Why have I gotten so focused on the goal of 5 pull ups? For that matter, why did I ever get obsessed with one pull up?

The other day in the lunch room at work, I mentioned my goal of 5 strict pull ups. I try not to talk too much about Crossfit at work, because there are whole memes dedicated to how obnoxious that can be. But I mention with moderation, especially since I convinced one co-worker to try it out – once. One of the responses I got was a kind of bewilderment. Why would anyone want to do a pull up?

I said that after starting Crossfit, it seemed logical. Pull ups are used in so many workouts. It’s a way to increase overall fitness.

I casually justified and the conversation moved on.

But why did I want to do a pull up?

An image from my memory floats up. I’m in seventh or eighth grade, and it’s time for the Presidential Fitness Test. I always dreaded the testing, because I’ve never been athletic. The only thing I ever did well at was sit ups – but that’s beside the point. We were standing near the inside entrance to the gym where two pull up bars had been mounted on the wall for the test. Boys were supposed to do pull ups, but girls were only expected to do a flex arm hang. None of the girls in my class could even do that – except one. Gina McEvoy seemed to hang up there forever. But she never even tried a pull up.

Pull ups are a great overall demonstration of fitness. They’re badass. And I want to do them because I was never athletic. Because I was never even expected to do anything more than a flex arm hang. And probably a little bit because doing a pull up makes me feel like I belong at Crossfit. Not that I ever feel excluded at my box, but it’s like I’ve shown a certain measure of commitment by working so hard to get this goal. The only person I need to convince is myself and 5 pull ups is the way I’ve picked to do it.

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