That’s a fact, Jack: 25 push-ups
There’s a scene in the 1981 comedy, “ Stripes,” where the main character, played by Bill Murray, is challenged to do five pushups by a friend.
As Bill Murray prepares for this feat of strength by lying face down on the floor, his friend says, “ That’s none.”
I bring up this riveting cinematic moment for two reasons: I haven’t made a published reference to “ Stripes” in almost four months and it’s killing me; and Don Magee makes Bill Murray look like, well, Bill Murray.
Don Magee is a Lilburn, man who recently did 3,010 push- ups in a day, according to a story in the Atlanta Journal- Constitution. That’s not a misprint — over 3,000 push- ups in a single 24- hour period.
According to the story, Magee said he could have done a few hundred more and he wasn’t sore the next day. In fact, he played golf.
One more thing: Don Magee is 74 years old. Again, not a misprint.
Magee, a retired school superintendent, routinely does between 300 and 700 push- ups a day, according to the story. Talking about his push- up exploits to oth-
With my son as my cheerleader and the power of prayer, I completed the task — 25 push-ups in 20
ers, he heard about former Georgia football great Herschel Walker doing 2,000 push- ups a day. On his 70th birthday, Magee matched Walker’s 2,000 and did 10 more.
On his 74th birthday, Magee decided to go for 3,000. It took him 13 hours.
“ I wanted to make a statement that just because you’re old doesn’t mean you can’t do things,” Magee said in the story, written by Ken Sugiura. “ You can stay active.”
Motivated by Magee’s push- up achievements, I decided to try for my own push- up mark. Being that I’m somewhere between Mr. Magee ( 3,000 push- ups) and Bill Murray’s character in “ Stripes” ( five push- ups) in terms of physical fitness, I decided to split the difference and aimed to complete 25.
My five- year- old son volunteered to be my witness.
After instructing my son on his duties as a witness to this physical feat — mainly teaching him how to dial 91- 1 — I lowered myself to the rug.
“ Hey, Daddy, why don’t you do one of those push- ups where you clap in the middle. I like those,” offered my enthusiastic spotter.
“ Sure,” I said, forgetting that I was an idiot.
So I raised my torso quickly, pushing my hands to the middle in an attempt to clap.
Before I could clap and safely get my hands back on the rug, though, the weight of the aforementioned torso, which I underestimated, forced my face into the rug before my hands could resume their proper position. The “ splat” noise was accompanied by pain to my nose, face, neck, head, chest and upper body region.
Twenty minutes later, refreshed by Doritos, Mr. Pibb and some amateur rhinoplasty, I got back on the rug to finish the drill.
With my son as my cheerleader and the power of prayer, I completed the task — 25 push- ups in 20 minutes.
The next day, I didn’t play golf. I watched golf.
Don Magee did 3,010 push- ups in 780 minutes — or 3.85 push- ups a minute. I did 25 in 20 minutes — 1.3 push- ups a minute ( I took a two- minute break between 18 and 19; and a five- minute break between 24 and 25). At that rate, at roughly half his age, it would take me 2,315 minutes to do 3,010 push- ups, or 38 hours.
That said, I think I’ll wait until I’m 74 to give 3,000 a try.