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Fitness: I did have to show up… But only until I didn’t have to.


When I was considered a runner, I needed help to show up every now and again.  I almost never ran alone and I really didn’t love it.  I liked the results, just not the recovery time.  Still, I showed up and got fit again.  Most days I could have easily thought myself into rolling over and going back to sleep but I suited up and showed up anyway.  I had to.

The way I saw it, getting fat was a lot worse than showing up so I did what I had to do.

Then came cycling and my whole life was turned around.  All of a sudden, my chief concern wasn’t just not getting fat, it became how skinny can I get so I can climb hills more enjoyably.  Then, once I found out that this was less than 150 pounds (that’s skinny for a 6′ tall guy), I decided that I had to eat more to keep my weight between 165-170… 

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Gone were the days when I struggled to get out of bed to get dressed and out the door.  I couldn’t wait till the sun came up so I could get clipped in.  Instead of showing up 15 minutes early with sleep in my eyes, I’d ride out to where we were meeting, then ride with the guys, then ride home.  Just to extend the fun for five or ten miles.  Warm-ups at the club ride went from a minimum of four miles to get my legs moving to a full 7-1/2 mile circuit “around the block” (it’s a big “block”).

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Today I want to show up.  More often than not, I can’t wait to show up.  Today I don’t have to show up anymore.

There’s no telling if I’d ever have gotten here with running but that doesn’t really matter one way or the other.  I did get there.

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The most important suggestion I can give (and this rarely gets mention), when it comes to fitness, is this:  Just keep showing up.  Whatever your chosen activity may be, whether it’s the gym, cross fit, running, swimming or cycling, it doesn’t matter.  If you get bored with what you’re doing at the moment, change it up.  Keep showing up for the old activity while the new takes root, too.

Eventually you’ll hit on something that will be so much fun, you won’t have to show up anymore.  Then all you’ll have to do is bask in the wonderful glory that has become your life.

One of my favorite truisms is, “It works if you work it”.  It’s simple, to the point and doesn’t have a down side that one can use to argue the alternative – a lazy, sedentary life.  Well, at least if one is honest.  In this case though, I might amend that slightly…

It works, as long as you work it.

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12 Comments

  1. Spencer Green says:

    Great post Jim! You have such a great talent of putting the joy of cycling and living a life without booze into words. Thanks for taking he time to keep your blog going and sharing your insight, inspiration and strength with us all!

  2. wanderwolf says:

    “Just keep showing up” works for everything in life, not just exercise. It works for school, work, etc. If one keeps consistent, the work to show up becomes less and more work can be invested in the actual activity you show up for ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. i very much enjoy your posts, because while i’m trying to figure out where i fit, and while i’m struggling with group dynamics, reminders of what “it’s all about” are so pointed, important, and exciting. yes. yes. yes. what you say. all of it. yes. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Couldnt agree more buddy. Couldnt agree more.

  5. Sheree says:

    Jim
    So true………………….

  6. ekels22 says:

    Jim I went for a ride on Saturday to Detroit and Belle Isle. For middle March couldn’t believe the amount of Cyclist I saw in the city. Its nice to see an exciting cycling culture happing in Detroit. Nice infrastructure for biking as well. Happy riding!

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