Elmendorf Airmen complete million push-up challenge

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman David Carbajal
  • 3rd Wing Public Affairs
In about 3.5 months, 425 Elmendorf Air Force Base Airmen accumulated more than 1 million push-ups to reach a unit goal.

In an effort to improve physical training scores and build camaraderie, 3rd Medical Group leaders posed the 100-day million push-up challenge and unit medics began logging their progress Dec. 14.

Each participant, on average, completed more than 2,700 push-ups in the 100-day million push-up challenge, with both of the top two finishers reaching more than 40,000.

"This challenge was even better than a new year's resolution," said Staff Sgt. Paul Denison, assigned to the 3rd Aerospace Medicine Squadron. "With the challenge being 100 days, we had to stick with it to reach our goal."

In all, the participating medics racked up 1,184,957 push-ups in the 100 days.

"We reached our goal, and best of all, we finished strong," said Chief Master Sgt. Sean Meenagh, the 3rd MDG superintendent.

In the last two weeks of the challenge, the participants accumulated nearly 250,000 push-ups.

"As far as PT goes, this has really helped all of us," Sergeant Denison said. "When we first started, some participants only could do 10 maybe 15 push-ups. Now, several of them who've recently taken their PT tests are maxing out."

Aside from the physical aspect of the challenge, many of the participants are seeing other benefits from the challenge. As one participant explained, greater self esteem and confidence in the medics is making for a better hospital.

"With all these benefits of the challenge, we're seeing happier medics because they're eating better and sleeping better," said Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Alf, assigned to the 3rd Medical Operations Squadron. "We're seeing people make healthier lifestyle choices and because of that, their confidence and overall self esteem is higher."

In the end, the medical senior leaders hoped the challenge would serve as a camaraderie-building exercise.

"All the medics saw this as a team-building activity. If we build a better team, we can help our patients and their families," Chief Meenagh said. "That's what we're here to do: keep those jets in the air, keep our Army, Coast Guard, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force healthy as well as our (Veterans Affairs) beneficiaries."