on the power of showing up: a letter from a student

5 quarters of showing up while struggling for bandwidth.

Today, I want to share a message that a student, let's call them WB, sent across. WB has been having a hard time both personally and professionally over the last 3 years and has been a champ in dealing with it in their own way. From not having any mental bandwidth to train, they reached out to me early last year and we connected. Rather than set any goals, all we agreed upon was to just come in and train. Why? Because at the community, we inherently understand that sensible strength and conditioning is good for you. That's it.

The goal was the effort - just show up.

let's take a break

The decision to stop training came about mutually. Seeing the stress WB was going through, the two of us agreed to not let coming into class be a burden and just get any physical activity they could. Once things settled down (after a year and some), WB reached out and just wanted to get back to doing things.

come back. show up.

Whenever you step away from training, coming back is a bit difficult. Why? Because you've already labelled a few experiences. Things like "I can lift 24 kg easily" and "16 kg is light for me" and all that. So, with these hanging around your neck, when you come back to lift a weight and it feels harder than you recall. And you beat yourself up. You lose motivation.

That's why the constant mantra at The Quad is "Show up!"

Instead of defining yourself based on what you can lift or making it a part of your identity, just let it be. You are not what you lift. You spend a few months or years lifting, you will lift better and lift more. You take a few months off, you will lift less. That's all there is to it.

Personally, I learned a lot and was inspired by WB and how they handled the past few years. Showing up for 5 quarters (you will read the context below) while struggling mentally to be present and apply is not easy. Or simple. But showing up and letting go can do wonders, as WB elaborates.

Read on. Be inspired.

Hey coach,
Just wanted to share this with you. I recovered and [I am] doing fine. In fact, I was feeling better from the 7th day onwards. But till then it felt as though someone was driving over my body with a road roller.
The only symptom I had was fever and body pain and my chest CT showed zero effect of COVID in my lung.

I think the effort that I put in in the last 5 quarters has played a huge role in getting my body to a state where it could fight the virus.
It is very prophetic because the last five quarters were ones where I struggled every class to finish and was just able to barely survive. Mentally I was so disconnected that most days I didn’t even know what I was doing, I was just doing something because the coach said so.
But I did that for 5 quarters and unknowingly got my body to a state where it had the ability to withstand this sledgehammer of a virus.

Now comes the most important part, both my mother and grandmother tested positive on my 7th day and by then I could focus all my energy on attending to them which was very very demanding as both had to hospitalised but I was able to functionally move and get work done for them and I think it’s all thanks to those 5 quarters.


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