Better Late Than Never

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A black alarm clock sitting on a nightstand.

I did something yesterday, that I would almost never do. I showed up to something late. Not “on-time late” either, actually late. More than 5 minutes late, in fact. You’re probably wondering, “what could possibly make someone who values punctuality so much show up late?” Well, it was my 7 am CrossFit class – a workout I usually never miss. But yesterday, life threw me a curveball, and I found myself stuck in unexpected traffic on the way to the gym (thanks a lot for letting me know Pecos Road is closed, haha).

I contemplated turning back and skipping class altogether. After all, being late wasn’t part of my plan, nor is it something I do. As I sat there waiting, I considered my options. Coming back for a later class – but it’s so hot today I definitely didn’t want to do that. Going home and trying again another day – but since I’ve been on vacation for the past 8 days, skipping class yet again seemed like a terrible choice. And something inside me kept urging me to go anyway. So, I told myself, “showing up (late) is better than not showing up at all – I’m going.”

I made it to the gym, walking in double-fisting my water and still chugging my coffee as the class was getting warmed-up. To my surprise, no one really even noticed me slipping in late. I just jumped right into the warmup like I’d been there all along. I guess I was right, showing up late might not be ideal, but it’s undoubtedly better than not showing up at all.

Life’s unpredictable, and no matter how much we plan and prepare, unexpected things can and do happen. Traffic jams, emergencies, or even unforeseen responsibilities that pop up can all contribute to making us late from time to time. But you know what? Allowing these moments to deter us from our commitments and keep us from showing up only holds us back from progress and growth in the end. And no one wants that.

Oh, I should also mention that today I learned another valuable lesson in humility. As it turns out, I’m not perfect (haha), and as much as I strive to be punctual all the time, I’m susceptible to external factors beyond my control just like anyone else. And you know what? It’s okay. It’s important to recognize our limitations and embrace our imperfections, my friend. Instead of beating myself up about being late, which I started to do in the car, I chose to focus on the fact that I had made the effort to come to class despite the challenges in getting there instead. And I’m so glad I went.

So, if you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re running late for something you care about – a fitness class, a social event, or even a work meeting – don’t let the fear of tardiness hold you back. As uncomfortable as it may be (and it is), push through that hesitation and show up, even if it means arriving late. Embrace it as an opportunity to learn and grow, and to be humble and adaptable. These are all great characteristics to have.

Remember, my friend, life’s crazy and sometimes showing up late is better than not showing up at all. Ultimately it’s the effort and determination that count, and who knows, the experience might just surprise you like mine did yesterday. From now on, I know I’ll be a little kinder to myself when things disrupt my plans and I’m running a tad behind. You should too. Let’s work on being more resilient and making the best of every situation that comes our way. What do you say?

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