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Just Show Up: What It Means

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Just Show Up.

It’s become our motto here at CrossFit Palm Beach. A tagline we’ve coupled with our Committed Club, a club that gets recognized each month, quarter, and year for athletes who “just show up” to at least 15 classes each month. You’ll see it printed on the front of our free shirts for the yearly club.

So in order to make the revered Committed Club, you don’t have to do a single thing beyond arriving to the gym. It doesn’t count personal records set, weights used, or steps taken. It only cares that your physical body was there (regardless of where the mental was).

But is that all “Just Show Up” is? Is it just getting your butt inside the door to go through the motions? Is it just getting by with the minimum?

If you’ve been to one of our CrossFit or BeachFit classes you know it’s hard to just go through the motions once you’re there. When the class begins and you feel the energy of the people around you, just showing up turns into “let’s f*cking do this!”

“I almost didn’t come, but I’m so glad I did” is something we hear every day. It might be from the morning person fighting the snooze button, or the afternoon athlete who had a long day at work. The consensus is almost always the same. I’m glad I came.

That’s the first part of Just Show Up. If we know we can get to the gym, the rest will take care of itself. The programmed hour, encouraging coaches, and our fellow athletes will get us through the rest as they always do.

The second and most important part of Just Show Up, is getting rid of an all-or-nothing attitude. This doesn’t just apply to CrossFit, but in everything you do.

“If I can’t give something 110%, what is the point of giving it just 50 percent?”
Because 50% is higher than 0%.

This all-or-nothing, pass or fail, win or lose, fly or die, approach to life is a risky one.

Life and health should be seen as an infinite scale where you control the needle with every day you get and every choice you make. Each choice moves the needle toward or away from the person you want to become.

When you take opportunity after opportunity to move the needle that little bit in the right direction, it adds up over time. Just showing up is about intentionally getting 1% better at something today.

If you only showed up on the days where you were guaranteed homeruns you’d miss out on some surprisingly good days and achievements you never knew you had within you.

The foundation for greatness and personal records is built on those bad days. The days where a warm bed or cold drink sounds so much more inviting. That is where real progress is made, even if it’s not measurable right away.

The third and final piece to “Just Show Up” is knowing where the emphasis lies. If you’ve read this far, you can picture me saying it like just SHOW UP, and not JUST show up.

So…what’s the difference?

If the emphasis were on “JUST”, we’d be looking to only get by with the minimum and check the box for attending. But the real emphasis is on what you bring to the table. Did you show up with the best you?

I’m not bragging when I say I’ve gotten pretty good at bringing my best self to my workouts. It’s been a work in progress no doubt. It’s taken a lot of stoic philosophy, knowledge and insight from amazing books and our CFPB book club and podcast, and putting all that into practice day after day.

I’ve noticed other places, like my parenting, could still use more “SHOW UP”, and less “just.” I can be there for my kids, or I can BE THERE for my kids. Granted, the father who JUST shows up is probably doing more than most, and should receive a new tie this Father’s Day. But I want to be the dad that gives everything I have into my interactions with my kids.

It’s easy to see the results of what we put into our workouts by recording better times, weights, or reps. It’s a little harder to gauge things like parenting and other life situations.

Just this past week we got some amazing news that our son Dylan will be able to attend regular Kindergarten classes this fall. A few years ago, Dylan was expelled from his preschool and we had to find alternate schooling for him. Luckily we found a program through our public school system that gives extra attention to ASD (autism spectrum disorder) students. He’s made a ton of growth since he started there in January of 2018. So much growth that at our recent IEP (individualized education program) meeting, his teachers and counselors removed any type of ASD labeling from his future needs for the time being and agreed he could be in a normal class.

Hearing Dylan’s teachers speak about him, you could tell how they SHOW UP for him each day. They clearly don’t just try to get through their day and play babysitter when needed. Dylan’s progress is a tangible testament to the work his teachers, his family members, and Shannon and I have put in.

It’s motivating to know showing up in the right way can change the course of someone’s life. It might be someone who pays you for your service, a family member, or the person you see in the mirror.

So next time you see “Just Show Up” on one of our t-shirts or wristbands, realize the power behind that short message. Realize you control that power and can decide what to do with it.

Just Show Up.
-Tony