The Olympic Sit-up

I have a plethora of wacky friends. I am certain this shocks many of you, as I appear to be so normal. But alas, it is true. One friend, whom I will refer to as Jacques Hansbrough, clearly not his real name, falls under the category of a good, but wacky, friend.

I met Jacques in college. Junior College, to be exact. In essence, a very expensive, camp for young adults. And Jacques treated it like camp. Classes?  Optional.  Tests?  Semi-Optional.  Funneling Beer?  Necessary.  His parents were sponsoring his stay at camp.  He didn’t live on campus because he waited too long to request housing so he was FORCED (and it was a godsend for parties) to live off campus with this older guy named Smith. The best thing about Smith (at the time) was that he was 21 and was willing to buy us beer.

Smith is an entire blog in and of itself….but I’ll save for another time. I think he’s currently living  in Hawaii, in a tree.  Minimal work, maximum doobage.

But we are here to discuss Sir Hansbrough.. and with the start of the Olympics, I thought this might be a fitting tale. The first night I met Jacques, he wasn’t wearing a shirt. But he WAS wearing a wool sweater vest… just without a shirt underneath. Which must have been itchy.

He looked, almost like this guy.  Except Jacques’s vest was blue.

In our little crew, there was another kid, Rudy Rumplemintz (again, not his real name, but it’s pretty close). Rudy was a really nice guy, but not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer. Jacques used to like to play jokes on him, which weren’t always nice, but were always funny.

One evening, Jacques and Rudy were consuming some beverages, and Jacques said “Yeah, so this buddy of mine and I were trying to do “Olympic Sit-ups” last night. My abs are pretty sore from it, because it’s so hard. In fact, in the end, I wasn’t able to do even ONE.”

Rudy asked “What are Olympic Sit-ups?”

“You’ve never heard of Olympic Sit-ups? I’m surprised because you are in decent shape… It’s just a sit-up that is SUPER hard to do because, well, a) you have to be blindfolded and b) you have to do these heavy breathing exercises immediately before you attempt to sit-up. But you probably couldn’t do one.”

“I bet I can.” Rudy said confidently.

“You think? Nah, I doubt it- I mean, it’s really hard. I didn’t even come CLOSE to doing a full one.” Jacques replied

“Well, I’m in much better shape than you!” Rudy retorted. And he was right. I mean, Jacques was, basically, a veal. He rarely got of bed and when he did it was only to drink beer.

Jacques said “Well, I mean, you can TRY it.”

“Ok, now, what do I have to do?”

“Well you lie down on the floor, and then I’ll blindfold you with a towel”

“Wait, why do you have to be blindfolded?” Rudy asked

“Um, well, it messes with your equilibrium. And it makes it MUCH harder to do the sit-up. I mean, ANYONE can do this sit-up not blindfolded. That’s the whole point.” Jacques explained.

“Ok.” Rudy agreed.

“So, once you are blindfolded, cross your arms over your chest, you stretch out, make your body as rigid as possible and then you have to pant and breathe really heavy for, like 60 seconds.”

“Ok” Rudy agreed

“And then we’ll count down from 10, and when I get zero, sit up with as much force as humanly possible.” Jacques said “But I’m guessing you won’t be able to do it.”

Rudy did a few stretches and sat down on the floor while Jacques produced a dirty towel from his dirty clothes pile.

Just a few calisthenics to warm up

“Are you ready?” Jacques asked

“Yes.” Rudy replied.

With that agreement, Jacques tied the blindfold tightly over Rudy’s eyes.

Preparing for the sit-up

“Ok, you need to start breathing.  Breathe IN through your mouth and then OUT through your mouth, this is CRITICAL.” Jacques said.

“Ok.” And Rudy started the heavy breathing portion of the preparation.


As Rudy was preparing himself to “sit up, really hard,” Jacques unbuttoned his jeans, and pulled down his pants.


Jacques then, silently, straddled Rudy’s chest and squatted so that his buttocks were, approximately, 8 inches from Rudy’s face.


Rudy sat up. He sat up HARD. A smile of triumph forming on his lips, just as his face hit Jacques bare, sweaty, hairy butt.

Boldy, go where no man has gone before

Because of the blindfold, Rudy couldn’t be sure what transpired.  What did I hit? Ew, it smells… I have hair in my mouth. Wait, what just happened?!?!?

Rudy ripped off his blindfold, and stood up, ready to kick Jacques’s ass. Fortunately, Jacques’s friends held Rudy back. But Rudy was pissed.

To this day, 25 years later, Rudy has never spoken to Jacques again. But Rudy still brags about completing an Olympic Sit-up, failing to see that it is nothing to be proud of.

While researching for this blog, I googled “Olympic sit-up.” and found that it is also called “Atomic Sit-up” or for those non-creative types “Very Hard Sit-up.” In googling, I also found that there have been several lawsuits brought, in the Chicago area,  sit up-ees vs sit-up-ers claiming molestation and various other atrocities.

The moral of this story is, this isn’t 1987 so don’t try this at home. You don’t want to get sued for some harmless butt play.


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