It’s Just Like Burpees

Chelsea Potter pushups

It’s Just Like Burpees

Why would anyone ever smile after doing burpees?

That’s the question I asked myself as I walked to my car after finishing a 500-burpee workout. Woof.

It was rough. I was soaked in sweat and my arms were still trembling thirty minutes later from the work.

But I was all smiles as I walked out of the gym Saturday morning because I was proud of myself for doing that awful work – especially when going into it, I was questioning whether I could.

500 burpees is one of those workouts that has nothing to do with skill or athleticism. It’s a pure mental toughness workout. Anyone can do it – few will ever want to because it’s not about how strong you are, but how committed you are to grinding it out. No matter how long it takes.

I had zero plans to do this type of workout on Friday morning when I woke up, but one of my coaches challenged me on Instagram to give it a shot and try to beat her time. (Got to love friendly competition to push your limits, right?)

I thought “no way” at first, but the more I stewed on the idea of a challenge, the more I liked the idea of seeing whether mentally I was ready for it. So I attacked it Saturday morning first thing.

Do you know the trick of how anyone can do 500 burpees?

Put your headphones in. Turn your favorite music up (80’s hairband rock for me). And focus on just doing the next burpee.

It’s overwhelming when you think about #500 before ever starting #1. But when you focus on just the next burpee, you remind yourself “I can do one more.”

The same holds true for any challenge we face at work and life.

Just the next one.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when we think of everything that it takes to accomplish a big task – and we freeze up and the starting line. We allow fear to creep in and question if we have what it takes. We stockpile excuses that we don’t know how to do it all (as if we couldn’t simply Google all of the necessary steps). But the one thing we don’t do? Start.

We chip away at big goals the same way we do small, easy ones. One action at a time.

500 burpees? Always starts with one. Then the next one. And another one. You can’t do rep 50 until you’ve done rep 49.

Earn that C-suite promotion? Have to start at a lower rung on the corporate ladder and work your way up, day by day, year by year.

100lb weight loss? Can’t do it overnight – but you can do it one night at a time. Focus on how you can win today only, then repeat tomorrow.

We lose motivation, we slow down, or we quit when we focus on how much work we have left instead of “just the next step.”

One burpee at a time.

It’s not always fun. You won’t feel like doing it some days. But you CAN get it done if you take it one rep at a time and tighten your focus to “just the next rep.”

Show up and Compete Every Day this week.

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