Very busy spring morning. I’m speeding through email when my eye catches the little calendar icon at the bottom corner of the screen.

Today’s date: the 19th.

As in JUNE 19.

I stop mid-scroll. For one fleeting moment I think something’s wrong.

I screwed up a setting, something got corrupted, my stupid Mac caught a virus.

Because it’s MARCH, not June. As in: early spring. Which is why I’m extra busy with clients and work and stuff to do around the house.

In my business and personal life, March-April-May and Sept-October-November are the most productive months of the year. Always have been.

Uninterrupted 12 week stretches where we can attack big goals with focus before arriving at a much-needed summer or Xmas break.

But it’s not March, it’s June. Yet instead of winding down, I’m pushing harder than ever.

Oh, now I remember why. Covid-19.

The shutdown.

The quarantine.

The dozens, perhaps hundreds of training plans I had to re-build and reconfigure around utterly random equipment options.

And my own life plans — training, business, travel, not to mention my beloved structure — all reconfigured or seemingly shelved entirely.

* * *

I recall day one of shutdown. Oh, I had plans. I was already turning the life-lemons into lemonade.

Read more books. Create some products. Breakdown my business. Work on mobility. Play with my kid more, maybe let him watch me work, ya know, set a good example.

Now I look up just as my son knocks over a lamp as he chases my bulldogs around the living room with a rolling pin.

Why do we even have a fucking rolling pin? We don’t even bake.

But that’s the 3 last months in a salty nutshell. An epic exercise in scramble mode with an underlying hint of pure survival.

* * *

I accomplished few things on that list. Just the personal stuff, which I realized mid-shutdown was the really important stuff.

I even gave it a name, BASE-4:

  • sleeping well;
  • eating well;
  • walking
  • connecting with others.

It worked well enough to keep me and my clients sane but that was then, this is now.

More accurately, it’s June 19. And we ALL got a choice.

Do we take the 3 month loss as life lesson? A reminder that personal plans should be written in pencil not ink; that pandemics and shutdowns and meteor showers and scurvy outbreaks and even murder hornets CAN happen, and flexibility is wisdom?

And with that, do we comfortably ease into summer and relax a bit and in my case eat ice cream and play with my kid and watch out for murder hornets?

OR… do we pay back the debt?

* * *

I remember watching a Steelers game when Bill Cowher was still coaching. Steelers were on defence, it was 3rd and long and a DB whiffed on a tackle, resulting on a fresh set of downs.

Coach was not happy.

The camera zoomed in to catch that famous snarl but this time it was a different — Cowher points at the DB and in super slow-mo clearly yells “YOU OWE ME.”

You owe me? As in, the coach, not the team? I remember wondering if that’s even good coaching.

The game went on, the play long forgotten by most. But not by the DB, as midway through the 4th quarter he reads the quarterback, undercuts the receiver and makes a stellar interception, sealing a Steelers victory.

But Cowher isn’t smiling. Again he’s pointing at the DB and clearly yells “WE’RE EVEN.”

If football plays had values, that wasn’t equitable at all. The mistake, missing a tackle, would cost 5 bucks. A game-sealing interception would be worth 100 at least.

But this is pro sports. Doing your job isn’t good enough. Good enough isn’t good enough. Especially when you’ve made a mistake and let everybody down, including yourself.

You have to go above and beyond just to pay back the debt and get back to even.

* * *

So here we are, life is returning to normal and summer break is basically here.

Are you ready for it? Did you accomplish everything on your spring to-do list, including lose fat and get in shape, and are now ready for a few months of down time?

Or do you feel a little behind, a little in debt? Not to a coach or anyone else, but to yourself?

Me, I made my choice. My “break” came unexpectedly early this year. Sucks but such is life.

Now I gotta make up lost ground and repay this debt.

Because I don’t like owing anyone anything, and I never like letting people down. Especially not myself.

You’re probably the same way. So let’s get to work.

You OWE you.

– Bryan