There’s probably volumes of studies on accountability out there. Probably. I didn’t google it first. But like I said probably. If there’s not then let this be a building block for great studies to pour forth and fill the land with heartwarming stories of people calling other people out and making them do what they say they were going to.
When I think back to 2001 (well as much as I can remember) I was just an out of shape, squishy dude who was trying to recover from shoulder surgery. I had begun going to the YMCA to do the god awful PT exercises because I didn’t have 3 lb weights at home.
I was 200+ lbs and trying to get my right arm to lift higher than 8 inches off of my side and after a couple of trips to the gym I decided I would also try out a spin class. I know the first ones I did couldn’t have been at 5 am as I wasn’t there yet, but I quickly found myself getting up at the ass crack of dawn for some abuse. Mostly so I wouldn’t get called out.
Without even trying, I had entered into my first accountability group. Warren, Ed, Maria, Debbie, Raph and a carying group of people would line up at 4:45 to claim their bike and get abused 2-3 days a week. I would write a workout for swim days and we’d meet at the Baton Rouge beach to run on other days. As time went by, I spent 8-10 hours a week with these fools and it was great.
Being accountable to them made me better. It turned me into a crappy runner, decent cyclist and slightly above average triathlete. Without them, who knows.
There were rules. Run days held a 5:30 start time with a 5 min cushion. Miss it and get hazed. T-TH bike rides started at 5:20 so we could get in 20-25 before 7 a.m. Weekends gave you little reprieve with 6 am being the absolute latest we started. But you went. And you improved.
I can’t remember when we shifted away from this but it must have been in 2004 ish. Life has a way of doing that, but those first three years were paramount to my success and turning my life around. The group ebbed and flowed and the Administer of West Bank Justice shifted to me and I was the one driving accountability in others. 15 years later that’s still what I try to do.
If you’re out there and need a kickstart. Enlist a friend. Shit. Enlist a stranger. All you need is someone who will be waiting for you out there in the dark, to call you on your bullshit. To make you show up.
Because showing up is 99% of it (full circle ).