Mark Danger Powers

drummer • educator • author

Showing Up And Following Through

Today’s post is a little different than most. We’re going to start off with, yes . . . a reading assignment. Stop everything else, close the door, get comfortable and go read the following story posted yesterday by my friend, Joel Runyon. But be sure to get your butt back here pronto when you’re done (that is, after leaving him a nice little comment and saying HI for me!).

Here it is: The #1 Thing I Learned From 2nd Place In My First 10k
(on the Blog of Impossible Things)

Inspiring, right? And applicable in other areas of life beyond athletics?

Yeah, I thought so, too. That’s why I felt compelled to leave a comment on his site and, with his blessing (thanks, Joel!) turn that comment into today’s post here on mine!

Without further adieu . . .

Brilliant, Joel! Congrats to you on ‘showing up’ and following through. You’re so right . . . simply persisting, through the rough spots and the ‘plateaus,’ can often leave you as the last man standing.

I try to train my percussion students to enjoy when we reach a new, really difficult rhythm or technique (rather than complain as usual). Every new level we reach is another place that I see students get frustrated and altogether quit. Instead, those points should be viewed as the greatest opportunities. I tell them that although music shouldn’t be about competition, each obstacle reached, worked through and conquered, leaves the ‘other guys’ a little further behind in their dust.

The guts, time and energy that you mention is what separates the whiners from the winners. Kudos on both a great race and a great post!

In my comment, I point out the parallels between runners and musicians- how Joel’s lesson can (and should) be applied by both. But I know it doesn’t stop there . . .


  • In what other areas of your life can you benefit by simply being the one who ‘shows up’?
  • How would following through, when others won’t, put you ahead of the pack in your career?

Share with us in a comment below . . . I can’t wait to hear your ideas!

9 Comments

  1. Good stuff. Joel’s post was inspirational and a reminder that if we want to do great things in our life we need to not only show up but participate as well. As a photographer I shoot every day and one way I make sure I do that is through my Project 365. I shoot and post an image a day for an entire year. Currently I’m on something like day 227. There are plnety of days where I’m tired or sick or lack vision of what to shoot for the day. But I still show up and take the shots because I know it is what will make me a better photographer. And I haven’t missed a day of shooting yet and I don’t plan to. It’s one thing to live your life, it another to actually experience it.

    • Dude, I tried that this year and failed MASSIVELY. Kudos to you for keeping it up. It’s gonna make a killer collage at the end of the year.

      • Yeah- way too go, Matt! That’s an enormous undertaking and commitment.

        Tyler Tervooren told me recently about a guy who posts a new song on YouTube every single day. I thought about how a drummer could apply an approach like that? A new mini drum lesson video every day? Wow- I can’t imagine how difficult that would be, in a number of ways.

        But you’re nearly 2/3 done with a full year- congratulations!

    • . . . one doesn’t make the END of the composition, the POINT of the composition . . .” Thanks for the video link, Joel- super cool!

  2. I really like this post! Showing up and following through seem like such simple, basic things, yet it’s amazing to me how few people actually do it. It’s easy to be afraid and write yourself off (leading to inaction), so I think a sense of fearlessness is also key. Showing up + following through + being fearless = unstoppable you.

    • You’re totally right, Robin. Fearlessness is probably what allows us to keep showing up & following through in the first place. Thanks for swinging by!

  3. Great article. The philosophies can be applied to a number of different things in life. I’ll apply it to my skateboarding!

    • Jenny- cool of you to take the time & skate through these parts! I completely agree, and would love to hear more about how you see it applying . . .

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