As a coach, I'm always working with clients on their language, particularly the language we all use with our self talk while working out... Language is a huge part of the internal story we play in our thoughts and the story we create in our head. It therefore, can greatly effect our happiness, self worth, satisfaction, performance and so much more. My two least favorite words I wish we could figure out how to remove from our vocabulary as a whole are SHOULD and JUST ....
So many of us are always 'should'ing' on ourselves and others- this word can destroy relationships, break bonds of trust, and lead to major feelings of guilt and shame. It's actually almost impossible to use the word, should, without an attached feeling of guilt &/or shame placed on self or the person it's being directed at. I hear it in the gym all the time. Coach compliments Peter, and Peter responds, "oh I should have been able to do 10 more pounds...I should have gone faster... I should be able to RX... I should be able to do HSPUs... I should have done more..." It's so degrading... In using this word we place this arbitrary expectation on ourselves that we "should" be better then we are, completely discrediting the effort we have put in and the greatness in where we are at. In my opinion, the simplest way to improve the entire emotional response around this word is by replacing it with COULD. Should often leads to guilt or shame, while could creates an opportunity to learn, a lesson. Coach says to Peter, "oh that squat looked great!" Peter responds "thanks coach- it was feeling really good- I think I could have loaded a few more pounds- I will definitely hit it next time!" In this situation, rather then shame himself, Peter took the compliment, acknowledged his efforts, and recognized how he would be even better in his next attempt! It's simply so much more constructive.
My other least favorite word is JUST. Damn this word discredits everything awesome we do!!! Coach says "Jane.... Awesome effort today- you looked great!" Jane says "oh it was just body weight... It was just scaled ... it was just the barbell...it was just single unders"....boom... Jane instantly reduce the effort that she put into something and discredited herself, rather then acknowledging the greatness in the effort. And many of us do this all the of time in and out of the gym...It makes me so sad when I hear clients should'ing on themselves and just'ing their bad ass efforts... Let's all learn to compliment ourselves and take a compliment from one another!!!
Admittedly, as sad as it makes me when I have clients use these words on themselves, I'm equally as guilty... As a matter of fact, I realized I did it to myself this past weekend.... I decided to do 16.1 for fun. I can't do chest to bar pull ups yet, so I opted to do the scaled wod. Going into it I found myself utterly embarrassed that I was doing jumping pull ups. Could I have scaled up to kipping pull ups? Maybe 1-2 incredibly crappy ones at a time- for a very limited number-with a lot of rest in between... but what would I have gained? Nothing. A wod, against the clock, is not the appropriate time to practice a skill... Time set aside for skill development is appropriate time for honing in on our skills. And if I was standing around taking 30-45 seconds of rest between every 1-2 crappy flailing pull ups - I wouldn't have gotten the same type of workout. And, worst of all I would have been potentially setting myself up for future injury or development of poor mechanics and bad habits... And most of all - it really was just for fun...so I did what I knew was truly best for me - and I did it as it was scaled. I had an awesome workout - a great score - and it felt amazing.... But, what's the first thing I said when someone fist bump me & tells me great job? "Oh it was just the scaled wod"...HA!! I straight justed on myself!!! I completely deminished my own efforts... All this pep talk to client after client helping lift them up, and I couldn't walk the talk! This is so not ok! How about a simple "dang thanks!!! I worked hard and had fun!!" because that is what truly mattered...
It's only ego that allows these silly words to creep into our vocabulary and mind... I strongly hope that we all, myself included, will start being kinder to ourselves... And try to stop being so dang hard... it's ok to have goals, to strive for more and always work toward being better, but we need to celebrate the wins along the way, acknowledge where we are already kicking butt, and take opportunities to learn how to be better, without discrediting how hard we have worked to get exactly where we are today!
I haven't even touched the ground and I know I am coming back. Dead asleep ...first time to actually sleep like a baby on a plane - thank goodness for that (much thanks to an all night flight on no sleep)... Eyes open- I open window- I'm wide awake... Ok Costa Rica - you are speaking to me ... Mountains hovering above the clouds - green, green, and more green like I've never seen - so rural- endless coast- I can't believe the vast beauty I'm over looking - and yet il only touch a small part of it - I will definitely be back!
Fast forward two day- perhaps I am having 2nd thoughts - or maybe just still getting immersed - let's call this one big giant lesson! Where do I even begin.......
Ok perhaps I wrote too soon. It was a rough 8 hours of travel- seemingly never ending in the moment - I admittedly had a hard time appreciating it while in it - only fantasizing about arrival of destination -and looking back I already appreciate it on a whole new level. The first 12 hours @ destination I was truly worried that this life wasn't for me, however, I know it was just the delay in getting here & fully experiencing it. By noon the 1st day in Montezuma, rugged hostel living & travel has won my heart.
A few realizations:
It's amazing how long you can stretch the days out here & how much you can do in one day from eyes open to close.
It's amazing how much you can do & still feel so incredibly rested & rejuvenated.
It's amazing how fast you can form bonds with new people that you are most certain will last a long time time to come.
This is my first time to travel abroad and my first time to journey solo. Considering someday I aspire to back pack through the world- I figured a week in one place might be a good way to start- to get my feet (as they call it) wet. These are some personal lessons I learned along the way... and jotted down, light heartedly, to make the most of the moments I felt slightly defeated, flustered, or just plain silly... And while I'm sure they will prove different slightly in different locations - I'm also certain it will be a good set of reliable guidelines for myself through my future travel...
My personal lessons on traveling abroad:
1. Don't don't don't travel to a foreign country that speaks a different language by myself w/ absolutely NO awareness of how to communicate in their language. NOT smart!!! Buy a book - have an offline translator - or know the basics.
2. Learn a new language for the love of God - because I'm proving how ignorant and untraveled Americans really are.
3. Oh ya - the idea that traveling alone helps me to be more social & talk to & meet more new people ?!?! Ummmm - NOT if I don't speak a language besides my own... (@ least not until I get somewhere like the hostel where there are other world travelers).
4. I am all the way in another country for a vacation - stop being a cheap ass & don't make dumb decisions just to save a buck or two- sometimes the extra money is worth piece of mind, convenience & like 8 hours of my life!! Especially when my trip is short lived. If I'm going to go through all the means of getting somewhere & making a trip happen I need to just live it up. Nuff said.
5. Traveling cheap is good- staying in hostels is GREAT for meeting amazing people - but dorm rooms suck ass for sleep!!! Next time - stay in hostel but do private dorm room! Then I'm on my own sleep schedule but still get the experience of meeting great people.
6. (And applicable to LIFE)
Make a damn decision - then accept it - if it doesn't work & I can change it - change it - and if not - then make the best of it. These small inconsequential decisions aren't making or breaking my life.
7. 10-14 days minimum - and 1x/year minimum - needed - no exceptions! Alone is ok - but I think w w friend will be better - as long as we agree to meet people & socialize & agree to go separate ways if we feel like different things so we can each get most out of our experience
8. It takes way longer to get places then I imagined - so it's never as much time as I want or need - plan accordingly for travel.
9. It will never be enough time & I just have to accept it - get good as saying "goodbye".
10. I have a whole new appreciation for technology- because of technology we now have a free way to connect with new friends world wide! OH, and a way to stay connected @ home for free anywhere that has WIFI!!!
I took these notes for myself while traveling. I was trying to be playful with myself and make light of some of my lessons along the way -but I think that it is all sound advice I shall definitely take into consideration during my future endeavors :)
I'm a coach, for a living .... A fitness coach by absolute, but I consider myself more of a life coach by design. I am there to support my clients through any aspect of their health journey, and being that health isn't just physical but all encompassing, I will gladly guide and support someone through it all- if that's what they seek, of course. As a coach though, don't mistake me for knowing it all, or having all the answers, because I don't... I'm on the same journey as everyone else- a simple quest for balance through it all on this ride called life. I live my life through trial and error - often a lot of error.... And in the process I hope to find some things that work for me... Which I will kindly share with anyone interested, though fair warning just because it works for me doesn't mean it will work for you, which is why my job as a coach is just to guide you & support you through your own trial and error- your journey of exploration- discovering your path along the way.
And Yes I am a fitness coach. I have coached sports performance, general fitness, strength & conditioning, Crossfit, and simply movement- whatever labels you want or need to give it all, if you will.... But does that mean I am going to have washboard abs all the time? Or the most rocking body over every lady in the gym? Or be the fastest? The strongest? Or the one who has mastered every sick skill? Absolutely not!!! Please recognize that as a coach my job isn't to be the best athlete, have the "sexiest" body, or be the one who can do it all.... My job is to do my BEST - to see YOUR potential - and help YOU achieve YOUR best (period). If that means your potential is greater then mine to compete, to squat, to run, to do advanced athletic skills, or anything else... Then excellent! I know their is greatness in every person waiting to be discovered, and I desire more then words can say to help anyone (who wants to be helped of course) to seek and achieve their greatness... Nothing in the world brings me more pleasure than watching someone achieve a goal, reach a PR, or accomplish something that even he /she didn't know she could do!!! It's literally what makes the bells ring and my heart sing... It's seriously what makes time stand still even for just a moment... It's those moments that remind me what it's all for and why I love it so damn much.
And does that mean I don't still have my own goals that I go after? Absolutely not - I'm working towards growing and being better every day, in every way... But please know that doesn't mean my goals (especially related to fitness) are the same as your goals - and that is ok. If anything is certain, I know that I have a talent, a passion, and a heart to see the greatness in each person, to know their potential even when they can't see it in themselves, and the desire to help them discover their greatness through my eyes.... I have the desire and the drive to help people achieve what they seek and be their best, even if that means being 10x better then I could ever be - and, I hope every person gets better then me.
To me, this is what makes a good coach... Guiding others to rise above. So while I won't often be the fastest or strongest, I will always be doing and being my very best in any given moment - I will always be experimenting so that I can use the discoveries to help another, I'll always be researching and learning so I can continue to grow and have a stronger skill set and more knowledge to offer the people I serve, and I will always be striving to live as an example each and every day in some way.
I believe that even the greatest coaches need coaches and/or mentors, as we recognize that the only things we know is that no matter how much we know - we don't really know and there is always more to learn along the way... We are all students and teachers learning from each other every step of the way if we allow ourselves to be... because in life everyone always has something to learn and everyone always has somethings to teach!
We can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped - one of the hardest lessons I've ever had to learn- especially considering I'm a coach for a living - I mean - I am in the job of helping people....but especially in my career I've learned this and I believe it's finally sunk in - that I can't help someone until they are truly ready for my help and want it…
And I'm a "fixer" to top it off- I want to fix everything - I want to solve problems - find solutions - fix flaws in systems and business - fix people -but that's not my job either - and to be honest I can FINALLY say with confidence that I truly figured this out.... An author I very much value once said "I used to want to fix people, now I just want to love them" - this always sang to me - but it just took a little while to sink in for implementation ….
The hardest part when you love someone though - and they don't want your help- is standing back and letting them go through whatever they are in - their pain- their hurts - their struggles.... We think because we love them that we need to help them - especially when we "think" we see the answers ....when sometimes the best way to love them is step back and let them go through it- but damn that is hard. We want what is best for a person, especially when we see all their beauty and worth….
But in both my professional life and even personal life - I've come to realize that nothing I can say or do or push will help someone else realize their beauty and worth - I can't force them to see what I see or experience - I just have to love them where they are at and be there in the way they need me to be (not the way I want to be) and hold positive vibrations that he or she will find their way- their way out of the dark- their way into their own greatness - their way into their worth - where their bright light shines from within.
<3 #realliftstruggles #thehardpartaboutlove #theyhavetowantit #lovepeopledon’tfixthem
Why do we feel the need to label everything & judge it "good" or "bad"?? We judge our own emotions - and then we judge ourselves for feeling these emotions. Then we judge our thoughts - and then we judge ourselves for feeling these thoughts. But we are not our thoughts or emotions - we are simply a being feeling them or thinking them... And they, in and of themselves, are not bad... They only become "bad" when we label them and then judge ourselves... If we deem them bad then we begin to resist them- this in turn can cause them to persist.... Then we think something must be wrong with us... But what if the feelings we have are simply there to support us? To help us grow? To alert us when something might be wrong so that they can draw our attention to something deeper? What if they are there to give us insight into something about ourselves so that we can heal?
I believe that when our body sends us pain singles it is simply it's way of communicating with us that something needs attention. Our body is not bad because it feels pain. We are not bad because we "caused" it pain. We are simply there to recognize it and determine where it might be coming from and what we can do for it.
In my heart this rings true for emotions as well... When we feel sad or angry or upset or hurt or depressed we are so quick to not only judge the emotion as bad, judge ourselves for feeling it - such as now feeling pathetic- or wrong - or weak for feeling these ways- assuming something is wrong with us- therefore then feeling like we "shouldn't " feel this way & we "should " have more control of these feelings - instead of just allowing ourself to be wherever we are at and feel whatever we feel as an observer or experiencer- and to explore what the emotion is there to communicate.
And why do we have to label ourselves for feeling these emotions - it's in pain, melancholy, sadness - that our most brilliant steps forward in life can bloom- our most growth- our most realization- and our most strength can develop. And I've found in myself and others that we often feel weak or pathetic because we are sad or depressed - but why? How does that make us weak? Who on earth is ever 100% happy and free of sorrow? It's inhuman- and we need the yin and yang. Plus it is in our sadness that we allow those we love and care about to step in and support us - love us through our stuff - through our pain- through our tears... I know plenty of people, and I was once this person- who never wanted to take any help from anyone - lean on anyone or let anyone support me - because, again, I felt weak or pathetic- I created stories in my head that I "should" have it all together - I "should" have it all figured it - or that I "shouldn't " feel a certain way cuz it could be worse - but this isn't real... And needing love and support doesn't make us weak- it actually takes more strength and courage then is often given credit for - to be vulnerable enough to drop the walls - to let down the gaurds - and to take off a mask... To let someone in and let them love you through it - to say to someone "hey I need help, I can't do this alone"... Cuz I know now that the people who love and care about us want to be there for us- just like we would want to be for them.
If we could only escape the labels - the self ridicule - the self judgement - where does it come from? Is it from solely within? Or is there an a pressure from the society at large - the media ?!? Or is it because we all wear masks acting like it's all ok- so when we aren't ok- we think everyone else around us is so much stronger - better - happier - and wiser or has something figured out that we are missing?
I know I'm guilty of feeling like I need to portray myself as this strong independent woman who can do it all alone and has it all figured out - but that's BS most of the time - because most days I'm just a free spirit wandering aimlessly through life - often going through the motions - not having the slightest clue what I want or need - acting like I don't need anyone - but dying inside to experience a true deep intimate connection - and afraid too much of loosing it to ever even let myself experience it. Wow.
LASTLY, I often find that many of us (myself included) associate ourselves as the emotion, rather then simply acknowledging we are feeling the emotion. This is something I have truly been trying to work on and yet fall short daily. We say "I'm sad" "I'm depressed" "I'm angry" rather then I feel sad, I'm feeling angry, I've been feeling depressed. We aren't our emotion... And we don't want to trick our mind into believing we are - because then the mind starts tricking us back. And I think THIS is where the self judgement around the emotion comes into even stronger play. What if it's ok to just feel these feelings? What if it's ok to feel depressed sometimes ? What if it's ok to feel sad? What if it's ok to feel angry? All as much as its ok with feeling joyful, happy, peaceful, and excited? (Although too often I also see the flip side of the spectrum where we don't allow ourself to feel worthy of feeling the "good" labeled feelings either - save that topic for another day).
What if this big colorful spectrum of emotions are just the very essential essence of being truly human?!?!?