It’s time to take the pledge and take the 22 Pushup Challenge! For those of you who aren’t familiar with the challenge, which is sometimes called the 22KILL Pushup Challenge, is a campaign to bring awareness to the horrific number of U.S. military veterans who commit suicide each day — an average of 22. The challenge also honors all military service members and veterans.
Challenge participants press out 22 pushups each day for 22 days. This viral awareness campaign gained traction and started to garner Hollywood celebrity support and participation in August 2016. Social media outlets like Instagram, Facebook and news feeds began to promote video posts of celebrities doing their 22 pushups and then challenging other celebrities, pro athletes, politicians and so forth to do the same.
It caught my attention because so many drivers are veterans, and several of my family members served in the military, including an uncle I never met who was killed in conflict. However, once celebrities stopped posting videos, the challenge seemed to lose momentum.
I became involved four years ago after visiting with bus and truck drivers who served in the military and listening to their stories of trying to overcome personal struggles while building their business and personal relationships. After interviewing a couple of military veterans to learn more, I discovered the 22×22 challenge had become more about self-promotion than raising awareness to veteran suicide and raising money to support organizations that work to improve the mental health of veterans.
My approach has been to encourage motor carriers, drivers (and non-drivers, too), suppliers and OEMs to support and donate. In my posts I say. “It’s not how many you can do, or how much you can donate — if its 1, 2 or 22 — it’s about creating awareness and giving to veteran support groups to help our veterans and veterans CDL drivers.” I’ve set a goal to raise $5,000 for veteran support organizations.
You can take the pledge and upload your videos at thetrucker.com/22×22-photo-video-submission-form-2023.
In addition, if you’re planning to be at Women In Trucking’s Accelerate! Conference and Expo Nov. 5-8, I invite you to join me at 6:45 a.m. Monday, Nov. 6, at the entrance of the exhibit hall. I want to rally at least 100 attendees to join me in a pushup session, which will be videoed and uploaded to social media channels to help raise awareness and support.
Known as The Trucker Trainer, Bob Perry has played a critical role in the paradigm shift of regulatory agencies, private and public sector entities, and consumers to understand the driver health challenge. Perry can be reached at [email protected].
Bob Perry has spent nearly the past four decades on a mission to educate professional drivers and share life-changing products and services to help them live healthier lives while on the road. Recognized throughout the transportation industry, from bus drivers to over-the-road professional drivers, Bob Perry has played an important role in creating a paradigm shift helping regulatory agencies, private and public sector entities, and consumers understand the current health challenges of the professional driver. He has participated as a wellness advocate in several roundtable discussions, large audience groups and small forums as well as going “curbside” through a national truck stop tour.
Bob’s articles have been featured in The Trucker and a number of other national transportation industry publications and is the host of a weekly wellness call produced by Rolling Strong. Bob has been a regular guest on RedEye Radio and Land-Line Radio, and is often an invited guest on Sirius radio shows. He has been featured in the New York Times, Men’s Health Magazine, Drug Store News, American Road Magazine, WSJ, NPR, ABC National Radio, as well as hundreds of daily newspapers. He has appeared on television news shows across the nation, including a featured TV segment on ABC NightLine News.