The Push-Up Challenge is run by a small but passionate crew who live across Australia. We like to like to think of ourselves as small but mighty in our quest to raise awareness for mental health.
The reason the Push-Up Challenge exists is because of the founder, Nick Hudson. His story is enough to inspire anyone to make change!
If I didn’t have such relentlessly competitive mates, The Push-Up Challenge may never have happened.
In 2017, a bunch of us decided we needed to step out of hibernation and get our bodies back for Summer. So, the challenge was set - we had to complete 3,000 push-ups in a month, no excuses. We kept tabs on each other via regular messages, some of which were motivating, but most were an excuse for some light banter! Over time, we noticed that we were not only getting fitter and stronger, but it became an easy way of staying in touch with each other.
The following year, I decided to take the challenge to the next level…the same push-ups, but with more mates - who then brought in their other mates, which led to over 1,000 of us all pushing ourselves to meet the target and support mental health. I knew then that maybe we were on to something big, and began preparing for an even larger event the following year.
But plans came to an abrupt halt when I found out that I needed open heart surgery – this was the real deal, where they cut your chest open and change out some bits. It hit me pretty hard. I fell into a depression leading up to the surgery. Although the operation was successful, the recovery was a mess. Despite the efforts of family and friends, I couldn’t drag myself out of my depressed mental state. I needed a focus and so I put my heart and soul into making The Push-Up Challenge a bigger event that could make a difference – to raise awareness and funds for mental health.
With nothing to do but lie in bed and rest, I armed myself with a laptop and phone and brought a team together to help make it happen. We developed a website and tracker, did some pretty heavy promotion, and before long (insert montage of working tirelessly) had almost 50,000 people ‘pushing for better’ around Australia. We raised $2.5M for mental health and participants completed over 50 million push-ups as part of the event. With a population of 25 million, I like to think we improved the average health of an Australians by 2 push-ups each.
That was last year, and now we’re in the thick of the 2020 event, which we hope will be even bigger.
The 2020 Push-Up Challenge was originally scheduled for June, until COVID-19 hit. We decided that now more than ever, our community needed a boost. If we could help bring people together through push-ups and potentially help those suffering with mental health, then we needed to get our act together fast. The team worked around the clock, and managed to kick-off The Push-Up Challenge 2020 a month early.
There are currently over 130,000 participants across Australia. Tens of millions of push-ups have been banked. The push-up movement has not only started a conversation about mental health, but it’s raised over $3M in charitable donations.
Each year is a huge learning curve for us. We’ve had many glitches (to put it politely), but these will lead to better processes, systems and a ton of new ideas for next year.
Thank you for your push-up efforts (you are amazing!), spreading the word about mental health and together raising much needed funds for mental health.
I’m very proud to be a part of the push-up community and look forward to seeing our awesome push-up tribe grow.
Chief of Push-Ups
Interested in hearing Nick speak? Let us know here