It's not how it looks

It’s not how it looks

Yesterday, I was finishing up a quick workout I snuck in before work and I took a gander at the gym’s Christmas schedule. Turns out one of the GoodLife locations I sometimes use is open every day over the holidays, and even though I know that I’ll be afar with family enjoying egg nog and mimosas, I have a busy weekend to get me to Christmas and started to piece together how I could fit in a visit or two Saturday or Sunday. I’ll just get up at 4, workout from 4:30-5:30, and then get to work on time for 6…

Impressive? Dedicated? Crazy? A waste of time?

...maybe it’s a little bit of each. Thanks to a tickle in my throat, it’s become clear that I’m on the edge. A semester of stressing about firsts for everything with my gig at Western, a whirlwind of getting on the supply list and going to a whole schwack of schools, and some pretty long-a$$ days without enough sleep are chasing me and trying to catch up with me.  

My coaching has taught me that it can be much easier to look at something rationally from a distance--when a client is stuck in a pattern that seems to be holding them back, I’ve realized they sometimes can’t even see what’s going on, let alone a route out of it. Sometimes clarity comes via coaching, reflection, a rock bottom moment, or getting inspired by something or someone along the way. My journaling has helped me step back and see one of those patterns in myself.

As you may or may not know, I was a bit of a beefcake growing up. When I was a teenager, I started to work out and really fell in love with how it made me feel, how it changed my body, and the kind of support and praise I’d get from other people for doing it. Since I love it, training and working out and fitting in exercise is easy. I’ll look at my calendar and decide to set my alarm as early as I have to in order to make sure I fit in a workout.

But the question that I think is perhaps most powerful in coaching is: How’s that working for you?


Meh is not the answer I want. Training a lot, or getting up at the buttcrack of dawn to run or go to the gym--this is comfortable for me. Signing up for races and doing them is tough perhaps during the race--or not, depending on my mindset--but that’s in the short term. This is the “easy” stuff.

But the hard stuff is where it’s at--and it’s what we avoid. To really benefit our health, we need to understand what’s holding us back and take a closer look at the habits we do over and over again that don’t really serve our best selves. For me, that’s using food to help me calm down after or before a busy day, or running on fumes and sweet coffee drinks on a daily basis. It’s that pesky relationship with food and a resistance to taking care of myself (i.e. getting sleep, etc.). For you, it might be something else. Maybe you don’t exercise and can’t seem to get yourself going. Taking a deeper look at your relationship with exercise might be hard, but going a little deeper and dealing with the things we don’t want to--that’s how we make progress.

Keep in mind this: It’s easier to stay comfortable, even if the things we do aren’t really serving us. Asking ourselves where we can really get real to make progress--and being willing to dive in and do the messy work there--is uncomfortable, challenging, and the opposite of sticking with the status quo. But at the end of the day, it’s up to you. If you answered How’s that working for you? with an honest, “The best!” then ignore this post. If you want more from yourself and your life, then start digging deeper.

Do you journal or participate in coaching to help you step back?
Where are you willing to do some digging?
What are you just comfortable with--not happy?