62-year-old completes 22 day push up challenge to raise awareness for veteran suicide

People are jumping on the work-out train in an effort to raise awareness of veteran suicide.
People are jumping on the work-out train in an effort to raise awareness of veteran suicide.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – If your Facebook feed has been looking like a gym lately… you can probably thank the #22DayPushupChallenge, or the newest social media trend.

People are jumping on the work-out train in an effort to raise awareness of veteran suicide.

In Augusta, a 62-year-old woman is taking the challenge to the next level.

Kathy Lewis is very much a fitness enthusiast. She says she’s been hitting the gym, just about everyday, for the last 30 years.

She first learned about the 22 ‘Day Push up Challenge,’ through her son’s friend who is an Augusta firefighter.

“Actually he had nominated my son and I tease him and said, you probably should have nominated me.” Lewis told WJBF NewsChannel 6.

Not too long after that, Lewis was challenged by that firefighter, putting the spotlight on the avid personal trainer.

However, the grandmother of 10 wasn’t just going to do any regular push up.

She mixed-it up everyday, toughing it out when her body wanted to give up.

It’s her way of challenging herself mentally and physically, just like many veterans that when duty called have to drop everything to fight and protect our freedom.

“There is a scripture and it says greater love hath no man than this,” Lewis said, “and that’s to lay down the life for his friends and that’s what our soldiers do.”

Four years ago, the Department of Veteran Affairs released a suicide report that indicated nearly 22 percent of suicides involved veterans.

Lewis says the heartbreaking statistic should be an eye-opener for Americans.

“I just feel like they should be getting better care.” Lewis said.

While she’s done with her 22 day challenge, completing a total of 484 push-ups, she says there isn’t enough she could do to show veterans how thankful she truly is.

Lewis says she plans to continue nominating other people and wants to challenge WJBF NewsChannel 6 viewers to complete 22 push ups a day, for 22 days.

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