There are A LOT of areas in my life where I feel like I do not have my $h#! together.
Honestly the only space where I feel like I have “it” together is with my workouts and I really don’t think I can even take credit for that.
Taylor programs our workouts, I am at the gym for 5-10 hours every day (sometimes longer), I have classes to work out with and I have great accountability partners who encourage me to push harder than my mind wants me to. If I were left without any one of these things then I am certain I would be a total slacker.
Of course, there are some days where I am more motivated than others and I definitely feel much better when I am consistently pushing my body outside of it’s comfort zone, but I get how hard it is to make yourself actually do it. I also understand how hard it is to be consistent.
Working out and all that it entails (intimidating, painful, uncomfortable, hard work, sweaty, time consuming, etc) is incredibly hard to do and even harder to do consistently. I have 4 kids. I own a small business. I volunteer my free time to being room mom and helping out at the kids schools as much as possible.
My plate is freaking full and just about every area of my life feels like utter chaos. The only area that I seem to have under control isn’t even because I myself have control over it, but mostly because I have other people in place to hold me accountable to it.
I guess that’s the point though. We all NEED accountability to keep us in check. Our intentions may be good, but our execution (especially long term) is usually poor. All the areas where I feel like I’m “losing” could actually be fixed if I put more effort into finding ways to be held accountable. #2023goals
As a trainer, I have heard ALL the excuses… “things are just so crazy right now, I don’t have the time, I don’t have the money, my kids are taking over my schedule, work is insane, I keep pressing snooze, it’s just not the right time, I’m too tired, I’m too busy, I’m just not a gym person, group training isn’t for me, I need more flexibility with my workout schedule, etc”.
Let’s be real though, I don’t really have to write them all out. You can probably list 4 or 5 excuses off the top of your head that you have made in the past. Am I right?! It may sound harsh, but it’s the truth. They are all just excuses and the only people that they satisfy are the ones making them.
We make excuses because they make us feel better about failing to do what we said we were going to do. Excuses give our “failures” validity. Or at least we tell ourselves that it’s valid.
Again, I get it. I’ve been there. I’ve done it. Actually, I do it too. I have to be held accountable or else I’ll let those excuses creep in and tell myself that I have a good reason to give up. Because I know that this is true about myself then I know it’s true for other people.
So, what I’m about to say may hurt some feelings or it may make ignite anger, but it also may be the mirror that you yourself have been avoiding because you know it’s the truth. Try to set your emotions aside. I promise that this is being said out of love. It’s meant to motivate. It’s meant to force you to look at the excuses for what they really are and help you find way to flip the script.
Are you a parent? Do you have kids involved in sports? Do you sign them up for extra lessons to help them get better at their craft? Do you send them to camps to gain an advantage on other players their age? Do you make them attend workouts so that they will get stronger or faster or more powerful? Do you push them to work harder at practice? Do you tell them to run faster, to hustle, or to pay attention at practice?
My guess is that if your kid plays a sport then you can answer ‘YES’ to at least one of these questions.
You love your kid. You want them to do well in whatever activity they are doing. There is nothing wrong with this. It’s what you should want as a parent, but let me ask a few more questions.
Are you yourself involved in some sort of daily activity? Are you committing to pushing your body to improve your health? Do you go to classes that feel outside of your comfort zone? Do attend workouts to get stronger or faster or more powerful. Do you run ‘fast’? Do you hustle? Do you pay attention to how your daily life choices affect your health?
If your answer to any of these questions is ‘NO’ then it may be time to take a step back and analyze the message that you are sending to your children. This “do as I say, not as I do” narrative will only get you so far.
I heard a quote recently on a podcast interview with a famous former NFL quarterback. He was speaking about parenting and mentioned a question that he asks himself when he considers the things that he wants his kids to do….
” Have you modeled the very thing that you hope for them?”
As parents we do so many things to ensure that our children have the best chance for success in their future. We send them to good schools. We stay up late helping them study for the big test or finish a class project. We teach them good manners. We put ungodly amounts of our paychecks into their college funds. We get them hitting lessons (or music lessons, second language lessons, tutoring, workout sessions, etc) to ensure they are not left behind. We buy them clothes and shoes and electronics so that they fit in. We make them have summer jobs or do chores around the house in hopes that they learn vital life lessons before it’s too late.
I could go on, but I’m hoping that you get my point. We DO things to help our kids, but what do they learn from the things that “we” ourselves do? If we tell them to be kind to people, but then chew out a random stranger for cutting line at the grocery store then we’re not really teaching them to be kind. If we make them eat “healthy” snacks, but then stuff our faces with their halloween candy and junk food then we’re not really teaching them to make healthy food choices. If we yell at the ballpark for them to run faster, but we ourselves can’t run down the driveway without getting out of breathe then we’re not teaching them the importance of hard work and good health.
I asked our eight year old daughter today if she thought it was important for mommy and daddy to workout and if she would workout as hard if we didn’t workout too. Here’s what she said, “I mean, I would still work hard because it’s important, but it would be nice to have an example.”
Her parents own a gym so yes, she has been conditioned. She thinks working out is important because we have told her that it is. She thinks that working out is good for her health and her sports performance because we have told her that it is. But, she believes these things because she has also grown up in a gym. She has not only been told, but what she has been told has also been reinforced by what has been modeled.
She plays with other kids her age while their parents workout in our classes. She watches her parents and grandparents workout every week day. She goes to races on weekends and sees her mom and dad cross the finish line in pain, but also recognizes the satisfaction achieved with the accomplishment of doing something hard.
She has been instructed, but she also has been led by an example. She watches, so she knows that working out isn’t an option, it is necessity. She knows that it’s hard and not always fun, but that it has an important purpose. If you ask our kids, “why is working out important?” they will reply with “because doing hard things now makes doing hard things later easier”.
As parents we push our kids to play sports, to workout , to be active and do hard things when they are growing up. A lot of times we do this because that’s what we did when we were younger, but what kind of example are we actually setting for their future? It’s normal to be “athletic” and active when you’re younger, but when you “grow up” then you can be lazy? “Lazy” sounds harsh, but there is really no other way to describe it. We don’t get a pass just because we’re older. It’s not like there’s this magic age where you’ve “earned” your right to be less active.
You only have one life and you only get one body. Good health is just as important (maybe more) as an adult than it is as a kid. Stop expecting your kids to do things that you yourself aren’t willing to do. At some point they will see past the hypocrisy and eventually will follow your footsteps.
Look ahead to your kids future. Past high school. Past college. Past their 20’s. Do you want them to be a middle aged adult who is 15-20 pounds overweight with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, or any one of the major preventable diseases that plague our society?
Look real hard in this mirror that I’m holding up. What do you see? If it’s not what you want then there is good news. You have the ability and power to make a change. Set an example that will lead your kids to success, not only now, but for their future.
“Children learn more from what you ARE than from what you TEACH“