Why You Should Put Those Damn Chairs Up

If you’ve read this blog for even half a second, you know I’m big into self improvement.

I recognize that I am a human being, therefore I am flawed. I tend to be all or nothing, and I will certainly acknowledge when I mess up (often.) 

I don’t just run, I run marathons. I didn’t just start a blog, I made social media my career. I didn’t just join the Junior League, I’ve taken on several leadership roles.

Carla wrote an interesting post about if you’re ham or eggs. Do you commit or are you just involved?

I commit. And then I ask how I can commit more. I think some of this is innate for me, but I live in New York. I work in social media and write a blog. I am a member of a (wonderful) organization of 3,000 Type A women. All of this magnifies my eagerness to commit to the fullest of my capacity.

And sometimes more than I’m capable of, and that’s when I realize I’ve messed up. That I am a human being, who makes mistakes.

I’m currently reading a book called Present, Not Perfect, which I saw on Ashley’s Goodreads and on Janae’s blog. Its subtitle is “leaving behind frantic, for a simpler, more soulful way of living.” 

I’m only a few chapters in, but there’s a passage I really like — “you put those chairs up.” It’s basically talking about being comfortable living small and trying to live a larger life, maybe before you’re ready for it. The author is talking about myriad problems/inconveniences in her life and how she created them. She chose to “put those chairs up.” Sometimes figuratively, sometimes literally. She chose to open up that space — she put in more chairs to accommodate more. Whether that means more people (the literal) in an audience or putting herself into a bigger situation, she chose to do that.

(Thank you for sticking with me, I’m getting to the point now.)

Last week, my mom and I taped something for work. Probably half the time I see myself in photos or video at work…I’m not crazy about how I look. 

But, I put those chairs up. I started the blog that led to the job in fitness. I went from being the very overweight girl to being the girl who works in the fitness industry. I put those chairs up. I decided to do that and put myself in a situation where most of the people I work with are fitter than me.

Going to our studio for work is partially a need and a want. Unless we’re short participants, I don’t ever need to be in our workouts. I put those chairs up. Even then — there’s plenty of coworkers who have never once been in our workouts.

But I chose to put those chairs up and play on that stage. Which means sometimes I’ll fall short. Sometimes that means literally (I’m really clumsy, y’all, and sometimes I do lose my balance in certain moves…) or sometimes figuratively, when I’m comparing myself to others.


I caught a preview of what my mom and I taped, and I HATED how I looked (very different from that photo above) and texted a few friends and my mom for validation. “I don’t really look like that, right?” 

But then I remembered — I chose to put myself in that situation. For my mom to talk about overcoming cancer. (If anyone’s looking for a mom-aged TV personality, I think my mom has a future. She was a natural.) For me to connect with our amazing community — from our crew to our trainers to the in-studio participants to our amazing users. 

Sometimes those chairs are creaky and hard to put up. Sometimes they fall over immediately. Maybe you never get them up.

But if the alternative is to wonder what if over experiencing some growing pains, and maybe even failure? I’d still rather try to get those chairs up.

7 comments on “Why You Should Put Those Damn Chairs Up

  1. Jessica

    This post could not have come at a better time. Thank you for sharing. I am going through something similar in my life, having recently moved to another country, going from full time work to part time and learning a new language, I need to do a better job of managing my expectations. I started reading A Confident Woman by Joyce Meyer and it has been eye opening. Keep up the great work! You look amazing, btw.

  2. Mindy

    I love love love that book!!! Shauna is one of my favorite human beings on the planet – she and her husband actually used to work at my church.

  3. Kim

    As always, fab post. Thank you for putting the chairs up and putting yourself out there! I haven’t read that book yet, but it sounds like it’s right up my self-improvement-loving-alley.

  4. Amanda - RunToTheFinish

    ahh yes this is exactly what I posted about on INstagram yesterday! We are our own worst critics and I think when we’ve ever lost weight it’s harder sometimes to recognize the changes.
    I would say I’m a doer, but not a commiter. I hate being tied to something, it’s why I don’t follow plans or work with a trainer. I like knowing that I’m in charge. 🙂


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.