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Month: May 2017

Connecting With The Unexpected

Connecting to others is really important to me. It’s why I have a degree in Communications and a Master’s in Health Communication. It’s really something special when connecting comes unexpected, though.

If you put your device down and have your head up, you leave yourself open to connecting. You give yourself the opportunity to connect with people who probably wouldn’t be on your radar. The other day, when I picked my children up from school, I hung around for a bit talking to a mom. She’s a parent of a high schooler and 5th grader. I coached her daughter in track and field for two years. In that two years I hadn’t really ever had a solid conversation with her.

Within five minutes of connecting, we seem to have a few things in common. Mom guilt is high on the list – dangling over our heads, pretty much. Balancing the work-mom life is a thread that we both seem to share even though our children are fairly spread apart in age. We share the same views on running in adolescence and the growing pains associated with the sport. The need to be grateful for what we do have and discussing that with our youth. Lastly, our Bucket Lists! What a deep conversation for a 1:30pm, after school, sunny, warm, playground connection.

The mom guilt is real, but is it necessary?

Our mom guilt is about wanting to do more with our brains and interests but also wanting to be there for our kids. The both of us want to take a step back and analyze our energy and efforts. To consider and possibly execute the notion “can we step a bit farther away yet?” is in our head space. This guilt seems to be a popular one among many moms I speak with. Although mom guilt is an obstacle, it’s not anything we can’t hurdle over.

Student-athelets go through a ton of growing pains and we need to support them in figuring out what works for them.

A common ground between many parents and coaches is adolescent bodies in sports, specifically running. As adults, we can forget what it was like to have a growing body. Coaching middle school and high school athletes is a daily reminder of those growing pains. Knee pain and shin pain are the most common, but of course back, hip, and ankle pain pop up as well. Everything is connected, so when we become an athlete our bodies are tested as a unit – the entire body. If one area is weak, it will effect everything.

When athletes reach puberty a number of changes take place. Hormones, in particular. From our mental state to our physical bodies, so many changes occur in the high school years. In boys, they get a surge of testosterone which makes them stronger and faster. They also switch to a higher metabolism and typically have a lower BMI due to an increase in lean muscle. On the other hand, females get a surge of estrogen, higher body fat percent, and a lower rate in metabolism. Often, there will be girls who are faster than boys in 8th grade but in high school the girls plateau or get a bit slower and the boys excel. The whole process of growing can be frustrating and exciting; it can also be a rewarding experience with the proper support.

Having patience, listening to our body, making sure we rest when we are supposed to, and also pushing our limits while also understanding and accepting the body we were given are all necessary. It’s important as parents and coaches to teach this to our kids/student-athletes. This is a conversation that I wish I could have with every parent who has a child entering athletics.

Occasionally, we can get caught up in what we can’t do or don’t have.

Bringing into our awareness to have gratitude for what we do have is so much more productive than to dwell on what we don’t have. Maybe our time isn’t the fastest, but our legs are working. Maybe we don’t have the best training shoes, but we do have a pair. We can often get caught up in the details of life, rather than the big things that make life brilliant.

Drive is a good thing. Having a drive to do and to be is how we end up getting to a place within ourselves that we love!

It’s pretty magical causally talking to someone when a ‘bucket list’ conversation pops up. My bucket list seems to grow every day. Some days I feel like I don’t come close to reaching one bucket, but other days I feel like I can smell the bucket being checked off the list. To have that drive inside, to push us to do something and be someone more than we were when we woke up is a pretty incredible feeling. It may take a month, or a year, or a decade, but we will keep on driving ourselves till we do it!

As I finish writing this post, four days have past. I thought for sure that I’d get it done that night. It’s ok. I did it and I didn’t abandon my initial words. I still feel completely connected tho this conversation that I had no idea would transpire so naturally. If we can just keep our heart, eyes, and minds open then who knows what type of connections we can make.

 

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Therapy Via Exercise for Trainer and Client

Exercise acts as therapy for a lot of people. Fitness goers often say that their exercise programs and the people they exercise with are like therapy. I think that this is also true for the trainer as well.

Many people have said that ‘exercise is their therapy’ and I completely agree. It definitely is for me every time I lace up my shoes for a run. Aside from the endorphins, your mind has time to be quiet. Often you’re just focused on your movements or surroundings.

IMG_8521As a trainer and group fitness instructor, my job has become my therapy. I feel just as good as my clients do after their workout. To prepare, I do some positive self-talk, go over some movements, play some music, and get myself pumped up. For that hour or more I’m completely in the zone for those in front of me.

The feeling that I get during and after a class is like flying through the sky with a big smile on my face. I’m pumped up but I’m also seeing people push their bodies in ways that they normally wouldn’t. That’s therapy for me.

Therapy can be different things to different people. When we get that freedom from exercise or our work, that’s pretty incredible!

Earlier today, my client said that she would be unable to make it to our session tomorrow, “my therapy”, she said. Without a second thought, I responded with “It’s my therapy too! I will miss seeing you but will look forward to next week.” I truly meant it. I’ve had a handful of different jobs, with the majority falling short of waking up with fervor and passion. Instead, most of my jobs felt like every day was a “Monday.” No other role has compared to the after-effects of teaching a class, coaching a team, or training a client.

If any of you reading have that “I’ve just had therapy” feeling from a fitness class, know that your instructor is feeling the same way. We give our enthusiasm and expertise equally, so our clients can feel good and leave with a positive vibe. Maybe a client has to hire a babysitter, leave work early, or put their husband in charge of house duties for the hour they are with us. Our hearts are in fitness, so we give our hearts the minute the music starts.

As I say at the end of every class, “Breathe in all of the strength and energy you put into your workout. I hope that all of that strength and energy takes through your day and your week!”

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The BIG 3 In Fitness Can Bring Transformation To a Group

Fitness isn’t just giving people a kick-ass workout. It’s not about making them puke or sweat so much they need to be peeled off the ground. Of course, that can happen, but it’s really about being completely present for your people for the hour you are with them and about transformation. Over the last two months. I’ve noticed for the first time that my personal training, coaching, and group fitness instructing skills and methods have collided. Instead of keeping them all separate like I usually do, I’ve applied my style, personality, and methods of each to each of them and have found greater success. Coaching, Knowledge & Energy Combo, and Personal Attention are my BIG 3 In Fitness. My athletes want the knowledge and personal attention. Fitness members often need individual attention and like to be coached. Personal training clients want the energy and knowledge I bring to a class and thrive on the coach that comes out of me.

IMG_8521 IMG_8552In the past, my style would change like you’d change a hat. “Ok, it’s time to a be a one-on-one trainer now and stoically pay close attention to each muscle movement and effort.” “Oh! Now it’s time to coach these kids to understand the point of this workout and inspire them to execute it properly.” “Time for a show! Amp up the energy and get these members ready for some fitness fun!” Every group that I work with, needs the BIG 3’s and they all require them in different degrees.

As fitness professionals, I think that if we all take one big step back we can notice that every person in a group or solo needs us to be completely present and needs to be seen, heard, encouraged, enlightened, and energized. When a group is informed rather than just told what to do, their movements take on a whole new effort. When someone is having an off day and is truly seen by us, we’ve just made their day a bit lighter for them. During instruction, if we can step away from barking movements, to succinctly explaining why we do certain movements a certain way, enlightens people. We end up not only promoting health but we are also teaching. When negative self talk has crept into any one of their minds, someone to plug “This pull-up represents you pulling yourself up out of anything!” will literally pull them through their day, or more! Bringing all of this together naturally promotes transformation. When you’ve got someone dedicated to all of those things, just for you in that hour, how can transformation not take place?

The BIG 3 in Fitness – Coaching, Knowledge & Energy Combo, and Personal Attention are essential to fitness success. Whether you are in just one of the roles that I am in, the BIG 3 will transform the people you are working with in a big way.

 

 

 

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