“I get knocked down. But I get up again. You’re never gonna keep me down.”

This is a line from the (annoying) hit song from many years ago called Tubthumping by Chumbawamba.

It popped into my head after I read an email that landed in my Inbox all the way from Australia from Steve Taliss, who outlined his busy schedule and asked me if I’ve, “… noticed a shift in time away from a routine and commitment to exercise?”

He also asked me what techniques I use to drive myself to exercise and if there’s anything I can provide to help motivate those who have fallen off to get back on track.

Do you find yourself wishing for an extra hour or two in the day to get your exercise (or anything else) in?

I sat and pondered these questions over a hot and steamy Americano for a while because I feel this is an obstacle that a lot of people can relate to.

The initial thoughts that came to mind were along the lines of the lyrics I wrote at the start of this email, which in my opinion at the time, were superficial and none-too-helpful.

It’s the same sh#t you see on Facebook all the time – simple one-liners and motivational quotes that make you feel good and go, “Yeah! That’s right!”

So that’s what I wanted to avoid when addressing the topic of “I don’t have enough time to exercise. Help!”

After 15 or 20 minutes of sipping and pondering, some thoughts and concepts started to bubble up that seemed more powerful and that they could actually help someone restart a dormant exercise routine and more importantly, be consistent with it.

One such thought that stuck out that has made a huge difference in my life is tying exercise to my identity and core values.

WALKING THE TALK is one of my core values and as such, I strive to always be in great shape, continually strive for higher performance and only recommend and talk about things I truly believe in and use myself.

Obviously, as an S&C Coach, it’s easy to associate exercise with my core value of walking the talk.

But think for a moment about your own identity and core values.

For example, are you a Dad?

If so, what kind of message do you want to communicate to your kids about time, exercise and priorities?

A lot of men (myself included) tend to place such a high priority on career and money by default that the other important aspects (family, relationships, health) of life can fall off the radar.

And if this is your conscious choice, then it’s all good, as long as you communicate as much to those who deserve to know.

But if this is you (Steve?), ask yourself if it is just your default and if your time and energy are going exactly where you want?

If they are, stay the course.

If not, if you want different results, you have to change things up.

Because you can’t just keep adding things into your schedule. This is the real work.

And it’s another mistake I’ve made in my life – thinking that I can keep adding and adding without taking anything away.

Unfortunately, time and energy are both limited resources, so this strategy is bound to fail and something will crack, with your health/sanity at the front of that list.

So think about your core values, what’s important to you and who you must be in life to live a life you’re proud of.

This isn’t something you can get from a motivational quote, but will require some quiet time of reflection, preferably when you’ve got energy and are in a positive state of mind.

And as I continued to ponder, I actually came back to the thoughts I’d started with, including the line from Tubthumping…

In doing so, I feel in that short time I experienced what Bruce Lee described when he said:


“Before I studied the art, a punch to me was just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick no longer a kick. Now that I’ve understood the art, a punch is just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. The height of cultivation is really nothing special. It is merely simplicity; the ability to express the utmost with the minimum.”

Because one of the greatest mistakes we make is when we fall down, we stay down.

But results don’t happen that way.

You can’t expect perfection.

Instead, results follow the same path as driving straight from A to B – you’ve got to continually make minor adjustments on the wheel to stay the course and you can’t just lock the wheel in one place because if you do, you’ll end up in a ditch.

You feeling me?

I hope so.

Either way, that was a damn good Americano.


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5 years ago

Hi Eric, I believe walking the talk comes first, unless you have experienced that firsthand how can others understand if they don’t see
someone living what they say. I try to get my priorities in order, for me
I put my faith in Lord first give the day over to him, husband next, my
family, me and greet the day as it comes with thankfulness whatever it brings, not always easy but helps me to know I have done the best I can
that is all that matters, hopefully if I have helped others to live and love life and each other, hopefully by what they see in me as an example, it is a good thing. Just be yourself and enjoy what you do, the rest will fall into place. Keep up the good work Leona

5 years ago

I needed this. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and your direction. Appreciate it!

5 years ago

A quick question, regarding HFS program,
Can you do the splits? If so, did the program
you designed serve as the core reason for being
able to do the splits ?

5 years ago

Thanks for sharing this. Goes well with me reading/listening to you talking about matching up nutrition with your core beliefs. Bringing it all together and being reminded about this is good.

I’m really sick of those motivational one liners and seem to associate them with crossfit for some reason.

And now that song is in my head, fantastic!… But it could be worse 😀

Christy May
Christy May
5 years ago

My husband sent me your article this morning. Four years ago I would have read it over a steaming Americano….sighhh…today it was a green juice and a bowl of buckwheat. I have been a trainer, life coach, nutrition counselor for years now, and I am not in the best shape of my life anymore. Unfortunately, the best shape of my life tried to kill me because of my lack of balance. But, I am in excellent, sustainable shape and healthier and happier than I have ever been. After I nearly died at 34, I sat down on the front lawn of the hospital, in my hospital gown, with my IV tower, and re-evaluated (meditated on) every aspect of my life….every day for weeks For the first time ever I went through my fitness, diet, relationships, work, etc…very honestly. I asked myself the tough questions like if what I was doing,… Read more »

5 years ago

I agree. Goy no problem with the WO, just keep falling off the nutrition wagon. But I keep getting back on it & try every day to eat better than the last. Also allowing myself one free meal a week.
Thanks for sharing.

5 years ago

I’m only half way through my cup of Joe this morning, so can’t comment anything too witty. However, just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your commentaries and helpful tips in my inbox. As a person always striving to be fit, but injuring myself several times over the years, I see how easy it can be to sideline yourself for too long or quit all together; just plain making excuses.It IS totally about priorities and what’s important to the individual. I like the Tubthumping song – think I’ll keep it running in my head as I strive to come back from my latest setback. 🙂