Showing up is the battle

When my clients walk in the gym door and say something to the effect of “I don’t know how much I’m going to do today because of….” Then I remind them of this fact. Did you show up today and they say  “yes”, to which I reply.

“ Showing up is the hardest part. The rest is easy.”

Nothing happens without showing up. Not workouts, parenting, or earning a paycheck because it all starts with showing up. With all those things your presence is required, and it sounds simple but it’s far from easy. Because who feels like working out, being a parent, and going to work all the time?

Not me that’s for dam sure.

Let’s Start With The Things That Stop You From Showing Up

This could be a long list but let’s keep it brief because I don’t want to be seen as a whiner. But there are a few things seen, unseen, mental, and physical that act as barriers to showing up in your personal and professional life.

First is feelings. Being tired, sore, stressed, sad or you’re good at talking yourself out of stuff. The internal dialog that goes on in your head is good at telling you, you need to miss your workout. Trust me, even as a personal trainer this conversation goes on a fair bit in my noggin.

The second is you feel the world is conspiring against you, whether this is real or perceived. Recently there’s been a ton of stuff happening around me that’s taken a lot of my physical and mental energy away. The last thing I want to do is show up all the time and be a good parent, good caregiver, or a good business owner.

Last, it may be something physical or a lack of something that stops you from showing up. This may be a lack of money, transportation, or acute or chronic illness. For example, a couple of my clients are legally blind and can’t drive. This barrier is real and not just in your head and impacts whether you can show up professionally or personally.

You Don’t Feel Like Showing Up

Before going into little things to do to show up when you don’t want to, first a little inspiration.

When I taught group exercise in retirement homes most participants had physical and mental things going on. This gave them every excuse not to show up but there was this one lady among many who stood out. Her lungs were failing,  couldn’t get enough O2, and was attached to a portable O2 machine.

This lady would come religiously to my classes and do what she could. Now if anyone in the class would pipe up with an excuse or complaint, I would point out that if she could do it, so could they. Despite all the barriers she had coming to class, she still showed up.  This remains one of my sources of inspiration when I don’t feel like showing up.

5 Tips For Showing Up

This isn’t an attempt to minimize the barriers you face because who shows up 100% of the time? Not me because you all need time for yourself occasionally. But when you need to show up (most of the time) for your workouts, paycheck, or your kids, I hope the following helps.

Put The Phone Away

Like a lot of you reading, I am attached to my phone but when my teenage boys are around me, I put the phone away or lie it face down. If they want to have a conversation or have something to tell me at least they know they have my full attention.

Make It A Habit

How many times have you woken up on Monday morning and not wanted to go to work but gone anyway? The need to support yourself and your family overrides the feelings of dread. Now if you treated exercise the same way (most of the time) you’d be healthier and less stressed.  

Change Your Perspective

A simple mindset switch when it comes to your exercise is “I get to do it” and not “I have to do it.” The person in the wheelchair would love to walk and do squats.

Give Yourself 5 Minutes

This one is from my client Pam. When she struggles with showing up to her workouts, she lies down on her exercise mat for 5 minutes. With no plan or motivation, just the environment change is enough for her to do something. You could sit on the bike, go for a walk, or put your workout clothes on. Sometimes the change of environment and being near what you need to show up on can help.  

Have A Reminder

I’m often reminded and inspired by clients present and former who had every excuse not to show up but did. When you’re about to talk yourself out of something you need to do but do not want to do, have a reminder on WHY you need to do it. Who is your inspiration?

Wrapping Up

Showing up is 99% of the battle IMO. When you’ve shown up, the rest is easier because the real battle is being present when you don’t feel like it or there is a barrier slowing you down. When you show up in your professional or personal life, good things will happen.

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