My brother and I—believe it or not—were on our high school’s football team. Although we will have left the team to focus more on school and boxing, we invested ourselves in it, and with the help of our coach, we at one point surpassed most of our peers in strength (speed, not so much).
And one day, a coach suddenly announced to the players that we would be doing a push-up contest then and there. This announcement was met with the team’s tired enthusiasm and quiet disdain, and understandably so, for we had just finished weightlifting. I also think most people knew that the reward would merely be bragging rights. Still, everyone participated so that they might not seem lazy or be lazy. Hui and I, however, took part only because it happened to be announced.
Then, all fell to the cadence of the whistle. And soon after, some players quit, and at around 50 push-ups, most discontinued. Not thinking about much, Hui and I pushed onward without knowing when to stop. To many people, it was extraordinary how two freshmen competed with the top-notch juniors and seniors, and when the count reached about 150, everyone was chanting either Hui or Yang as only we brothers remained in the contest, simply aware of our numb arms.
I hope you enjoyed the anecdote as an instance of spontaneous participation.