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The Challenge is Over, Long Live the Challenge

1165 workouts in May. 24 brave, disciplined souls who have hit (or passed) the mark. Bravo to them, and to all of our May Edition Challengers! Please know that your May Edition judges are just now making plans to convene, and will be reviewing all the posts and announcing winners with all the proper fanfare very soon. (Stay tuned, hydrate, and if you have any catch up posts to submit, now would be a good time.)

Meantime, we have something else to discuss.... As you know, Social Workout is absolutely pioneering the online challenge space. Yes, maybe there were online challenges around before we showed up two months ago, but certainly there weren't literary fitness challenges. We're aiming for something slightly different than your typical fitness site around here. What? Well, healthy bodies of course, but perhaps also a bit of humor and grace. The goal here is extreme wellness, to have a life of the body that is more than knee jerk or afterthought. To be a little amused and also a little deep. Fierce, but also sexy.

With all those heavy adjectives in mind, we've been wondering what exactly we might do for our next challenge. And then we hit on an idea: What if, in addition to challenging people to maintain a regular workout regimen, we created certain goals for people to achieve. Some may remember Body Electric's quest for the five minute plank, or Sarah Kaye's intra-Challenge challenge.  If that all means nothing to you, just think of the Presidential Fitness Test we all took in grade school, or of summer camp when you got a patch for mastering archery or tying knots. See where we're going?

Well, we got a little excited, and decided we'd do it, and we'd call it the Feats of Summer Challenge (or something super catchy like that). Instead of just one month, we decided this Challenge would run for the whole summer, from the solstice on June 21st to Labor Day weekend. Then, however, we wondered how exactly we'd set the goals. This is where you come in....

Forget about the dry run-of-the-mill fitness tests. Yes, we should all be able to do a certain number of pushups and situps, and to run a mile in a
reasonable amount of time. But shouldn't we also be able to hold a
headstand for at least a minute? What about fasting for a day, swimming a length of the pool under water, or knowing how to dance at least one latin dance. Shouldn't we have all experienced at least one spin/yoga/pilates/pole dance class? In short, we want to know what constitutes a truly virtuous urban body, for men and for women, and we need your help.

What skills/abilities do you think are essential, practical, and/or super sexy. Think chinups, and beyond, and if you have an idea -- no matter how mainstream or eccentric -- hit the comment button on this post and let us know.



Track Records (Via <a href="">Dave MCMT</a>.)


Making goals? This is a von Hottie & Sassletics specialty! We are on the case!

Ideas forthcoming . . . .

vonhottie's picture

oh baby baby. Push it. Push it real good! Yes we must all push ourselves in NEW and exciting ways. Goals are a speciality of mine. Being a life coach and all. I think we need to REVOLUTIONIZE THE GROUP FITNESS MENTALITY. This is SOCIAL workout. Let's work up sweat and drip on each other. von Hottie and I would LOVE to have a May victory parade/dance party. We are thinking big. We may need a permit. Feel free to contact us directly or via SW with comments! I'd also be up for starting a new line of exercise clothes called Sassletics. I trademarked it so nobody can steal my thunder!

sassletics82's picture

Good stuff. My spirits told me it would never end "wink" this is fun .. I m so ready for the summer challenge. Now that is something to look forward to. Before and after pictures coming soon!!!

FYI my goal is to be able to do Chin ups from a walk/dont pole in the streets of NYC.. ARRHHHHHHH.. lol

warrior's picture

chin ups are my goal too!!! i think that would bring me to the top level of bad-assery...

msh258's picture

fasting would not be a problem for me. being a religious jew i'll actually have to do two of them during the summer (there are six throughout the year). but a 5-minute plank sounds good, or say 500 jumping jacks. i will not do chin ups. if i think of anything else i'll put it here.

Fraidy's picture

The ability to get your butt out of bed for a morning workout several times a week is super ambitious in my book.

That and going vegetarian one day a week (just to prove you can...)

oooappleooo's picture

being in nyc, i think there should be a goal of trying something completely new that takes advantage of the city. there are tons of free classes, crazy activities, etc. doing something out of your comfort zone should be on the challenge (for me it'll be trapeze class at the hudson river this month!!!)

msh258's picture

Dear SW, after being away for so long, I come home to this and you almost make me cry! Thanks so much! I promise to make y'all proud with the summer challenge and it's exactly what I needed! I was just signing on to my make-up posts from being computer-less for so long and well, I'm touched.

Sarah_Kaye's picture

Dance! What could be more urban? Except maybe maneuvering a sofa up flights of stairs.

Service? I don't know about NYC, but Austin has lake cleanups, park cleanups, Habitat For Humanity, etc. that require physical labor.

Teamwork/socializing. I am an antisocial Social Workouter, and not just because I live halfway across the country. I should work on that.

Personally, I want to do something totally awesome that I wouldn't have been capable of on April 1st. I have next spring planned, but nothing yet this summer.

bookworm's picture

i would love to do the trapeze school! It's one of those things that I always pass by, then check out their website and say one day I'll do that.

Fraidy's picture

fraidy -- we will do it!!!

msh258's picture

I think the following are really important physical skills:

Hula Hooping
Crossing the Monkey Bars

Or maybe I'm feeling the whole Elementary School Challenge aspect. But definitely add the hula hooping - its really hard!

sandyliz's picture

Count me in for the monkey bars!

vonhottie's picture

Touching your toes....doing a split....doing a straddle and getting your stomach down to the mat....

michlny's picture

I love bookworm's idea of service + exercise. So yes, I'll second hard labor in the service of humanity.

Physical feats worth including (others have already mentioned some):
-chin-up! yes!!
-headstand or handstand
-dancing ass off
-sitting still and silent for some longish amount of time (I need this!)

And, for inspiration though these may not be up everyone's alley, here are some personal goals that I want to achieve this summer . . . some may be modifiable for the challenge, others might just seem unpleasant.
-power clean body weight
-bench press body weight+
-DL two times body weight
-hundred chest-to-ground pushups in 6 minutes
-30 double-unders in a row
-6:30 mile run

body electric's picture

luring in the hottie at the end of the bar, chasing a jager with your favorite juice, avoiding the bouncer, outrunning the guy you p*ssed off, catching your belongings as they're being tossed out your window, bum/coin toss, etc... i'm thinking urban summer camp where you earn badges. and have a sash. ah but chasing the last ferry of teh day to fire island has to be on there!

tedubitsky's picture

BTW,can there be challenge options for those of us without gym memberships? Thanks!

Sarah_Kaye's picture

how about a photo competition --- perhaps plan a specific day to just walk / run / bike / rollerblade / kayak / or whatever else around town, bring your camera and let's see what we've got!

msh258's picture

msh258-u have so many good ideas. i'm in on a photo competition. also hula hooping is great. that has always been a struggle for me. do they make weighted ones without the ridges? my sister has one of those and they dig in and they're really painful. i gave up on doing a cart wheel years ago. i think it's one of those things you either can do or can't. practicing didn't help me. i just can't make my body light like that.

Fraidy's picture

I love it! I'm all for hula hooping, long planks, chin-ups, head stands, and photo shoots.... and how about trying a new type of workout every week (something that we haven't done for any challenge yet)? As in, tennis one week, unicycling the next, then rock climbing, etc etc... the first month may be easy, but I bet we'll have to get mighty creative by the end of summer.

shantiani's picture

One more idea: teaching someone else to perform a physical/athletic skill (a dance or workout move, something sports related, whatever) that they don't know how to do yet.

body electric's picture

in support of proper workout fuel, perhaps a nutrition challenge? for example, a eat-locally-grown-for-so-and-so-much-time or don't-eat-processed-foods-for-this-long challenge? i'm sure we could get creative with that...

msh258's picture

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