Grab The Mask

Put-on-your-mask-firstTalking with a fellow gym owner today about struggling to get our own workouts in.  ‘Struggle’ is the wrong word, of course, because really it’s a wonderful life to be able to do what we do, but it is pretty easy to find yourself strapped for time at the beginning or end of a long day of class time, private clients, e-mail and social media–not to mention the obligations that come with having a family, and in some cases, a second job.

She reminded me of the old metaphor we always share with our clients: the oxygen mask.  In an emergency, the flight attendants teach us, we’re meant to first grab the mask for ourselves so that we might help ourselves and others.

Here’s the thing.  The instructions don’t specify much else.  They certainly don’t indicate that everything will work out perfectly once you’re breathing fresh air again.  Then again, they don’t indicate that everything won’t work out perfectly either.

But nothing happens without the mask.  And for so many of us who are having a rough go of it, it can be hard to remember that we don’t need to have everything figured out before we take that first step.  You don’t need to know how many times you’re going to work out this week, or this month.  You don’t need to know that you’re going to complete this workout or lift that weight by the end of the year.  You don’t need to know much.  But you need to know where the mask is and how to grab it.

Is this you?  Are you stuck in a rut?  Make it to one workout.  Eat one plate of meat and veggies.  Take one hour for yourself.  Make a move.  Grab the mask.  It’s the first thing, the only thing you need to do.

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