The 25 push-up challenge: the bigger picture

by Ret Sakay

Lately, much have been said about the 25 push up challenge, the latest craze in social media where netizens, when nominated, need to do 25 push-ups for the next 25 days.

The challenge has since taken several forms depending on the preferences of the ones nominating or whoever gets to reboot the challenge.

Several military officials, including those who retired from the service, have been very active in social media showing how they accepted the challenge and in return, have nominated their former commanders, squad mates, colleagues and friends in the service.

Judging from the ongoing reception of the challenge, it is a success.

It has promoted camaraderie, support and even reconnected long lost friends separated by assignments, circumstances and of course by the restrictions brought upon by the COVID-19.

Heck even soldiers in Sulu whom we don’t usually hear of, except for being in an encounter against the ASG bandits, are taking the social media to join their brothers-in-arms in an activity that promotes exercise, well-being and more importantly, each other’s mental health needs whether in the active service or in retirement.

As they say, you can never please everyone in this world. A certain regiment in the Philippine Army has raised several arguments against the 25 push-up challenge especially on its alleged impact to security and other risks.

We can’t just picture how an officer or a soldier doing pushups is putting the military in danger of security breach though. They are not reciting their serial numbers the last time we checked.

These officials are public figures and any information about their current assignments can be readily known by using several social media apps or simply getting online with a search engine.

There is also a question of privacy. True but the one who is nominated can always decline the invitation.

How about Communist rebels taking advantage of the details revealed in the challenges? They could get more information actually if they try to do something else.

The 25 push-up challenge is a great way for the men and women of the AFP to make the best of what technology now offers. It is a good start of making our people and other stakeholders through social media understand that our soldiers are human too.

That they too need support not only because of the challenges of defending the country against internal and external threats but also for the simple reason that they need to connect too with their friends and loves ones.

They need to show that they are coping and doing it well against the many demands of the noble profession even just for a few minutes.

In this case, a few push-ups.

There are other issues the AFP is currently facing. Like the continued aggression of a supposed “friend” in the West Philippine Sea. It would be nice if this certain commander would issue a statement of caution for a change instead of being a “kill joy” in an activity that has given a positive light to the men and women of the AFP.

On second thought, we would like to nominate…

~File photo: Philippine Army