up every other day the days would add up—and they did.

 “I’m still doing push-ups!” I reported to my new friend, Bob, with some regularity. Bob didn’t write back but I like to think he nodded approvingly.

Then, I stopped. 

I got busy and preoccupied and I let one day go and then another and soon it had been a week and, before long, it had been a month and I’d not done a single push-up. I could hardly look Bob in the face—except that I didn’t have to, as I mentioned, because I don’t actually know Bob. Still, I felt bad. 

Today I was sitting and thinking of how things were going in my life—sort of taking an inventory, the way I like to do from time to time. I have a book halfway finished and that makes me happy. I’ve been eating more or less healthy—although Peter has been on a cookie-baking binge and having freshly baked cookies in the house is a hazard. But overall, I thought things were going pretty well until I remembered the push-ups—and Bob. 

 “I haven’t reported to Bob in ages!” I thought. And it was true. I had ditched my personal trainer and I was not feeling good about it. 

So, today I came clean and wrote to Bob.

 “Hey Bob! I stopped doing push-ups and felt terrible, but I’ve started again!” I wrote. And then I added, “Thank you for your inspiration.”

I knew Bob probably didn’t remember who I was, and that’s okay. 

Almost every day someone gives me a lift, inspires me to do a little better, and I’m not very good at letting them know. So, I wanted Bob to know that he helped me do something that makes me feel better and I was grateful. 

Imagine my surprise when I got a message from Bob. “Thanks for the kind words!” he said. 

Now I definitely can’t slack again. 

My arms are killing me.

Till next time,


Carrie Classon’s memoir is called, “Blue Yarn.” Learn more at