Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Science and Pushups: I'm Good at One. I Suck at the Other.

Photo: pupski, Flickr Creative Commons

When you have a few minutes of downtime, enough for a 50-question multiple choice question, try the Christian Science Monitor's science literacy quiz. I'll go ahead and tell you my score. I got 36 correct and there were three questions I actually knew and blew because I either second guessed myself, or in one case, reverted to grade school habits of answering before actually reading the entire question. Even if I'd gotten those right, I'd still be a C student. Besides, if you were able to second guess yourself, you didn't really know it well enough for it to count. Also, a bit surprisingly, I never once got a guessed question correct, so those 36 were questions I actually knew, or were able to figure out from what I did know.

My real problem? Physics. I've never actually taken a physics class. I didn't take it in high school because I didn't like the teacher and had given up on engineering by my senior year because of my disinterest in math. Of my misses, three were chemistry (and one was one of those second guesses), and two were astronomy (one of which was that not reading the question thing). Every remaining wrong answer was physics. I was actually surprised I got as many physics questions right as I did considering my lack of formal education there.

That was the thing I'm good at, by the way. I got spanked by the friend who forwarded the quiz to me, but then he took physics in high school and went to a university for engineers. I consider that cheating. I got my knowledge the old fashioned way: Having a mind wired for Trivial Pursuit. I'm willing to bet I did much better than the average American on that quiz.

The thing I suck at is pushups. I posted last week about the 100 Pushups challenge I'm taking. I admitted to being pathetic in that post; my pre-challenge pushup test totaling 4 good-form pushups. Also, I have already seen improvement. Yesterday's workout was five sets, one at 4 reps, then 6, then two sets of 4, and a set of 6 to finish. I was able to do the work, kind of. I obviously couldn't have done that at all last week and I did the first set of 6 without stopping, but the last set required a couple of 5-second breaks toward the end to finish. Unless I was just having an off day yesterday, a possibility as I didn't sleep much the night before, the program may be progressing too quickly for me to keep up and I may end up having to repeat a couple of the weeks before moving on in the program in order to meet the final goal.

Last week went by easily, though. The first day was only sets of twos and threes with 60-second breaks between. By the end of the week it was threes and fives with two minutes of rest between. Oddly, yesterday's plan stepped up the number of reps per set while reducing the rest back to 60 seconds between sets. I'll know for sure how this week is going to look tomorrow after I do day two of the week two plan.


Courtney said...

Well, that was embarrassing. I don't even want to admit my score on that scientific literacy quiz. The worst part is that I used to know that stuff, but any science I once knew is now replaced in my brain with something utterly useless.

Julie said...

I'm not going to bother with the quiz. Science is definitely not my strong subject. Congrats on the pushup progress. Progress is progress.