FIT BODY, FIT MIND

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April 26, 2017
DISEMBARKING
May 5, 2017

Perhaps it’s my military background, but I have always placed a high value on physical fitness. This isn’t the type of physical fitness you read about in the magazines, where the result is the reason (“Get the perfect beach body in 5 days!”). Rather, I think exercise is important because of the process. Trudging up snowy mountain caps brought me closer to my team and myself. High intensity interval training reminds me of the self-discipline and determination required for success, even in moments of highest exertion. Designing exercise programmes helps me identify how different parts of my body work together. Long walks with the dog bring me clarity. In fact, the lessons learned in a good workout are also lessons taught, learned, and lived in a good coaching relationship. When you really investigate it, you realise the personal coaching relationship is actually very similar to the relationship between fitness professionals and their clients.

First of all, exercise forces us to identify our aches, appreciate the pains, and recognise results. As humans we tend to hide from our own inadequacies, preferring to feign ignorance and forming habits that allow us to ignore or accept current reality. Rather than causing our issues to go away, avoiding them actually magnifies the fallout. It’s like continuing to do bicep curls when you’ve got a sprained elbow. You lift to ignore the fact that you’re injured, to make your fear of losing muscle mass due to injury go away. Doing so actually further irritates your elbow, causing an eventual total loss of lifting ability. However, personal coaches never allow their clients to create such counterproductive practices. Coaches encourage clients to be totally in-tune with their bodies’ responses. We are encouraged to naturally adjust ourselves to meet our bodies’ needs. So, if we feel strong we lift more; if we’ve got a chesty cold we avoid cardio and very strenuous activities. The most important part about all of this is that we’re paying attention, even if our coach has to show us how. We constantly tune-in and adjust. Personal coaches help clients to apply the same sensitivity to their personal and working lives. They ask their clients to try out new tasks, work with the client to recognise reactions, and adjust accordingly. All coaches promote a safety-focused and holistic awareness.

How do coaches really help us to tune-in to our natural selves and therefore elevate our goal-reaching potential? They insist on our undivided attention and dedication to the goal. You won’t catch a coach allowing their dedicated client to text while working out! When we exercise we’re totally into it, enjoying the music, sweating like pigs, and watching for change. Personal coaches ask the same: when you meet with your coach you will be expected to give them, and therefore yourself, your full attention. The coach will ask you questions about your goals and then demand that you focus your energy there. But a coach, like a fitness instructor, understands that some days will be better than others. The coach, like the fitness instructor, helps you to modify your behaviour, track your progress and maintain your energy for that final, winning push.

PERSONAL COACHES HELP CLIENTS TO APPLY THE SAME SENSITIVITY TO THEIR PERSONAL AND WORKING LIVES. THEY ASK THEIR CLIENTS TO TRY OUT NEW TASKS, WORK WITH THE CLIENT TO RECOGNISE REACTIONS, AND ADJUST ACCORDINGLY.

How do coaches really help us to tune-in to our natural selves and therefore elevate our goal-reaching potential? They insist on our undivided attention and dedication to the goal. You won’t catch a coach allowing their dedicated client to text while working out! When we exercise we’re totally into it, enjoying the music, sweating like pigs, and watching for change. Personal coaches ask the same: when you meet with your coach you will be expected to give them, and therefore yourself, your full attention. The coach will ask you questions about your goals and then demand that you focus your energy there. But a coach, like a fitness instructor, understands that some days will be better than others. The coach, like the fitness instructor, helps you to modify your behaviour, track your progress and maintain your energy for that final, winning push.

In fact, both personal coaches and personal trainers encourage clients to adjust the rest of their lifestyles in support. After all, saying, “I will do what it takes to make my life more fulfilled” requires a great deal of commitment. Maybe coaches ask clients to pursue paleo or vegetarian diets to support individual training structure. Others encourage clients to eat freely, knowing their unique DNA makes some people prone to being underweight. Personal coaches looks for and assign the same sorts of homework. Maybe they help their clients to handle miscommunication using a certain sentence structure, practiced together beforehand. Maybe they ask clients to journal nightly. Both types of coach understand that what happens in the gym, or the boardroom, reflects greater dedication.

What’s interesting is how many fitness-seekers enlist the services of a fitness professional, yet so few people request help from a Performance Coach. Somehow, the pursuit of physical fitness is sexy and cool in comparison to the pursuit of your own psychological wellbeing. Why is it embarrassing to admit worries about communicating to a performance coach and yet easily admit defeat under a 20kg dumbbell to their personal trainer? Why is one type of fear “weird” and the other “cool”, yet both generate residual effects in other aspects of our lives?

Here’s the catch: When we allow fitness trainers and performance coaches to guide us, we ultimately increase our results quicker, generate a more confident self, mentally and physically. We’re more comfortable in our trainers, more agile as we chase our dreams, more calm in our reactions. When we focus on our intentions, ask for help, and commit to the process of pursuing our goals, we become better people. Trainers in the gym are there to motivate and encourage us to do one more rep or go a little further on the treadmill, just like your performance coach. Both types of coaches are there to encourage you to recognise and celebrate your own successes, give yourself a pat on the back and seek out your next exciting adventure…………………… that just may be getting fit!

 

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