Outside the Cage #6 "Old School"


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Halfway through my set of pushups I lost control of my emotions. Immediately I found it hard to breathe, my stomach twisted and convulsed as tears burst from my face. I knew that I shouldn’t have done it but I did anyways. As I lied flat on my stomach, with my arms wiped of all their strength I realized that I should have known better.

Working my way up to the one hundred mark it became much more difficult to do multiple push-ups at once. The fact that I was crying made everything even more difficult. I was forced to do one or two at a time then take a few seconds break before I would repeat the process. It took me a while but I eventually completed my set.

“Do one hundred sit-ups!” yelled my father, the moment he noticed that I was done with the push-ups. Any emotional control that I had been able to muster up by that point crumbled at the sound of his loud voice as it rang through the house. I cried loudly as I started the sit-ups.

I would be embarrassed about telling you that I was crying except for the fact that I was seven at the time of this story. When I was a child, I was rarely grounded or put in my room for a time-out like most children were. Instead I was given push-ups, sit-ups or a combination of the two each and every single time I got in trouble. Occasionally I would get a swat with the hand when I really acted up.

One time at school, I remember one of my earliest friends telling me about how he had gotten in trouble with his parents the night before. “How many pushups did you get?” I asked him. He simply stared at me with a confused look on his face. The more I investigated and spoke with other children I realized that not every kid was punished like I was. Actually no one was!

My father must have dished out several thousand push-ups to my brother and I growing up. At the time I hated doing them but I still train martial arts and still practice doing push-ups so I guess it wasn’t that terrible of a way for him to punish us. I’m sure there are punishments much worse.

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