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Push-Up Power

BOSTON (CBS) - Florida Marine Sgt. Enrique Trevino is my kind of guy.  He'll be yours too when you read about what he is doing.  Enrique should know that I'm keeping a close eye, actually two eyes, on him.  Sgt. Trevino is over half-way to his goal of completing one million push-ups to raise money and awareness for wounded veterans.  There are few causes more worthy these days.  Double back a sentence.  The report is that he is over half-way to his goal.  Translation for the faint of heart---this young veteran has already completed more than 500,000 push-ups raising $20,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project.  Enrique's goal is to reach $30,000 by year's end.  No doubt he'll surpass it at the rate he's going, just do the math.

What's most impressive is that he's driven to accomplish this physical feat with only one goal in mind --- to help fellow soldiers heal from the physical and emotional scars of war.  In doing so he is pushing a well-conditioned body to the extreme.  I urge you to support him as I am in his fundraising drive.  You'll find a link below telling you how to do so.

This whole inspiring story offers me a chance to chime in about push-ups, the grand-daddy of all calisthenics.  I am not, nor shall I ever be mistaken for, an athlete.  My body fat is quite low and I'm in pretty good shape for a fifty-four year old.  I owe it to being very active, practicing hot yoga regularly and a daily push-up regimen that I have been following since I was a kid.  Unlike Enrique, I'm not averaging thousands per day (it pains me to even think what that feels like).  For me it's more like twenty-five or so most mornings.  And who's kidding who?  There are mornings when push-ups take second, third or fourth place to hitting the snooze button and doing the rollover.  Every once in a while I'll drop down during the work day to peel off another ten or so.  I've even been known to initiate a set of twenty during long commercial breaks during the late night show, just to stay sharp.  The push-up, if you really examine it, is one of those perfect exercises, in which you're pushing into the earth against your own weight and the laws of gravity.  No outside equipment needed save a solid floor.  It's a routine designed to elevate the heart rate, strengthen the torso, upper back, shoulders and arms.  And for us non-Marines, it can be grueling.  Especially if one practices in the truest sense.  No lazy boy push-ups for this grizzled old timer.  It's down to the floor for two beats, up for two with back firm looking straight ahead.  That is a push-up.  If a set of ten or more doesn't leave you with a good burn in the arms, you're not anywhere close to the real deal.

I'll toss in a few leg lifts or sit-ups now and then, but the push-up is king always garnering the most respect.  Lately, inspired by Sgt. Trevino, I've been researching others who champion and demonstrate push-ups of different varieties.  My latest kick is the push-up clock, going for a set of twelve while rotating on fingertips around an imaginary clock.  You're down at 1:00 o'clock, up again with a move to the right for a push-up at 2:00 o'clock and so on.  It is fun but tough to clear more than one or two "hour" cycles.  All of which brings me back to how cool the good sergeant is who is poised to reach the million mark by year's end.  Like all Marines, he is in the finest of shape soldiering on with steely determination despite achy wrists and elbows.  Trevino is THE man.  And I will honor his achievement by going further in my own personal quest.  For now that means breaking through to thirty push-ups a day.  That is not even in the same universe as the 2,732 push-ups per day or nearly 114 every hour Enrique knocks out.  But, hey with me being more than twice his age I'll take whatever I can get.

Semper Fi Sgt. Trevino.  I salute you by donating.

Please help if you can.  Our wounded heroes thank you.

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