#22KillPushUpChallenge: Students participate in online Push-Up Challenge

Becca Zheng

Atypical scroll through a Facebook filled with casual shares and posts, whether it be about opinions on elections, club promotions, or relatable quotes, comes to a halt with a video of someone doing push ups. This post is known to be a Push-Up Challenge, called the “22KillPushUpChallenge” and in honor of victims and veterans of World War One. The “22KillPushUpChallenge” has become the latest social trend in these past few weeks. In this challenge, people are nominated to complete 22 push ups — on camera — for 22 consecutive days. The nominee then posts a clip of himself or herself completing the challenge on social media .

This challenge is meant to raise awareness for the average 22 veterans that are victims of suicide in both Canada and the United States. Once completed, they tag others for the same purpose. Sophomore Karina Wang explained that the recent Push- Up Challenge treat utilizes social media to draw awareness of a prevalent problem faced by soldiers.

“My newsfeed is always being flooded with this kind of stuff, and I really do pay attention, [so] I think by tagging more people, and having them do the [push up] challenge [it] will raise awareness”, Wang said.

Junior Krithika Rao mentioned how she did not accomplish the entire Push-Up Challenge and finished only part of it. Rao claimed to have participated for the sake of increasing awareness for the topic of veteran suicide itself. Despite not completing the entire challenge, she admitted the difficulty in getting through 22 push ups in a row, which also helps to emphasize how hard soldiers work.

“From what I know, the Push-Up Challenge is meant for veterans who give up their lives unnoticed, so I decided to do it just so that people are more aware about the topic,” Rao said. “I’m weak, I can’t do 22 pushups without stopping in the middle to catch my breath, and the fact that [veterans] do [push ups], and more, everyday is sort of surprising, and people just don’t notice it.”

Junior Brian Huang explained the motivation behind increasing awareness for veterans who commit suicide. Out of many other Facebook nominations, to his surprise, the Push Up Challenge was one of the few he’d been nominated for.

“I felt surprised I got nominated [for this], mainly because, [for] a lot of other random Facebook things, I usually don’t get nominated,” Huang said.

Inspired by commercials that discuss the suicide rate of soldiers who are suffering from trauma in response to the war, junior Arjun Subramonian emphasized the importance he felt in spreading awareness, as well as the motivation to do so. Subramonian talked about the lack of care and acknowledgement that soldiers receive from their country, and the duty he felt in raising awareness to improve that.

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“There were two reasons: part of it was ‘why not?’”, Subramonian said, “and the other half [was actually] wanting to spread awareness, for that issue is something [that] I felt was really important.”

In an effort to increase an understanding on veteran suicide, the 22Kill project is designed by veterans to increase awareness towards suicide and mental health issues like post-traumatic stress disorder. The project is also meant to provide support for other partnered organizations that reach out to help out veterans and to help empower them through raised funds from merchandise and donations. Despite how many push ups can be done in a row or how well they are performed, each push up matters and speaks out to raise the awareness needed for soldiers.