Simon Says

There are days, no doubt, when showing up is legitimately half or more of the battle.  When it would have been easier to stay home.  Or to stay asleep.  Or to stay – quite frankly – in denial.

But there are also days when we are all too quick to give ourselves a pat on the back for merely making an appearance. When we arrive, and then, in an act of personal excusal, we simultaneously exit.

I’m here.

Check my name off the list. 

Give me credit.

It’s a mindset that is an epidemic in the fitness world, as people repeatedly – and mistakenly – associate participation with actually putting forth effort.  It’s a going through of the motions in both a figurative and literal sense. A real life game of Simon Says.

But here’s the deal:  Doing what you’re told is easy.  It takes obedience, yes, but practically anyone can be trained to follow a leader.  Mirroring the motions of an instructor or a trainer doesn’t build strength.  Nor character.  Quite the contrary, it simply makes you a puppet in someone else’s parade.

Good fitness professionals understand this. They are not there to have their egos boosted by being the ultimate authoritative figure, but rather to coach you to make you the boss of holding yourself accountable. They give you parameters to serve as a blueprint for pushing outside of them.  They give no credit for showing up, because they believe doing so is only the start of the battle.

So you owe it to yourself to reassess the relationship you have with your fitness facility or trainer.  If it’s more monkey-see-monkey-do than based on performance, be aware that your progress will be limited.  Ask yourself if you’re receiving doses of tough love or if you’re being led by a defacto cheerleader.  One with a generic smile, just telling you what you want to hear.

But let it be clear that it’s not all about the person in front of you.  Believing that to be the case is only another form of escaping responsibility and misplacing the blame.  No it is YOU who must insist on more than just showing up.  Who must serve as the leader for yourself to follow.  Because when it comes to going through the motions, Simon is yelling stop.

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