Push ups for life

Published 5:50 pm Monday, April 6, 2009

Dr. Phylecya Cheatham looked personal trainer C.C. Matthews straight in the eyes and gave him fair warning. “If you don’t practice, you’re going to get your feelings hurt.”

Cheatham is taking very seriously her Relay for Life challenge to Matthews. “Back when I was in C.C.’s Boot Camp, I was doing pushups and he came over and whispered something about a pushup contest. I decided, ‘Let’s do it.’ But I wanted it to be more than just a challenge between the two of us. I wanted it to really count for something.”

Cheatham is on the Doctor’s Building East Relay for Life team and thought she could turn the pushup challenge between two very competitive friends into a fundraiser for her team. “I got to thinking that making the challenge a Relay fundraiser would make it even more interesting and motivational,” Cheatham said, with a smile.

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Matthews agreed and “Operation Push for a Cure” became a reality. “What I’m doing is asking people to support me as sponsors,” Cheatham said. “I’ve got different levels of sponsorship starting with ‘private’ at like 10 cents a pushup and all the way up to ‘general’ for $5 a pushup.

“But some people are afraid of that because they don’t understand how difficult pushups are to do. They think I can do something like a hundred or more. I can’t.”

For those who think that Cheatham just might be pulling their legs and can pump a hundred or more pushups, she also has a ‘civilian’ level of membership. “The civilian level is just a flat rate at whatever you’d like to donate,” she said. “All levels of support are appreciated.”

“Operation Push for a Cure” has been set for May 26. The time and place will be announced at a later date.

“I wanted C.C. to have time to get ready,” Cheatham said. “I don’t want to beat him but I will.”

Matthews let Cheatham’s confidence roll off his shoulders like water off a duck’s back. Then, with a smile, he upped the ante.

“The challenge is how many pushups we can do in a minute?” he asked. “I can do about 60 in the first minute … so let’s make it interesting. Let’s make it how many pushups we can do in two minutes. That’s when it starts to get a little harder.”

If Cheatham flinched, it didn’t show.

“Okay. Two minutes it is,” she said.

What if the trainer beats the student? What if he wins the challenge?

“He’s ex-military and he’s a body builder,” Cheatham said with a smile. “He should be able to do it. But it’s all about lifting your own weight and I don’t weigh as much as he does. I’m not nervous.”

Sponsors may lend their support by stopping by the

Doctor’s Building East or calling 807-0235. No donation is too small or too big because it’s all going to finding a cure for cancer.