The Burpee Habit
Part One: Your First 100 Days of Burpees
Step 1: Start with success! Externally, life is textbook perfect: you have a dream job, a house, a car, and a loving family dog. You’ve worked very hard to get out of your previously awful situation, and you should be proud of what you’ve achieved. Internally, you have developed a swamp of seething self-doubt due to stressors far beyond normal levels and a lack mindset that renders you unable to work out those emotions. You are deathly afraid that everything that you’ve worked for will be taken away at a moment’s notice. (See Recession, 2008 and Pandemic, 2020)
Step 2: Book yourself a self-care photoshoot and beauty day to feel better about life. Hyperfocus on losing weight for the photoshoot. You’ll fail at this, no matter how much weight you lose or gain, because your mindset is still wildly fucked.
Step 3: On the day of the photoshoot, you will stand in front of a mirror to survey the makeup artist’s work. You will be alone. You will see every flaw that the makeup can not cover, and you will face every demon that has been incubating in your mind. You think of all the time you’ve lost already, you will think of every misstep you’ve made to get to this point, and you will mock yourself for even thinking that there is a light at the end of this tunnel. There is only the tunnel. Just tuck your head and keep moving slowly towards death and decay, you washed up piece of garbage.
Step 4: Hate yourself further by ruining your makeup. Ask the artist if she can fix it (she does, she’s fantastic, and you give her a shout-out on social media later on).
Step 5: Leave the photoshoot and finally realize that there is something very, very wrong with your mindset. This is a critical step.
Step 6: Talk with your significant other when they ask why you seem sad.
Step 6a: Say, “I’m fine, I’m just feeling a little down,” to downplay the toxic spiral that is currently taking up every free crevice in your mind.
Step 7: When they suggest that you do burpees, say, “Sure, why not?”
Step 8: Learn that you can do five burpees before you are utterly spent. But in that short space after doing burpees, realize that you don’t hate yourself. You’re too tired. You just did burpees, for God’s sake.
Step 8a: Hold on to this feeling of not hating yourself. Realize that if you can do nothing else in your day to make yourself feel like a valid person, at least you can do this. This is a special tool that you’ll use later.
Step 9: Set a foolish goal to do 100 burpees. Because sure, you can definitely do five times your max in six months. Write out a plan that is easy to follow, takes up almost no time, and gives you a feeling of satisfaction when you can check it off your planner. Crave that feeling of satisfaction, that tiny squirt of dopamine, that time in the morning when you feel like you have some control over your life. Crave it like the sea craves the sand, the moth craves the light, and the goat craves the mineral.
Step 10: Wake up one morning and realize that you’ve done burpees for 100 days straight.
…Oh, no, you’re not done.
You’ve got a goal to meet, remember?
And now you’ve come so far… you can’t stop now!
Keep going! You can do it!
Continued in Part Two: Your First 100 Burpees Day.