Craft – Motivation

Anna dropped to her knees on the mat and placed her fists, first two knuckles only, just out from her shoulder width.  She crossed her ankles and raised herself on just the toes of her bottom foot into push-up position.

One, two, three, four, five, six . . . she pumped them off quickly, including her counting in the rhythm. 

Thirty-one, thirty-two, thirty-three . . . she could just see Karen, to her left, from the corner of her eye.  Her face twisted in a mask of of pain and determination, a twin to Anna’s.

Fifty-six, fifty-seven, fifty-eight . . . the sinews of her shoulders protested.

Seventy-four, seventy-five . . . she saw Mr. Sol’s feet walking down the line.

“Keep them deep,” he said.  “You don’t want to skimp your black belt.”

Anna made an extra effort to deepen her push-ups, but she was slowing.  The rhythm was broken.

Eighty-six, eighty-seven . . . Simon, to her right, finished his set and sat back.  Anna’s back sagged.  She straightened it, biting down on a groan. 

Eighty-nine. Ninety. Ninety-one.  She was moving with agonizing slowness now. 

“Somebody step in and grab the girls belts, help them finish,” Mr. Sol said.

Anna saw feet aproach, stop beside her.

“I’ve got it–don’t help,” she said.

Ninety-six. Ninety-seven. Ninety-eight.  Her arms kept getting stuck just before the top of the push-up.  She pushed with her will, her strength spent.

Ninety-nine.  She dipped as low as she dared for the last push-up, and almost didn’t make it back up.

One hundred.  She sat back on her heels.  Her arms were shaking, her vision a bit blurred, but this made a total of two hundred push-ups for the night. 

She had done it.

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