Show up!

Showing up is the first big battle. If you don't show up to the gym, then it does not matter what the training plan is or how awesome the coach/gym/equipment/whatever is. The multiplication factor is zero, and so, no output is produced.

So, we are clear that we actually have to show up.

At The Quad, we've been able to consistently produce results for most of our students with the simple goal of "Show up 3 days a week". That's it. 90% of our success stories are built upon that.

If you are thinking about your fitness goals for next year, here are two simple things to think about - if you can walk 365/365 days next year, for at least 30 minutes a day, your health will be a LOT better. Or if you can go to the gym for 200 days next year, you will surpass most of the fitness goals that you set.

Being clear about the effort and thinking at least a year-long in terms of effort becomes crucial.

It is hard to discuss how big a part showing up plays because if you don't show up, no work gets done.

but sometimes ...

There are things that we show up reasonably often for. Take work, for example. Or spending time with the family. Or with our dog. We 'show up'. If we didn't show up at our job, we wouldn't get paid. Which poses a glitch.

Photo by Alex Kotliarskyi / Unsplash

But are we being pushed intellectually and creatively at our job? Are we producing the work that we are truly capable of? Or are we on auto-pilot and producing what we can produce?

Are we being pushed out of our comfort zone and growing?

Rarely. We show up but we aren't fully there. For various reasons.


I am guilty of this. There are times when I have made a conscious effort to coast - college comes to mind. And there are more dangerous times when I did not realise I was coasting.

As a coach, I have to show up. As an entrepreneur, I have to show up. But working and being busy all the time is not showing up. Busyness is a disease which shows up as a calendar that is blocked out eternally. It shows up as answering phone calls and emails all the time.

A growing sense of discontent over the past few years have helped me look at this question a lot further and discovered many instances of coasting - in my job and in my training inside the gym as well. When our brains are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work, it is preferably to chill in our comfort zone. It is easy to be sidetracked by the fact that we are busy all the time and hence, must be doing work. It would be a lot easier to catch ourselves if we were playing videogames all day, one presumes.

Or coming into the gym but not having gotten enough sleep, not being awake enough to concentrate on how to make the lift - either you are gonna get injured or you are just not going to do enough work to make a change. It is better than not showing up, sure. But a few months of this and you'll get used to this quality and quantity of effort.

Photo by Andrew Seaman / Unsplash

And in both work and at the gym, no real progress is being made.

asking myself a question

The first question to ask ourselves is "Are we showing up?". If quantitatively the answer is yes i.e. your attendance is marked as yes, then the next question to ask ourselves is "Are we SHOWING UP?".

The answer to this is found in whether the numbers at the gym are moving, or if your health markers have improved, or if you are creatively happier i.e. producing higher quality work.

As I've asked myself this question over the past year or so, I realise that the more free time I have, the better my quality of work. The more I do things besides work, the better my quality of life.

Many times, it is easier to coast and be mindlessly chugging along. But probing into this question and digging deeper has brought up a lot of uncomfortable answers. But growth lies there. Because there's showing up and then there's showing up.

If I could summarise this, it would be "Be present!".

Photo by Luis Vidal / Unsplash

Reduce the number of things to show up for and improve the quality of showing up. I have just started to put this into effect for myself and flounder quite a bit. But it seems to make sense.

Asking ourselves questions periodically and taking the time to dig into them seems to be a superpower.