Archive for April, 2015

NEW CHALLENGE: 30 days of push-ups (+ poems)

Have you seen the video where the moms of the Baltimore police officers grab their sons out of the police transport van and whack the hell out of them, yelling, “Stop it! Stop it! Stop slamming Freddie Gray’s head into the van, you’re going to break his neck!”

No? Me either. While we wait for that video to appear and go viral, let’s do push-ups.

In 31 days, we’re going to do a lot of push-ups. More important, you’re going to go from decent push-up to a great one: strong flat plank, chest to ground, smooth movement. If you have a solid flat push-up, you’ll be working towards a clapping push-up, a chest touch push-up, or a one-arm push-up. Set your intention now.

If you’ve not gotten your pair of dumbbells yet (see the “About” section), try to get them before too long. A stronger push-up requires a stronger back, so we’ll be doing weighted rows with those dumbbells to keep us balanced.

Bring in two or three friends to do this Push-Up (+ Poems) challenge with you. Someone from work, a high school friend you’ve not talked to for a long while, your sibling who moved to California, your neighbor, someone who’s been saying they want to get into shape. A caveat: if they think the young people in Baltimore are “overreacting,” skip over them and invite someone else.

Here we go.  Welcome to our first Queerfit Open Challenge.

Friday, May 1 Dare:

5 push-ups
10 squats
10 push-ups
10 squats
15 push-ups
10 squats
20 push-up
10 squats
Max consecutive push-ups without breaking your plank. Pausing at the top of the plank is ok, so long as the pause is less than 2 seconds.

The sets of 5, 10, 15, and 20 push-ups can be broken up into as many sets as you need to maintain excellent form. If you don’t yet have a push-up from your toes, do your pushups at an angle, against the side of the table or against the wall. Start at whatever angle you need to maintain a perfectly straight line from your shoulder through your hip to your ankle.

Post to comments when you’re done, along with your max set if you like. Get your ego out of the way: it will be lower than your true max b/c you will have just done 50 push-ups already. And let us know who you’re pulling in to do these push-ups with you.

du bois in ghana
bEvie Shockley (2015)

at 93, you determined to pick up and go—
and stay gone. the job nkrumah called you to,
to create, at last, your encyclopedia africana
(encompassing a continent chipped

like wood beneath an axe, a large enough
diaspora to girdle the globe, and a mere four
thousand years) was either well-deserved
sinecure or well-earned trust

that your health was as indestructible as
your will. my mind wrestles with possible pictures:
the victorian sensibility, the charcoal wool
formality of your coats and vests, the trim

of your beard as sharp as the crease of your
collar—how would these du boisian essentials
hold up to sub-saharan heat? would
your critical faculties wilt in accra’s

urban tropics as i’ve read that westerners’
are wont to do? dr. du bois, i presume
you took the climate in stride, took to it,
looked out your library’s louvered windows

onto a land you needed
neither to condemn nor conquer,
and let the sun tell you what you already knew:
this was not a port to pass on.

your 95th birthday photo found you bathed
in white cloth, cane still in hand, sharing a smile
with a head of state who knew your worth—joy
that this nation’s birth occurred in time

for you to step out of a cold, cold storm
into outstretched arms. would your pan-
african dream have survived a dictatorial
nkrumah, an nkrumah in exile? you took

the prerogative of age and died without telling,
without knowing. a half-century later, here
in the country where you were born, i look
into a screen and watch as, near and far, a pan-

demic of violence and abuse staggers the planet.
we seed the world with blood, grow
bleeding, harvest death and the promise
of more. when i turn bitter, seeing no potential

for escape, i think of the outrages you saw—wars,
lynchings, genocide, mccarthy, communism’s
failure to rise above corrupting power
any better than capitalism had, the civil rights

movement’s endless struggle—and how
you kept writing and walking, looking
for what you knew was out there. your memory,
your tireless radiant energy, calls me

to my work, to my feet, insisting
that somewhere on the earth, freedom is
learning to walk, trying not to fall,
and, somewhere, laboring to be born.

What’s Next: QF Supergroup

Well that was incredible.

QF92 is done and done and we’re on to the next great thing…QF Supergroup.

The long and short of it: if you’d like to join us at our Tuesday and Saturday workouts through the rest of the year, we’d like for you to apply to become a member of the QF Supergroup. Fill out this application and send to (You can also just answer the questions in the body of your email). It describes the kind of space we’re trying to create, and asks you to think about your intentions and goals. QF Supergroup’s online home will be the FB group. In about an hour, you’re going to be deleted from the FB group. Don’t take it personally! You’ll be re-added to the FB group once you put in your application and are accepted into the Supergroup.

Then, starting May 1, this blog becomes the home of QF Open, which will be structured around a series of 30-day challenges similar to what you’ve seen here over the last three months. You can be part of QFSupergroup and also be a part of QFOpen, but being part of QFOpen does not automatically make you part of QFSupergroup. Make sense?  A fuller description of how QFOpen, QFSupergroup, and QF92 hang together can be found on our About page.

I’ll stop before this gets any more complicated. The 4 immediate tasks for QF92ers:

1. Fill out your QF Supergroup application.
2. Come to the workout this Saturday at 10:00 at Brownwood park.
3. Come to the potluck cookout Saturday at 6:00 at Zahra’s. Your coach has sent/will send you the address and what to bring.
4. Be your full amazing self today.


Sat. – 4/11 Final Saturday

photo (20)

Tomorrow’s challenge, like every Saturday, is to get to Brownwood Park at 10:00 and have the best damned queerfit experience you’ve ever had. While you’re at it, help someone else have the best damned queerfit experience they’ve ever done. Sorry to miss it – Shae and Glo will be coaching, with an assist from Jocelyn.

A couple of reminders: we’re taking this Tuesday off before starting up again on the 18th. We’re also pot-lucking + grilling out the evening of the 18th, starting at 6:00, to celebrate our extrafine selves.

Everyone who has been part of QF92 is a member of the Queerfit Supergroup, and are welcome to come to Tuesday and Saturday workouts for the rest of the year. Those of you who have been following this blog but are not part of QF92, hold tight. We’ll have a membership process up soon letting you know how to get in on the Tuesday and Saturday workouts as part of the Queerfit Supergroup.

If you think QF92 has been amazing, you’re right.

But just you wait. It’s springtime in Atlanta and Queerfit Supergroup is ready to launch…

Fri. – 4/10 Last Daily Challenge

What else could it be?

100 burpees. For time.

You want to pace yourself so that your last 20 burpees are faster, smoother, and sexier than your first 20. GET IT! Then, after you’re done, catch your breath in savasana (lying flat on your back). Take 2 minutes to think about someone (or someones) who helped you through the last 91 days. It could be a fellow queerfitter who helped you through queerfit. It could be someone completely unattached to queerfit who helped you through things that had nothing to do with queerfit.

For 5 points – Team Shine continues to lead in points, but their lead is NOT secure – post your time to the comments AND a few sentences in appreciation of this person (or persons).

Thur. – 4/9 Greatest hits medley

Thursday’s challenge starts with 7 sun salutations first thing in the morning. Hey, don’t skimp on the salutations! They’re part of the challenge.

Then, we’re doing a QF92 greatest hits medley. Find a time to do this sequence through, all at once. You’ll need something to shoulder press – dumbbells if you have them, a gallon of milk or anything heavy if you don’t. Time yourself and post your time:

20 perfect pushups, chest to ground
5 squats
20 burpees
5 squats
20 mountain climbers
5 squats
20 high jumps
5 squats
20 lunges
5 squats
20 sit-ups or V-ups
5 squats
20 shoulder presses
20 pushups even more perfect than your first 20
5 squats

Take the breaks you need to keep your movements beautiful, but don’t linger in the rest.

For your 2 points, post your time and the name of someone you would like to see be a part of queerfit when QF92 ends and we open up the supergroup membership. (Details about the hot & tasty new QF Open / QF Supergroup / QF92 tripartite structure in a later post). It can be someone who has been away from queerfit for a while, or someone totally new. You can name them by name, by description, or by limerick.

Wed. – 4/8 Four to go

photo (19)Lots of legs will be on fire still from Monday’s lunges + Tuesday’s thrusters. Don’t be surprised if your legs hurt more today than on Tuesday…delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) will have you feeling your feeling-est 24-72 hours after you’ve put your muscles into overload. With, for example, 1000 lunges.

Who’s idea of a good time was THAT?!

For Wednesday’s challenge, wake up and slide right on into 7 sun salutations. Then:

5 push-ups, 1 level up from your regular push-ups
10 mountain climbers while you’re down there
15 burpees
30-second inversion
5 push-ups, 1 level up from your regular push-ups
10 mountain climbers while you’re down there
15 burpees
30-second wall sit

Twice through. You can do it twice through without pause, or split it up into two parts.

To get your 2 points, you must (1) let us know in the comments you completed this and (2) let us know something you did during QF92 that amazed yourself.

Tues. – 4/7 Rain or shine…

…we’ll be under the pavilion at Brownwood Park at 6:15. It’s the final Tuesday of QF92, with six points for showing up. Team Shine remains in the lead, but with 42 points possible per team on Tuesday, no lead is insurmountable.

Mon. – 4/6 Lunging towards the finish line.

Double the points all week this final week (so 2 points for completing the challenges, 6 points for the workouts), in a last, desperate burst for the finish line.

Monday’s challenge: start with 5 sun salutations. Then throughout the day:

1000 lunge steps (500 each leg).

You can either count the lunge steps (good luck with that – you’ll need to figure out how you’re going to keep count), or you can simply lunge step everywhere tomorrow and count the number of people who ask you what the hell you’re doing.

2 points for letting us know you completed this in the comments AND for giving us a couple of sentences about your lunge stepping day. How was it as a way to get around? What did you notice about your surroundings as you lunge stepped through the day?

Sun. – 4/5 How Do I Love Thee?

Let me count the days: Sunday is day 86 of QF92. What do you do when you approach the end of something? Do you step it up or do you disappear? Do you sit back and wait for it to end? Or do you start obsessing about ways to keep it from bring over? No judgment, just notice in this last week of QF92 how you are with endings.

Sunday’s challenge:

Start the day with 7 sun salutations, then anytime during the day, in as few sets as possible

86 squats
86 jumping jacks
86 push-ups
86 situps (V-ups if possible)

It’s one rep for every day you’ve already completed of QF92. As you do your sets, feel free to congratulate yourself for each day you’ve stuck with the program and how much you’ve accomplished and how much you love your team and how awesome you are and how awesome we are and how much stronger and more mobile you are now than when we started.

Sat. – 4/4 A day in the park…

…is your for the taking. See you at 10:00 in Brownwood Park. 

A reminder that the last day of QF92 is next Saturday (April 11) and we’ll be potlucking/barbequeing in celebration of the completion of QF92 the weekend after, on Saturday, April 18.