Once upon a time there was a steep slope I called Death, because I was/felt more than half dead before I was halfway to the top, even just doing normal walking. It went from sea level to two hundred meters above it. The few and short flat parts of it didn't give anything even remotely close to anything resembling a break long enough to deal with the steep, ongoing rise. It took me more than an hour, with several prolonged breaks to reach the top, and finally being able to «enjoy» what would probably have been a great view if I hadn't suffered from the itching sweat in my sore eyes.
When I started with pushups, I could do three, to be kind. The truth is that I could hardly do one, could hardly push my body up from the floor in a technically correct way at all.
And there are quite a few other examples of my lack of incentives to become a truly mobile human being. I sweat a lot and always will, no matter the shape. The trip through the forest, with lots of flies, mosquito, vipers and more turned even more unpleasant by the fact that I had to dry my eyes and forehead every tenth second or so. So I did the only sensible thing: I made myself a headband of old bed sheets (these days I buy my headbands, bands made of material absorbing humidity). That small thing was actually an important factor in my progress, encouraging me further to stumble through the forest with sore throat and burning lungs for months and years… until I, as stated increased my speed and muscle mass significantly, and my resting heart rate went far down.
I procured good running shoes, a necessary act to prevent easy injury, as my activity level went way up, and I discovered the pleasures of running flat out on the highway and in the wilderness both.
And Death became a challenge instead of an obstruction. The minor nuisances I mentioned didn't go away, but they became insignificant. Life itself became a joyful challenge and not a nuisance. I was able to do what I did because of the strength and willpower I hadn't realized I possessed. As stated, this isn't just about physical exercise, but about everything. I started running during my ascension of Death, initially at the fairly flat parts, and then, after a while of hardship at the merciless, steepest parts. Eventually I could ascend Death without becoming truly breathless at all, unless I kept pushing myself the same way I did everywhere, and pushed myself so hard that I had to crawl the last few meters to the top. And no matter, it didn't take me long to regain my breath, to catch myself and to keep going.
It was an amazing, indescribable moment, only beaten my many similar moments of amazing progression in the months to come.
When I was at my best I could ascend Death in fifteen minutes or less, of a more or less ongoing, perpetual run. And by then I had long since realized that sweating is healthy, that a human being is supposed to sweat, is supposed to feel the burning in the throat and the lungs and the legs and the arms.
I did 150 pushups in intervals of three at the most and the only break I had from that was the same numbers of sit-ups or a variety of other types of exercise on the floor at home. Eventually I could sit on the floor and push my entire body up from it like an Olympic gymnast. Among a number of amazing developments that felt like one of the most amazing.
And something I couldn't even imagine early in the process related here.
When I could do this my claim is that everyone can. I started on such a low note. The first twenty years of my life, except for lots of swimming during the summer, what little summer there was in that area then I hardly moved around at all, until I finally (trumpets) discovered the joy of being a truly mobile human being.