Sunday, August 24, 2014

50 year Birthday Challenge Down

I'm wrapping my head around the concept of warriors because it links me back to my heritage, particularly Sanglo, a Chamorro warrior and it reminds me of different people who matter - warrior type people, people who change or influence me because of who they are.  I've always loved the original Birthday Challenge website and visit it often to reignite my stoke.  I recently went to it as I was planning my next curriculum unit on warriors and was once again inspired by all the people on that site along with the likes of Jack LaLanne and inferences to Bruce Lee - two historical warrior figures in my mind.  Most people who know even a little bit about me know that I've been doing Birthday Challenges since I turned 40, and y'all know I just completed another one having just turned 50.  Above most things, and I mean most of my fitness goals, it's my annual Birthday Challenge and BC's of others (check 'em out here) that keeps me psyched!   

So here's the recap of how my 50th went down.  The tally list.

And here's why I do them . . .  

1) I look forward to that single goal that falls on the same day every year.
2) It's creative.  I take the age I'm turning as the base, think up physical and mental challenges and plan different things in decimals, halves, multiples, fractions - whatever makes it hard and fun. 
3) I want to train. 
4) It brings people in my life together and I get to see the best ones in-person. 
5) It's hard and painful and it's good to model recovery from all things hard and painful. 

Hardly recovered.  I wasn't supposed to run my 5th half marathon 6 days after my 4th, but that's how it worked out.  Ideally, doing 5 half marathons in 50 days put each one 10 days apart which was possible if it weren't for vacations and traveling, not to mention some lazing around which made for some recovery glitches. Thankfully each run was better than the one before and it's what I felt really well-trained to do so I was pretty psyched to end it on a high note. Plus, with my sister Geri and brother-in-law Dan flying in from San Diego to run it with me, I had a bigger stake in it because I wanted it to be fun. And it was! 

After the run and while my dad was prepping traditional celebratory Chamorro food, we headed to Boulders Climbing Gym to climb 50 routes and 50 boulder probs, do 150 pull-ups, 150 push-ups, and five 5-minute planks.  It went as expected which was

long and 

Semi-hard.  That's right.  The hardest things were the pull-ups and the 2nd and 4th planks.  Climbing was hard but it wasn't because the grades were particularly difficult, it was because it was more of a volume rush.  That played on my mind because it seemed to take forever.  The push-ups were more a rest and probably the most enjoyable.  By the end I was wondering if I did more of a workout and not so much a Birthday Challenge!

So what does that mean for next year? It means I get to up the ante.  Admittedly, I realized once again, that I can do more than I think I can.  Vices and all things drinkable, I got to my 5 white sangrias, but not to my cheesy quesadillas which I blame on my dad who made this goodness.  

The week leading up to my Birthday Challenge, I remembered a post about Jack LaLanne that I read a few years ago when he died.  It's such a great read, especially in the end where the author, Steve Edwards, included a list of all Jack LaLannes Birthday Challenges.  Man if you want stoke and psych, go there to get it.  That guy is a true-to-life warrior.  In the end, I did feel super strong and motivated, and I loved having Brad, the kids, and my closest family members right there to witness me living my life so that this birthday was more memorable than the last which is why I started doing these Birthday Challenges in the first place!   

PS:  It's not over 'til it's over right.  My son, John-Pio added 50 free throws to my challenge which arguably was where I felt the most challenged.  Here's a video after I got warmed up . . .

Birthday Challenge Free Throws from Vera Naputi on Vimeo.


  1. Awesome Vera! Very impressed with the running. I like that you're ready to "up the ante." Can't wait to see what next year brings.

    1. Thanks Spenser - I'm going to solicit ideas from you for next years ;) Your challenge was super hard and super inspiring!