“Bring Sally Up” Challenge – Week One

The Ordinary Runner - Running Blog - Bring Sally Up Challenge

When you’re in lockdown, you might as well try something new.

I’ve attempted the Bring Sally Up Challenge.

As is so often the case, I’m late to the party on this. The above video is from 2013. I only heard about it today (24th March 2020). My finger is rarely even near the pulse.

The Challenge

Skip this bit if, like most people who aren’t me, you’re not way behind curve on just about everything.

Put simply, you do press ups along with Moby’s Flower.

The lyric “Bring Sally Up” triggers a push up.

“Bring Sally Down” means you lower yourself. You’ve got to hold it, though. No lazily lowering yourself all the way to the ground.

In between, you hold whatever position you’re in.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

My Effort

24th March – day one of the official UK lockdown. I came across this challenge and thought “why not?” This is exactly the sort of stupidity I want for my blog.

Plus, if I’m writing about it, I might not quit after a couple of days.

As I write this, I have no idea how it goes…

Day one:

Following some gentle yoga stretches (something I haven’t done enough recently), I made my first attempt. 46 seconds later my arms felt like lead. Still, you have to start somewhere.

Based on this effort, I don’t think lockdown will last long enough to complete the song.

Day Two:

I intended to run this morning. My plan was to be out for 6:30am. In my imagination, the rising sun would cast a golden light as I chased long shadows along the promenade. The few other runners would greet me with a cheery “good morning” from a socially distant 2 metres.

It didn’t happen – the extra time in bed was welcome though.

A lazy breakfast and some time with my daughter took us up to 9am, so we thought we’d try the Joe Wicks PE class on YouTube.

This will be easy, I assumed. It wasn’t. The 10k I’d planned would have been easier.

Bring Sally Up Challenge: a respectable 55 seconds (I couldn’t bring Sally back up after the first long pause). I could still feel yesterday’s efforts in my shoulders from the start.

Day Three:

Giving Sally a rest today.

Not wanting to be too lazy, my daughter and I did PE with Joe Wicks again. Having already decided to take a break from the Bring Sally Up Challenge, I assumed my arms would also enjoy a break. It seems the hairy fitness fanatic had different ideas. Two 30 second sets of press ups later, my arms are more tired than yesterday.

Day Four:

I’ve made the decision not to run while we’re in lockdown. Following a couple of days where I’d failed to get up early and head to the promenade, I realised that I don’t fancy it.

This might change. Perhaps, as my legs get twitchy and I see my distance averages falling away, I’ll change my mind. But right now, whenever I think about getting out there, something tells me not to.

Anyway, back to the push ups. Today, after accompanying my daughter in another PE session, I managed the same as day two. 55 seconds is acceptable, right?

Day Five:

I get a rest from early morning PE sessions today, so I have no excuse not to improve my time. I’ve written this before attempting the challenge – it may well come back to haunt me.

Having started strongly, I pushed past my previous time, managing to raise myself up again after the long hold. It wasn’t easy and, with another couple of push ups, I made it as far as 65 seconds. Not a massive improvement, but I’ve broken a minute.

Day Six:

Rest day – other than mending a broken fence, while fighting against blustery winds.

Day Seven:

The clocks went back over the weekend. It didn’t matter yesterday. Sure, the morning was over before we got going, but it was Sunday. That’s what Sunday’s are for – except when my daughter wants to do Junior parkrun and we have to get up unreasonably early.

Today, it mattered a little bit more. Not as much as it would during “normal times”. Remember, when things were precedented? Back in the days of the unexceptional. BC – Before Coronavirus.

It mattered today because my daughter and I have decided to stick with the Joe Wicks PE class, every day. It doesn’t get any easier – the Superman squats were particularly difficult.

I look forward to seeing how it helps my running. When I finally get back into it.

Anyway, PE class done before breakfast, because of the “lay in”. Then, once the food had settled, it was time to check in with Sally. I had high hopes after yesterday’s rest day.

My hopes were, perhaps, a little too high. I managed only slightly more than Day Five – 68 seconds. One more push up.

Bring Sally Up Challenge – week one summary

I guess 22 seconds’ improvement over the week isn’t bad. I’ll be happy if I manage the same improvement throughout week two.

I’ll let you know how I get on this time next week.

Image credit Sam Owoyemi