How Will You Show Up Today?

By Nick Lynch


How Will You Show Up Today?

One day off our regular routines, even when it’s a snow day, can play with our motivation. One day off can turn into a slippery slope.

It reminds me of a recent conversation I had with Coach Stollenwerk, coach of the MSOE rowing team in which he shared with me that a previous team trainer, on regular occasion, just didn’t show up. Didn’t show up  to train the team! 

A trainer that doesn't show up blows my mind for several reasons. First, I think it’s amazing that so many young athletes on the rowing team will show up to train at 5:00 AM. Of course, if they’re going to show up at 5:00 AM, you can bet on it that I’m going to be there to train them at 5:00 AM.

To show up each one of us has to make a number of decisions, one of which is to actually wake at 4:00 AM. If you’re wondering if we’re super human specimens who want to wake up at 4:00 AM, the answer is: NO!

We are, in fact, just like you. So how do we get and keep our motivation?

We get comfortable with the uncomfortable.

We train at 5:00 AM to build integrity and strength, including the mental strength to not give in to our own negative messaging. Over time, our habituated 5:00 AM workout and the mental strength needed to maintain it, shows up in everything we do, whether as a team, or as an individual.

Rather than giving into the comfort of flannel sheets on a cold winter morning, we embrace those sheets earlier at night, so we may rise earlier. Rather than dwelling on the hour, we meditate on affirmations, those positive and personal reasons, we each have for showing up to 5:00 AM training.

Of course, developing the habit of a 5:00 AM training time is like the development of any habit, you make a decision and you choose to  implement it.  For me, the mechanics of it are simple and look like this:

·     4:00 am wake up

·     Brush teeth

·     Drink water

·     Wash face and hair with cold water

·     Light candle

·     Brew Gyokuro Tea

·     Sit in silence and contemplate gratitude

Today, I am grateful for the young, mindful, athletes who will make a choice to  show up and honor their commitment to their team, to themselves and to me.


I get that we all battle the chill of winter and the falling snow.  I understand how it can suck us, and our motivation, into the flannel vortex, honestly, I get it. But, consider this–whether team player, individual, trainer or coach, together we are like a kinetic mobile. If anyone is a no show, if anyone is missing, we all lose our equilibrium. We all experience a loss.

In contrast, each time you show up, each time you follow through with your commitment to yourself, your team, your trainer or your coach,  each time you do what you said you would do with ease, you acknowledge that each one of us matters to the others function and purpose.

We can celebrate that over some tea or with kettlebells, it’s your choice.