I'm a 45-year old man and I've done burpees every day since December 21, 2011, inspired by a New York Times article by Gretchen Reynolds in which a fitness expert, Dr. Martin Gibala, suggested them as a candidate for the single best exercise.
Neither of them expected anyone to do just them, but I did. I've written about them here and on my blog.
I consider myself in the best shape of my life, physically, emotionally, and intellectually.
Today I hit my 90,000th burpee. To be more specific, when I say burpee now, I mean a ten-minute routine that starts with burpees, then stretches, then set of abdominal exercises, then back and bicep exercises.
90,000 is a nice, round number, tantalizingly close to a sixth digit.
If you want to know the full story or all the benefits, read my series on my blog. Over six-plus years, I've compiled videos, anecdotes, tips, and so on.
I used to write with pride and passion about my accomplishments.
I'm switching to writing and thinking about them matter-of-factly.
Why I'm training myself to see burpees as ordinary
Instead of seeing them as something special, I'm moving to seeing them as ordinary. Instead of seeing self-imposed, daily, challenging, healthy activity as extra, I'm converting to seeing it as normal.
Everyone is free to define normal for themselves. I'm not saying what normal should be for you. But for me, normal means daily vigorous exercise.
Is brushing your teeth daily normal for you? That's how I view my twice-daily burpees.
People suggest I create an app, saying that an app might help others do something similar.
No app. Just exercise.
Do you have an app for brushing your teeth?
I don't know about you, but getting in bed to sleep without brushing my teeth feels disgusting. I would never do it, and I wouldn't need an app to tell me. I can tell you without an app that I have brushed my teeth every day as long as I can remember.
There's your app: do something every day and you don't have to track it. Nor do you need to motivate yourself. You just do it.
How do I calculate how many burpees I've done? I put the date I last measured and today's date into a spreadsheet, calculate the difference, and multiply by how many I do per day. Here's how many I did leading up to today, calculated from the day I did my 80,000th:
There's your app!
Do you like the idea of an app helping form community, so you can connect with others doing the activity?
Well, you don't need an app to help you form community with people who brush their teeth every day. Exercise vigorously every day and just as easily attract people who also do.
I'm not saying daily exercise is right for you. You know your values better than I do.
But you can do your thing. I recommend starting today if you value exercise or anything and don't already practice it.
The rewards of living your values are more than worth it. Fitness is nice, but doing something challenging that you value daily, no matter what, is about integrity, self-awareness, genuineness, authenticity, responsibility, accountability, and things like that.
(Even treating them as ordinary, I confess it's hard not to post about them when I hit milestones like a round five-figure number like 90,000. I doubt I'll be able to resist in a few months when I hit 100,000. I believe you improve your life when you share what you love).