February Challenges Mid-Month Update

This month is zooming right along! Already past the mid-month point and rocketing toward March. So let’s see how my February challenges are going.

50 Squats / 25 Push-Ups

Not sure what this challenge is about? Read this post first.

I have successfully done 50 squats and 25 push-ups every day this month. Since day 1, I have been able to get out all 50 without stopping. Between rowing and walking, my legs are in okay shape. Not great, but good enough to do 50 squats.

Me doing squats & getting silly with an IG reel

The push-ups, however, that’s a different story. The first day, I did 5 push-ups, then had to rest, then 5 more, and rest, and then 4, and rest, and then 3 more, and then 2 and then 2. It was painful but I did it. And I felt it in my triceps the next day. My triceps have always been on the weaker side.

The next couple of days went similarly. But by day 7, I was doing 10 in a row, then 8, then 7. And now I’m doing 15 and then 10. In between, I rest in child’s pose with arms extended to give my upper body a stretch. Not too shabby.

Starting around the second of February week, I decided take it up a notch. At least on some days. I do the squats & push-ups every day (along with holding plank for one minute, which has been my morning routine for several years now). But I added full-body strength training every third day. My routine consists of 2 sets of 10-15 reps each of bicep curls, Arnolds, tricep extensions, shoulder rotators, single-arm bent-over row, deadlifts, chest press, leg-raised sit-ups, single-leg bridge, and dead bug. (And yes, dead bug is an actual exercise that’s one of the best as it focuses on stabilizer muscles of the core.)

On the days in between the full workout, I either go on a 3-mile (or more) walk or I row for 30 minutes.

Maybe by the end of the month, I’ll be able to do 25 push-ups without stopping.

Read at least 100 Books off my TBR Bookcase

Despite my slow start to the year, I’ve read 22 books as of today.

9 of the 22 are off the TBR bookcase. Only 182 to go to get under 20! Huzzah!

(As this is a bit of an overwhelming goal, I have to celebrate the small victories.)

And despite all the temptation (and there has been a lot), I’ve stuck to my book buying ban, which is the bigger win. This has been especially difficult when every other day it seems like I receive emails announcing book sales. (I’m looking at you BAM with your three-for-two sale emails.)

I do not count the books I receive through subscriptions as breaking my book buying ban because I paid for the subscriptions* last year. Nor do I count them against the TBR bookcase goal. Otherwise, I’d be in an endless TBR bookcase loop.

(*I receive one book through the monthly OwlCrate subscription box and three through the quarterly Men Love Romance subscription box.)

Other Reading Challenges

In addition to my TBR Bookcase goal, I’m also participating in two year-long reading challenges—bookspin and roll100. (I explained them here.)

So far, I’m mostly on track. I’ve read both of the January and both of the February bookspin picks.

I’ve read one of the January roll100 and both of the February roll100 picks.

Star Daughter is the second January roll100 I haven’t read. Actually, I started reading Star Daughter last year and just wasn’t getting into it, so I set it aside. Some books I will just go ahead and mark as DNF (did not finish), but some I will set aside in the hopes that picking them up at a different time will make a difference. I’ve still hesitated to pick Star Daughter. But now it’s part of a reading challenge, plus I want to get it off the TBR bookshelf, so it’s next in the queue.

I also join various monthly or other smaller reading challenges. Readers get rather creative in developing reading challenges.

One such creative challenge is my Litsy friend’s Pantone 2022 challenge. She made a 5 by 5 Bingo-style board of Pantone color swatches. This is a challenge simply based on the book cover colors.

So far, I haven’t picked books by the colors on their covers. And yet I’ve done quite well filling the board with 15 out of my 22 reads matching the various colors.

Because I love a challenge and this is a fun one, I probably will start looking for covers that fit the remaining 10 colors.

Odds of Completing the TBR Bookcase Challenge

We are in the middle of week 7. I expect to finish at least Star Daughter by Sunday and probably one more. That will put my TBR tally at least 10 (maybe 11) and my overall total at 24.

24 books in 7 weeks means I’m averaging 3.4 books a week.

3.4 books a week (focusing completely on the TBR books) for the 45 weeks left in the year is 153 books, for a total of 164. That’s 28 books short of my 192 goal.

To get to my 192 goal by the end of the year, I need to read 4 + a smidge books per week.

Can I do it?

Hmmm . . . maybe, maybe not. Too many variables and it’s too early in the year. Had all 22 books been from the TBR, I’d be in a slightly better position. But it is what it is. And so we’ll see what I can do in the next 45 weeks.

I’ll be posting updates to all my challenges each month, so stay tuned to see my progress!

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