First up, I’d like to thank you all for weighing in yesterday on post length.  I really appreciate everybody’s opinions on that topic!!

Next up, let’s talk about motivation.

Motivation is a tricky beast.

Motivation, much like the Disney Beast- who was a mean beast and then a nice beast and then a human enchanted to look like a beast- is one tricky beast.


Sometimes your brain is just agog with ideas and energy and you’re all:

“Woohoo it’s time for my run! Run run run. I love to run. I love a little cardio. A little car-di-OHH YEAH I’m on fire today! And I have like 8 ideas for blog posts, what to choose, what to choose. Oh wait what’s that, Brain? Something awesome? Make that 9.”

And then other times it’s like:

“Ehh, I have no idea what I’m going to blog about today, maybe how much I love my pillow. And yes, I’m happy right here on the couch with said pillow and no, I have no plans to put on pants.”

Monica covers both extremes in a convenient minute and a half:

Luckily, most of the time, most of us are somewhere in the middle.

But whether we’re talking about the motivation that gets you out the door and gets your feet moving quickly one after the other for miles and miles or whether we’re talking about the kind of motivation it takes to write a blog post, sometimes you just don’t feeeeeel like it. In those moments, you just have to show up. Because showing up is 80% the entire battle.

Like, all it takes is that choice to make an appearance. You may find that once you’re there (wherever “there” may be) and you start doing it (whatever “it” may be) that you actually feel great. It  might turn out to be one of your best workouts.

But sometimes it turns out you were right to be weary, and it sucks. But even if that’s the case and it’s painful and you hate it the whole time, infinity times out of infinity, you’re going to feel better afterwards than you did prior.

Sometimes the only way I get myself to Bar Method is promising myself I can leave half way through. To date that has never once happened. Once I’m there, I get into it. The same goes for blog posts. When I have no motivation, I tell myself that if I just open a new draft I can write  “no towels, need sleepy” (from Tommy Boy) over and over again. But, inevitably, I begin to type sentences, and add pictures.

Also from Tommy Boy

(Also from Tommy Boy)

Some good, some not so good.

Finally, the best of both worlds:

An awesome pillow that makes me want to leave my bed. I need this.

Do you ever find that sometimes your best workouts/ blog posts happen on days you did NOT want to exercise/write?

Do you want that pillow too?

What are you doing for the 4th??

55 Thoughts on “Sometimes You Just Gotta Show Up

  1. Charlotte my dear, once again, you’ve nailed it! There are definitely days when all I want to do is play hooky from work, running, blogging, and all of my responsibilities and curl up in my bed for a giant snoozefest. The only time I gave myself permission to indulge was when I was pregnant and my body was screaming at me to slow down and rest, but otherwise I drag myself out of bed and put one foot in front of the other. Once I get going, I slowly warm up to whatever task is at hand. And even if my workday, workout, or writing isn’t stellar, at least I get an E for effort and no guilt for skipping out!
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted…Marathon Mama: Richmond 2013My Profile

    • Exactly what I was getting at! on the days im feeling tired and don’t work out first thing, i always feel like im draaaaaging by mid day. then im always kicking myself (read: feeling that skipping out guilt) for not just doing the workout in the morning. pregnancy is totally different, you were smart to rest. but otherwise, the mind is so good at playing tricks when it comes to what it needs/ wants sometimes! i’ll never forget one time in the dead of winter, it was a literal snowstorm at 5:30am, i did NOT want to go to class, but once i got there i had my best workout. everything just clicked. my body knew better than my brain.

  2. Sometimes all you have to do is put your sneakers on! And your feet do the rest!
    carlotta recently posted…Tuesday’s Hard Decisions!My Profile

    • It’s so true! Like when you dont feel like a run, you can trick yourself by saying if you get on the treadmill, you can just walk. you always end up running in the end!

  3. that has been my week so far :0)
    MIZ recently posted…Get Fit TOGETHER!My Profile

  4. Very.much.yes. Starting or getting myself out the door is almost always most of the battle. I find that as long as I’m staying busy and moving around, I don’t have a problem continuing to do so… but once I sit down or veg for a while? Yeaahhhh it’s all over. And the worst part is that you can’t even enjoy that vegging around because of that annoying itch in the back of your mind that’s telling you to get up and do something. But I always go easy on myself at times like those and say that I only need to do some ridiculously easy amount and I can quit if I’m not liking it. Sure there are some times where I actually do end up sticking to that promise, but what usually ends up happening is that things start flowing once I just start up.
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. WIAW … beating the heat .My Profile

    • Ah I am the same way! The less I have going on, the more tired and unmotivated I am do things, meanwhile when there are a million things going on at once, that energy is always there. it’s like that old saying goes: “if you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.”

  5. I love this post! I completely agree with the “Showing up” is truly the most difficult part, and like you said once you get there, you end up doing the entire workout. Thanks for the motivation this morning!
    Emily @ Sweet Summer Smiles recently posted…Clean Banana-Mango SmoothieMy Profile

    • Thanks Emily! it’s like my mom always says when you really don’t feel like working out: “just put your sneakers on”. once they’re on and you get to the gym (or wherever) most of the battle is over, since the endorphins will kick in soon after :)

  6. “Ehh, I have no idea what I’m going to blog about today, maybe how much I love my pillow. And yes, I’m happy right here on the couch with said pillow and no, I have no plans to put on pants.” –> basically my thoughts, all day erry day.

    This morning I really didn’t want to run…and then ended up having one of the best runs of my life. (Funny how these things work out, huh?) Like you said, I always tell myself just to get out there and do a little bit, say half a mile, and if I’m really not feeling it then I’ll let myself stop for the day. To date, I’ve never stopped. :) You’re so right–just showing up is pretty much the entire battle. :)
    Beth @ Mangoes and Miles recently posted…WIAW #8: Rabbity rabbity rabbityMy Profile

    • congrats on that run!! i mean, I always feel pretty great after working out, but after an especially good workout, its the BEST feeling! my run the other day was so-so. not bad not great. however it was like 90 degrees out, so that may have contributed.

  7. You are seriously so funny. I totally relate to all of this. This morning was one of those ‘Yes I’m running, I have legs, yay, it’s cool outside today, I love cardio, my legs hurt but this is AWESOME.’ type day. Yeah, it doesn’t happen all the time. Whenever I run, I tell myself just 3 miles, then there’s no pressure as I slowly continue adding miles! I have those blog ruts too. When in doubt, I usually bake it out. Everyone loves food lol and you don’t need pants to bake!
    Katherine recently posted…But Where Did June Go?My Profile

  8. Ain’t it the truth! Showing up is definitely half the battle…once you’re there auto pilot kicks in.

    And speaking of pillows – do NOT order this pillow if you ever want to get out of bed again. I have it and can vouch for it’s awesomeness.

    No big 4th plans – supposed to be a rainy mess here in the A. We’re running the Peachtree Road Race and then probably playing board and card games.
    Sara @ Fit.Fun.Femme recently posted…“Wordless” Wednesday – Happy Birthday America!My Profile

    • Ahh now I want that pillow! it looks like a dream :) hope peachtree went well! Can’t wait to read your recap! and i love board games and card games, which did you play? hope it cleared up long enough for fireworks last night!

  9. OMG…YES!! There are so many times when I get home from work and I don’t feel like doing a darn thing, but I make myself get into the car and drive to Zumba. When I walk in the door and the music starts playing, my whole attitude starts changing and all the sudden, I’m not tired and feeling lazy any more and I end up having an awesome time and get a kick-butt workout. Same thing holds true with writing a post…I don’t feel like doing it, then I grab my laptop and all the sudden the words start flowing. It’s the weirdest thing!
    Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat recently posted…WIAW #4 — No Smoothie!?!My Profile

    • Yep! it’s that moment of “uuuhghghgh” that you just have to push through because then on the other side is normally energy and feeling great. it’s the weirdest thing. and i HAVE to try zumba, i feel like i would love it.

  10. Great post!! I totally write more/ideas flow/ tend to feel all about working out on days that I didn’t intend to really do any of it. As long as this crappy ,rainy weather we’ve had for the past 3 weeks in Jerz stops, I will be poolside at the inlaws relaxing most of the day and very much looking forward to it! Have a great weekend!
    Dana recently posted…A Short & Sweet SurveyMy Profile

    • ah that rain sounds horrible! 3 days of rain puts me in the worst mood, so i congratulate you for staying sane. hope the sun came out for the 4th and stays out the rest of the weekend!!

  11. Yes, this is so true! I make similar deals with myself, depending on how badly my motivation is lacking. Like, if I REALLY don’t feel like it, I tell myself that I just have to get dressed. I have to put on my workout clothes and my sneakers and if I STILL don’t feel like it, I don’t have to. It’s usually enough to get me out the door. Most of the time 😉
    Alex @ Brain, Body, Because recently posted…“Life Things” + We Got a CAT!My Profile

    • yep ex-act-ly!! my mom always says: “just put your sneakers on”. its that first step that seems easy enough and once they’re on, you tend to get yourself out the door.

  12. I can definitely relate to this, especially being an early riser. It’s really hard to motivate when I’m laying in bed at 4:30 AM! Those are the days I like to call “lazy cardio” days. I just hop on a cardio machine and go for 45 minutes. No counting reps or sets or real ‘thinking’ of any kind, but I still get some exercise in. 75% of the time my lazy cardio day turns into more and you’re right- I NEVER regret going!
    Kelly @ KellyRunsforFood recently posted…Guilty DogMy Profile

    • oh wow 4:30 is early!! i start my days at 5:30 and i thought that was rough. those “lazy cardio” days are great- they usually turn into something more, but even if they dont, you still feel better after than you did before!

  13. This is an awesome post and completely relatable. This was me yesterday writing today’s post. I had no idea what to write about, no clever musings I wanted to share, I just went with what I knew and the post ended up being pretty okay. I’m also trying to find the motivation in my life to change careers and take the GRE, which is proving to be a hard task to endeavor. Guess I just have to show up! Love that.
    Her Happy Balance recently posted…Beach Must-Haves!My Profile

    • Oh congrats on deciding to change careers!! thats huge! and it can be really intimidating when you think of everything that you need to do in order to make it a reality, but take it one step at a time and it’ll all come together.

  14. Showing up is definitely the hardest part. My motivation to workout is usually what dwindles first, especially after a long day. I sometimes just skip it, but sometimes I tell myself that I only have to do five minutes and then I can leave. Usually on those days, I end up busting out anything from thirty minutes to an hour. Hellllls yeah!
    Carly @ Snack Therapy recently posted…Layers.My Profile

  15. Haha so true!! Showing up is the hardest part, just like when running, stepping out the front door is the hardest part. If I’m tired, my motivation is thrown out the window and it’s near impossible to pry myself out the door! But when it comes to something you LOVE to do, like running, blogging, bar-ing (verb?), it’s ALWAYS worth it in the end :)
    Sarah @ Sweet Miles recently posted…it’s all downhill from here!My Profile

    • couldn’t agree more!! (and lol yes from here on out, bar-ing is a word) and when it comes to working out, even though running isnt exactly my favorite activity, i always feel better afterwards. and after bar-ing (which i LOVE) i always feel like a million bucks :)

  16. I just watched that Friends clip several times. I freaking love that show and I always forget about it!
    Anyway, it’s an interesting topic of discussion today… I’ll be out on a run and I’ll think, “OMG, I’m going to blog about how smelly Atlanta is! No wait, I’m going to blog about how amazing I felt! No, hold up, I’m going to blog about having the urge to potty during a run!”
    Anyway, I have nights like that and I have nights where I sit on the couch all night feeling uninspired and unmotivated. And then in turn, have nothing to blog about since I really blog to just talk about my workouts/running.
    I absolutely agree with the just show up piece of motivation. When I am not in the mood to workout (all week this week) I just get dressed and like a robot, walk out the door as programmed and manage to workout. It doesn’t always make for a great workout, but who ever regrets a workout, right?
    Running a 10K for the 4th tomorrow! Woo! Hope you enjoy yours, lovie!
    Meghan @ fitnesscrEATures recently posted…Short Week, YAYMy Profile

    • hope peachtree went well yesterday!! cant wait to read the recap!! and that robot analogy is literally how i feel some weeks waking up early to go to class. i dont have time to talk myself out of it in the morning i just wake up, put my workout clothes on and then walk like a zombie to class, (and sometimes lie down on the floor if i get there early) but then once the teacher starts us up, im good! and i watched that friends clip over and over too, lol

  17. This really does apply to everything in life. I always just feel like I’m going to regret doing something until I actually get my butt in gear and realize I was just being (most likely) lazy. I always have a bad habit of going through the “What-ifs” for everything which makes me panic, so I have to block those out a lot too!

    • Oh that brings up another great point- the what-ifs!! i do the same thing- i’m soo good at talking myself out of what would probably be really beneficial things with all the negative what-ifs that go on in my head. silencing those is a huge skill that i am continuing to learn!

  18. I love that clip – I love Friends…I could actually watch it all day long, which of course would kill all motivation to do anything else. Motivation is the hardest thing to master and harness and sometimes I’m not sure how I will myself out of bed to make it to Bar class or to run or just to start the day. Life ain’t easy, and they didn’t teach us about all of the hurdles when we were kids. But somehow, we keep going and always do find the motivation to just show up. Your post reminds me of the last passage of the Great Gatsby, which I will not quote here :)

    Tomorrow, after taking a long run, I’m only showing up to my sundeck with a cocktail :) recently posted…“Wordless” Wednesday – Happy Birthday America!My Profile

    • hahahah love that quote! and yeah i feel like they teach kids that once you find what you love, you’ll be happy forever and it’ll be so great you’ll “never have to work a day in your life.” but even when you find what you love, not everyday is all rainbows and butterflies. Life is work, and that’s what makes it great. they should teach kids that.

  19. Oh yes – motivation can be a tricky little guy.
    It’s funny because if I wake up extra early I have all the motivation in the world, but once I actually sit down and eat Breakfast or get a bit distracted my motivation goes right out the window.
    Showing up is definitely where most of the battle lies for me. Once I’m there, I’m good to go.
    I guess it’s different for everyone, but it totally applies to every aspect in life.
    Lisa recently posted…What I Ate Wednesday – Meal TimesMy Profile

    • Yep it applies to pretty much every aspect of life for me too. and all my motivation is normally in the morning. most days i’m at my best between 5:30am-11am(ish), then once i have lunch, my productivity levels tend to decrease steadily.

  20. You speak only truth, my dear! Showing up is half the battle. I always have to force myself when I’m not in the mood and then it usually gets easier from there. But yes, the pillow and no pants can be very, very tempting.
    p.s. love the video with Monica and Chandler- that’s almost how it goes down when I try to get Brandon to run with me. :)
    Have a great 4th!
    Sarah @ making thyme for health recently posted…Light n’ Easy Strawberry Pie (Vegan and Gluten-Free)My Profile

    • LOL, now i’m picturing you and brandon in that clip, sooo funny! and yeah thats why i like going in the morning, i can just wake up and show up to class before i have time to talk myself out of it. when i go in the evenings, im really persuasive at giving myself really good reasons why i should watch tv instead :)

  21. Can I just paste this blog post on to mine? That’s how much I love it. My motivation (or lack of) has been getting me into trouble lately, workouts, blogs, etc. I’ve been feeling like I’m detaching myself from situations I clearly need to worry about. Hopefully it’s just a phase and everything picks up soon. Have a grr-eat fourth, love!
    Tara recently posted…Habanero SalsaMy Profile

    • oh i know that phase very well!! sometimes it’s good to dig in and just keep working at it, while other times a break and a fresh perspective is exactly what you need to break the cycle. have a great trip!!!

  22. Motivation is absolutely a huge part of it…I think that’s one reason why I’m actually not hating the am workouts right now, I’m up and at the gym before my brain has time to realize what’s going on and engage in de-motivation :-p. Although the no-pants thing is definitely more tempting than a treadmill on a regular basis. 😉
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles recently posted…WIAW: BBQ and a Swimming Pug.My Profile

    • that is exactly the reason i do early AM workouts too! my dont have time to argue with myself about whether i feel like it, i just wake up, put my workout clothes on and get out the door.

  23. Excellent post, Charlotte and I totally agree! There are so many times where I have no motivation to work out but faking it till I make it usually does the trick! Getting out the door is usually the biggest step and I tell myself I can always stop after 15 mins if I’m not feeling it…can’t remember when I last actually stopped!
    Khushboo recently posted…Traveller’s nightmareMy Profile

  24. Great post! I always do the same thing for yoga that you do for Barre — “just go, you can leave after 20 minutes.” But of course, getting up and leaving in the middle of a yoga class is a pretty turdy thing to do, so then I have to stay. :)
    Cassie @ Rural Running Redhead recently posted…Coconut Lime Slaw and Save the ChardMy Profile

    • lol exactly! and if the truth be told, there have probably been a handful of times where i get to the half way point of class and im like “ok i just want to leave now” but who just leaves in the middle of class?? thats also what i like about group exercise- it forces you to finish even when you don’t feel like it. and then by the last 10 minutes of class im always all into it anyways :)

  25. Looks like you hit the wink on the head again with this one!
    I definitely don’t feel like going to work most days, but once I’m there I generally really love it. (Generally- there are still days that suck!)
    Abby @ Change of Pace recently posted…Spare timeMy Profile

    • exactly- there are definitely still those days that totally suck, but then they’re over, and they really only help you appreciate the good ones even more!

  26. Your mom sent me…

    I’m glad she did =)
    troy P. recently posted…Hell Bent For The 80′sMy Profile

  27. bahhha…those pics…too much.
    Some days are certainly easier than others…I tend to be a very competitve person by nature…so my form of motivation certainly comes from not wanting my hubby to run more often/workout more/eat better…you get the picture
    Michelle @ 3cheaprunners recently posted…ABC…and who’s squatting?My Profile

    • Hahaha love it, competitive motivation is such a great way to stay on your game. my family is really competitive with each other, so trust me, i get it.

  28. Wow – this is a really great reminder. I love the Woody Allen quote. I think a lot of times, we focus on being perfect and put a ton of pressure on ourselves every day. Really, we just need to focus on showing up every day, and our natural drive will take care of itself.

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