This runner’s world…

Many people ask me why I run. 

Believe me, before I became a runner, I myself wondered why anyone would move beyond a strolling pace unless being chased by something or in a race with a really, really good prize.  I mean, at first glance it’s hard to understand how running could be enjoyable.  You see runners with injuries, people red in the face, puffing away as they run around and around a track.  Or struggling up a hill, looking as though they’re on the verge of a heart attack. 

Then there’s the clothes. Let’s not even go there.  Any sport that requires you to wear spandex must be bad.

I started running by accident.  I was in early recovery from drug and alcohol addiction and going to the gym had became the thing that filled what was once my ‘drinking time.’  And that was a lot of time.  Hours. Days.

So I’d go to the gym and exercise until I was so tired that even the thought of raising a bottle to my lips made me feel faint.  Then I’d go home and –hopefully- drift off to sleep relatively soon.  At first, this did not take long.  But as my fitness improved, I worked out longer and harder and started feeling better than I ever had in my life.

One day I was walking on the treadmill as I usually did.  I was listening to Baba O’ Riley by The Who when suddenly this urge overcame me.  Before I knew what was happening, my fingers were raising the speed on the treadmill and I WAS RUNNING!  For one minute. Then I stopped because I thought my lungs would burst.

But I felt great.

Maybe it is my addictive personality, but that ‘runner’s high’ seemed pretty damn good to me.  Over the weeks that followed, I ran longer and walked less.  I bought good shoes.  I talked to other runners.

Now, almost two years later, I am a runner.  I do it 5 or 6 days a week.  I read Runner’s World magazine (and know what they are talking about).  I eat Power Bars (and there ain’t nobody who eats those unless they have to). I am competing in my fist half- marathon in October.  I run for hours at a time. I am not fast, and I have no aspiration to reduce my body fat percentage low enough to speed up.  But when I run I feel free.

Recently, I read the book The Life We Are Given by Michael Murphy and George Leonard.  I highly recommend this to everyone and anyone who is interested in anything.  It’s that good.

At one point they write about running and when I read this paragraph I thought “Yes, that’s it.  That’s why I run.”  So here it is:

“Running ups the ante, adding possibilities and risks.  When we walk, one foot is always earthbound, but when we run, we leave the ground.  The earth becomes our drum, and the rhythm of our drumming feet presages the quickened pulse of heart and blood.  The face flushes, and we feel the rush of air on our cheeks and forehead.  Breathing deepens.  We experience the beginnings of a familiar exultation along with a touch of fear, a momentary catch in the breath…Running, we can no longer deny our animal nature.  At the same time, we are uniquely human, for no other animal runs as we do…To run long distances, especially with a partner or in a group, is to summon our primal past…Some people these days calls running a fad, or even an addiction, a form of narcissism.  But to call running a fad makes as much sense as to call thinking a fad.  Endurance running is an essential human activity that preceded abstract thought and helped make it possible.”

So there you have it, stated much more poetically than I could manage. 

Why do I run?

Because I can.

September 20, 2007. Uncategorized. 5 comments.

In…out…in…out

This morning, while reading The Life We Are Given by Michael Murphy and George Leonard, I came across this definition of meditation: “…the disciplined observation of thoughts, feelings, impulses, and sensations, as well as the spontaneous turning of the heart and mind toward a Presence beyond the ordinary self.”

This struck me as the best definition of meditation that I have ever read, and it certainly fits with my experience. I have, over the past several months, been working toward developing a meditation practice in my daily life.

This has been really, really hard for me.

I rarely watch movies in one sitting because my attention span is so short, and often have several books on the go, as I find it hard to stick with one. I like to be busy, I like to be moving and it wasn’t until several months ago that I wondered “What would happen if I just stop for a few minutes?”

I practice moving meditation when I run and when I swim, and I love it. I love those moments when all I can hear, feel and be aware of are the sounds and sensations of my breath. The rhythm of my feet on the pavement or the movement in my arms. But I found myself craving stillness; desiring a connection with what is beyond all of that movement and motion and slap, slap, slap of feet on the ground.

And so I started meditating. Sitting cross legged and breathing deeply, becoming conscious of each inhalation and exhalation moving through my body. Feeling the life giving force of my breath. I am not good at this practice. I cannot make my mind still, or even blank for more than a few minutes at a time. I am easily distracted by sounds, movement, colors, thoughts and smells. But on the occasion that I manage to really be still, I am surprised and delighted by the feelings that follow.

I become aware of my body on a new level. I connect with myself and my Higher Power in a new way. I fight the panic that I sometimes feel when I ‘take a break.’ I learn how to have a thought, embrace it and then let it go- drifting away like leaves in a stream.
And I find the beauty in stillness and silence- a challenge for this loud, bouncy woman.

Beyond the immediate world in which I live, there is much more to be discovered and meditation and prayer have become a part of that process for me. Rather than something I dread, my meditation time has become a part in my day that I look forward to- the moment when I hang out with myself, my mental coffee break, a chance for clarity and understanding.

Breathe deeply and enjoy the quiet centre you will find.

Om…

September 12, 2007. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Tri, tri again?

Well, I just finished my first triathlon and what a day I’ve had!  You know the night before a big event when you have one of those horrible nightmares where everything that could go wrong does go wrong?   And the relief you feel when the time actually comes and things are going really well?

I had one of those nightmares last night.  Then today I had one of those days where the reality was actually much worse than the nightmare.

The event consisted of a 4.6 km run, a 6.4 km mountain bike ride and a 6.2 km cross country ski.  The run was what I was looking forward to and I had signed up for this event mainly to complement my running training, and the bike ride and ski were more just for fun.

We started off with the run and right from the go I was having trouble.  The trail was off road, muddy and about 60-75% snow covered.  I’ve been off my training for the last three weeks due to a chest and throat infection, but the few runs I had last week hadn’t been that bad.  This was terrible.  I could not catch my breath and I couldn’t even stay upright.  I fell 13 times (and then I stopped counting).  It really was like a dream, where you just can’t get your feet under you!

I finished the run third to last and thought about just calling it quits.  “Naw, I’ll give the bike a go,” said the little voice inside.  When, about a kilometre into the ride, on the first steep hill, my chain fell off, I just started laughing.  I got it back on, and it came off again.  Oh well, I thought,  I can at least coast down the hills.  Wait, my brakes don’t seem to be working very well!  To make matters worse, as I dragged my bike through the trail, running/walking alongside it, the snow (yup, the trail was mostly snow covered) seized up my wheel so it stopped turning.  I ended up dragging my bike behind me for most of the ride.

By this point I remember thinking “I’m pretty sure there’s a lesson in here somewhere.” And since I’ve learned that the lesson is rarely “Give up immediately when things go wrong” I kept at it.

On to the ski leg, my weakest discipline.  There were two loops of 3.1 km each.  When, a kilometre into the first loop, my boot came out of the binding and refused to clip back in, I felt like just laying down in the snow and throwing a tantrum.. Seriously, who has luck like this???  Instead, I took the functional ski off, picked them both up and started running/walking. When I hit the transition area after the first leg I yelled out “Am I disqualified for carrying my skis?”  They said “No.” And I kept going.  Bear in mind as well that this cross country ski leg was incredibly challenging-steep uphill one way and a series of sharp switchbacks coming down- and running in soft snow wearing ski boots was extra fun!

When I crossed the finish line after 2 hours, 39 minutes and 17 seconds of full out physical effort I was exhausted and feeling a lot of things!  One, disappointment that I hadn’t trained harder and checked my equipment more carefully.  Two, pride that I finished the damn thing.  Mostly I just felt like puking!  But I didn’t.

And at the awards ceremony when they gave me a special award for my sensational effort and inspirational perseverance,’ I didn’t feel embarrassed.  I felt great because I’d had this opportunity.  In the pictures of the race, I am smiling in (almost) every one of them.  I almost pulled out of the event because I was so worried about embarrassing myself by coming in last place.  Guess what?  I did come in last place and nothing terrible happened.  In fact, I got a two day ski pass and a massage voucher!

Most importantly, I finished my first triathlon!  When I started running, when I first got sober, I could run for ONE MINUTE before I had to stop.  Today I pushed myself harder than I ever have before and I never gave up.

And that, to me, makes last place feel an awful lot like first!

September 8, 2007. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Breathe, Meggie, breathe!

I am excited, dammit!  And it’s OK…in fact, it’s more than OK.  Next week, on August 1st, 2007, I am marrying the most fantastic man in the entire world!

 

The last few weeks leading up to this event have been a whirlwind.  I’ve been working three jobs, studying and planning the final details of the wedding.  Even as a small, fairly casual ceremony with only 20 guests, there have been many things to take care of.  Add in the hours and hours of paperwork devoted to my visa application, and I’ve been a busy woman.

 

Oh, yes, and the training for a winter triathlon in September and a half marathon in October.  Phew!

 

The saddest part of all of this is that, until some point last week, I hadn’t allowed myself to acknowledge how overwhelmed I felt, how much I needed some help and how excited I was really getting.  I tend to tackle things from a fairly logical, goal oriented angle most of the time.  The can be a great approach, except when I find myself ignoring my feelings and pushing myself through just because the schedule I made says I have to.

 

What triggered all of this were a few bad runs.  I felt tired, like my feet weren’t going fast enough, gasping for air. Kind of like a beginner all over again.  I posted for support on the message board I use on SparkPeople (www.sparkpeople.com) and was met with tons of support, comfort and advice.  Most people said I was clearly tired out and needed to take a break or cut back.  And almost everyone advised that I relax and enjoy the next few weeks as this is the only time in my life I will have the weeks before my wedding to enjoy.

 

Wait a minute…they’re right!  This is the only time I will have this moment, and it is a HUGE one!  I had been drastically downplaying the whole wedding thing- not the significance of it in terms of my and Andrew’s relationship- but the fun of it all.  The fact that, when I put my wedding dress on, I feel like the prettiest girl in the whole world, and the little jacket I am wearing over it makes me feel like I stepped out of French VOGUE.  The fact that we get to see family and friends that we hardly ever get to spend time with.  I get a new ring.  I get to eat yummy food and carry a beautiful bouquet of wildish roses from the flower market.  Stay in a fancy hotel.  Get my makeup and hair done.

 

Not to mention the most important fact of all- I am making a commitment to spend the rest of my life with the man who I love beyond words.  The man who makes me laugh and smile, who holds me when I cry, who hears my frustration about being an alcoholic and drug addict in recovery, who loves our dog like he’s our child (which he is!), who hikes with me, cooks for me and who I can’t imagine waking up without.

 

It IS a big day, probably my biggest to date, and I’m totally over pretending that I don’t really care.  I can hardly sleep at night, for God’s sake! I can’t wait.  I’m counting the “sleeps” like a kid before Christmas!

   

Here’s what I have realized:

1)      Getting excited about something doesn’t mean it won’t happen.  The ‘awfulizer’ in me has long believed that as soon as I get happy about something, it will be taken away from me.

2)      I deserve this.  It’s OK for me to have this day.  To spend money on makeup and flowers instead of groceries and bills.

  

That’s it!  That’s all I have to say.   Just wanted to share some of my excitement with all of you, and put into words what this whole thing has taught me!

 

July 23, 2007. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

In the candystore?

Do you remember when you were a child and you faced each day as though it was a new adventure?  When you awoke excited about the day that lay ahead?  Even on the dullest of days (a rainy Monday, for example) you knew you would see your friends, play, learn and grow.  It wasn’t intimidating, it wasn’t scary and it didn’t cause too much anxiety.

 

I don’t mean to romanticize childhood, and I am aware that the experience wasn’t pleasant for many people.  But what I am interested in is the way that kids can find the good in just about anything.  For most of them, optimism or the ability to shift perspective seems to come almost naturally.  Even on the most rotten of days, they seem to be able to remember that the day that is coming to an end doesn’t have to power to shape the day that will come.  They know that tomorrow is “another big day” and with that comes so many possibilities.   Why is this?

 

Adults, for sure, have pressing concerns that can easily distract us from the joy in life.  Taxes, jobs, relationships, kids, cars, careers, money, self-image, education etc.  The list goes on and on.  And for many of us, what makes a great day as adults may be a bit more complex than what constituted heaven as a child (although I’d still be pretty damn happy if I had a hammock, an Archie comic and a carton of chocolate milk!).

 

Somewhere along the line, we seem to lose our inherent ability to be the proverbial kid in a candy store.  We stop seeing things as new and different, and see them as scary and potentially harmful.  For example, the pursuit of a new degree loses the spark of “Wow!  What a great opportunity I have to try something new and learn” and becomes “Will this degree get me a job?  Will that job pay the bills?  What if I fail every class?”

 

It seems the more wrapped up we are in the outcome, the less we can enjoy the moments that actually lead up to the outcome.  When you think about it, the actual end result is usually a pretty tiny part of any process.  If you stood at the counter in that candy store and thought about how each candy would taste, whether or not you would like it, if you should choose this one or that one…you’d never even make a choice!  And if you did, the fact that you’re worrying about whether or not it is the right one is sure to color your experience.

 

Right now, today, I want you to think about one thing in your life that has you HOOKED.  Something you are hung up on, that is causing you difficulty or anxiety.  And I want you to think about how you can reframe your perspective to believe that, no matter what you do, it is the right thing and you will get everything from the experience that you need.  As of now, the outcome has nothing to do with whether or not you A) enjoy the experience and B) are successful. 

How do you feel now?   Better?  Worse?  Was it hard to change your perspective?

Try this with as many things as you can think of.  Rediscover your joy.  Get excited about life.  Even if it feels fake or forced, keep it up.  You might just be surprised by how enthusiastic you find yourself becoming.

 

Good luck and I’d love to hear about your results!

May 2, 2007. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Get over it already!

How many times have you said “I can’t do this. I’ve tried before and I’ve always failed!”?  How many times have you let past obstacles stand in your way?  How many times have you dragged outmoded thinking from your past or even your childhood into your current reality?

Most of us have heard the quote by Thomas Alva Edison who said,  “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10000 ways that won’t work.” How easy it is to focus on those 10000 failures and get discouraged rather than focusing on the wealth of information we’ve learned by trying something, even if we didn’t reach the desired outcome. Recently, my friend’s baby has been learning to walk.  This has been a delightful period in her life to witness, seeing her face full of determination and surprised wonder when she manages to stay upright.  Even when she thumps onto her bottom, she doesn’t think, “God, I’m an idiot!  I’ll never get this right.”  She laughs, pulls herself up and tries again. 

What a gift from the universe it is that babies and children do not naturally have the negative thoughts that often hold us back.  How unfortunate it would be if the baby thought “Well, I’ve given it a few tries.  I guess I’ll just scoot around on my bum for the rest of my life!” Instead, she naturally incorporates what she has learned into her next attempts.  She doesn’t have to talk herself into this, it just happens. Unfortunately, it is not as easy for many of us adults. We worry about failing, looking foolish, disappointing ourselves and others, getting hurt (physically or emotionally).  All of these things make it hard to even get started on something new, much less give it a genuine effort. 

But think of all the things you “failed” at that gave you the tools you need to succeed today. Did you ride your bike on the first try?  NOT LIKELY… 

Did your first romantic relationship work out? I CAN HEAR MOST OF YOU LAUGHING… What about tying your shoes? TOOK ME FOREVER… 

Getting the job your really wanted? JUST GETTING THERE NOW… Losing weight? TOOK ME MANY, MANY TRIES… 

TRY THIS:  Make a list of ten things you have ‘failed’ at in your life.  For each thing on the list, think of at least one thing you learned from the experience that has contributed to your life in some way.  Make an effort to see the benefit of not succeeding right away. And when those negative thoughts creep in, remember that it is learned behaviour, and it can be unlearned. 

April 26, 2007. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

On the road again…Moving Forward!

quote_48.jpg

Moving Forward

Since moving to the Victorian Alps of Australia, my personal fitness program had stalled.  I had a terrible time adjusting to the altitude and, just when I was feeling better, three weekends in a row brought a trip out of the mountains to Melbourne.  So I traveled from sea level up to over 5,000 feet and spent my Mondays and Tuesdays feeling nauseous, dizzy and exhausted.  My blood pressure was low ( a first for me!) and I just generally felt ‘blah’!

A nurse urged me to take it easy, which I did (NOT with a smile, mind you) and I actually did fairly well cutting back on my activity and slowing down.  It wasn’t easy for me, as I generally find inaction much more difficult to take than action.  Regardless, I was counting the days until I felt well enough to amp up my training once again. 

After a few weeks of moderate rest, I was raring to go.  I headed out the door, bouncing around like Rocky before the title match, warmed up with a brisk walk and broke into a jog.  Within minutes, I was gasping for air, my lungs burning and my eyes watering.  I stopped, turned around and headed home, feeling like a complete and absolute failure.  It’s the altitude, I reminded myself, but didn’t feel any better.  I slowed down yet again, and spent a few more weeks walking hard, drinking lots of water and getting enough rest.  Then I headed out to try another run.

I walked down the road, and after a few minutes of warming up I was prepared to pick up the pace.  And then I froze.  I was scared.  Of running.  Well, this is ridiculous, I thought to myself and tried again.  Same result.  I literally couldn’t move forward.  I finished my walk and headed home, scared and discouraged, kicking the ground like a kid who just lost a fight.

I spent a lot of time in reflection, thinking about what had happened.  I knew intuitively that it wasn’t my body telling me it wasn’t ready.  It was.  Physically, I wanted to run, I desired it.  I could taste it.  It was an emotional block that had held me back, and I needed to get to the bottom of it.

What I realized was this.  I like walking.  I’m good at it and it’s not that hard for me.  It’s hardly a challenge and I almost never fail (though my fiancé regularly asks me when I trip over my own feet “Been walking long?”).  Running, on the other hand, is hard.  I have to push myself.  I have to stay completely in the moment.  It’s uncomfortable at times.  And I don’t like failing.  Before I moved here, I could run for 45 minutes straight, an accomplishment which had taken me a year to achieve.  Now I was back at Step One. Sigh.

So there were my reasons. And now for my choices…I could say “Who needs to run?” and keep walking.  Really, the physical benefits are just as good.  But this wasn’t about that.  This was about proving to myself that I could take on something that scares me, make a plan and move through my fear, something I haven’t really had to do for a long while. 

So that’s what I did.  I signed up for my first race, the Mother’s Day Classic, which will be held in
Melbourne on May 13, 2007.  It’s a 4 km run in support of breast cancer research, and I will run in memory of some, in support of others and for myself.  To remind myself of my strength, and of the strength of millions of women who battle this disease.  It’s not my finishing time that’s important.  I really don’t care if I come dead last to be honest.  This is about taking it on and giving it my absolute best.  And that I KNOW I can do!

What helped me move forward? 

1)      I though about how I felt when I wasn’t in action:  scared, tired, disappointed in myself, discouraged.

2)      I thought about how I would feel if I took on this challenge: empowered, excited, invigorated.

3)      I asked myself what’s the worst that could happen?

         I could try running and be physically unable to do it.

         I could sign up for the race and come in last or have to walk part of the way, or not make it.

4)      Realistically, neither of these scenarios were all that bad (or likely to happen), and they were definitely no worse than staying stuck where I was, so it seemed easier to move forward.

In the end this is an invitation from the universe to challenge myself, get into action, and honour some of the most courageous women I have ever known, which is pretty special.

The rest has fallen into place.  I’ve got a training plan which I am committed to, and I will be carefully monitoring my nutritional intake and rest over the next two months to get ready for the race.  After that, there’s a winter triathlon I’m signed up for (which is in September here in
Australia) and a half marathon I’ve got my eye on.  It seems impossible at this point but then again, so did getting clean and sober, becoming a coach, becoming a personal trainer, finding my soulmate, loving myself and accepting my body, all of which I have done. 

I invite you all to pick something this month that you’ve been holding off on, make a plan and MOVE FORWARD!  Tell your coach or your friends about it and get going.  I can almost guarantee you’ll be glad you did!

March 17, 2007. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Reframing perspective…What a rush!

 

 

Reframing Perspective 

Of all the tools we use in coaching, and of all the tools I use in my daily life, the ability to reframe perspective is one of the most powerful.  In my experience, nothing can quite as forcefully and quickly move someone forward, get them unstuck or radically shift their thoughts and feelings into a position of empowerment.  Shifting or reframing perspective can be a split second action that might just change your life.

Even better, reframing perspective can be fast (although sometime it is more of a process that happens over time) and it requires few resources or materials.  A journal may be helpful to record your experience but it isn’t necessary.   

 

What is necessary? 

         the desire to change your ideas, thoughts, and emotions

         the willingness to be open minded to another perspective

         the willingness to be honest with oneself and others, which can be very difficult. Ask your client (or yourself): Are you ready to let go of your disempowering perspectives?  Are you willing to be honest about why you have held on to them? Are you willing to wholeheartedly accept the power and responsibility you have to create and shape your life?

 

Simple…but not EASY! 

Changing perspective is not always easy, though the process may be quite straight forward.  When someone has held onto a disempowering perspective (being a victim, not being responsible, being powerless), there is a reason for it.  In some way, living from that perspective has served a purpose.  That purpose may not be clear to the client at first, and so it may be hard to understand why they need to let it go.

 

Secondly, people often come from a position where they believe their perspective is THE ONLY TRUE OR VALID PERSPECTIVE.  When you say “Perhaps there is another way of looking at this,” they may hear “You are wrong and you are a liar.  When we think we are being accused of such things, it is natural to feel defensive and close ourselves off.  This is where it may take some time for the client to work through their immediate reactions and process this new idea.

 

EXERCISES IN PERSPECTIVE:  Some exercises I find quite useful are the following:

 

When you are confronted with a client who is adamant that their position is “right” or “true,” try the following.   Place an object on the table between you, choosing something that is different on each side. Ask the client to describe in detail what they see from their side of the table when they look at the object, without moving it or changing their position.  Ask them if they are telling the truth, and they will say yes.  Ask them if they are sure, and they will say yes.

 

Now describe the object from your side of the table.  Sate that you are sure this is what you see, and that you are certain you are telling the truth.  Now turn the object around and ask the client who was telling the truth.  You both were, but because of your perspective you had totally different experiences.

 

If you are not working face to face, the following exercise may work well.  Ask your client to choose a room in their house and stand in the center of it, facing one wall.  Have them describe in detail (or draw if they wish) what they see without turning around.  When they have finished, ask them to turn around and do the same again.  Now compare the results.  It was the same room in both circumstances, yet different results based on their perspective.

 

Ask them if they could successfully draw a picture of the entire room if they had only one perspective.  Usually, the answer is no.  Now ask them if they could successfully make choices and take action in a situation without at least considering the other angles and possible truths.  They can, but the results may not be as successful.

 

Finding a way to physically demonstrate a powerful tool such as reframing perspective is very useful for many clients, especially those who are visual or kinetic learners.  I encourage you to try this with a client who is having difficulty and see what results you get.  Good luck and I look forward to hearing how it works for you!

March 17, 2007. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Coach is not spelled P-E-R-F-E-C-T!

 

I am a coach and a personal trainer.   I am also a human being who makes mistakes and doesn’t always do what I know I “should”.  These facts have caused me some interesting emotions recently, not the least of which is an old favorite-GUILT!

 

The last two months have brought many changes for me. I’ve moved to another continent, started planning my wedding, started a new job, picked up more schooling and just generally turned my world upside down. Dealing with all these changes, there have been times I have found myself munching mindlessly, overdosing on sugar, overeating and generally making some nasty choices when it comes to what I put into my body.  The consequences of these choices have been not only physical- bloating, headaches, lack of energy- but also mental. I feel like a hypocrite.  Who am I to tell my clients that food is not the solution when I seem to be looking for answers at the bottom of the ice cream container??

 

I have sat with these thoughts for a few weeks now, which was mighty uncomfortable, and here are some of the things I have realized, learned and accepted:

 

1)      As someone who is in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, choosing  a cookie is still far better than the choices I would have made in the past.  Of course, a nice long walk or meditation would be even better, but it’s progress (not perfection)!

2)      In the grand scheme of things, my eating habits are still saint- like most of the time.  I eat the recommended daily servings of most food groups, and I limit sugar, sodium and fat. And, hey, if chocolate was one of the groups, I’d have it all nailed! In addition, I exercise every single day, which I truly enjoy and have incorporated into my life.

3)      There is a BIG difference between medicating with food and using it to genuinely treat myself.  I have to say that few things make me feel as warm and fuzzy as chocolate pudding cake right out of the oven or a home cooked meal of pasta with fresh pesto.  If I start using those things as a sole coping mechanism, then I am in trouble.  But when I take the time to prepare something delicious for myself, curl up on the couch and make it an experience, then it’s a beautiful thing.

4)      I don’t have to be perfect to be a good coach or personal trainer!  In fact, it’s the reality that I’m not perfect that makes me so good at what I do.  I have a very healthy approach to food and exercise.  It’s an important part of life, but it isn’t the only part of life.  And I believe that it should be enjoyed.  Portion control and monitoring your nutritional intake are an essential part of a healthy life.  But the movement toward weighing and measuring everything all the time, and buying prepackaged food so that you don’t eat too much and you know the exact caloric and fat value of your meal, seems very sterile, cold and a little creepy to me.  You might as well chew cardboard for all the enjoyment you’re getting out of your food!

 

It comes back to this.  The people in my life who I appreciate the most- whether they are coaches, lovers or friends- are the ones who can authentically share their experiences- both good and bad.  If I was sitting in front of my TV, eating a bucket of KFC everyday and smoking a pack of cigarettes while coaching my clients around wellness, that would be hypocritical.  HELLO… REALITY CHECK!  That’s not the situation at all.  It has been a real gift these last few days to come to a new level of acceptance about my fallibilities as a person and the realization that IT’S OK!  Wow, talk about a moment of clarity.  I feel stronger and more confident than I have in weeks and I am so grateful that I have had this opportunity.  I’m looking forward to whatever it is that tomorrow brings!

February 28, 2007. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Challenges…for me and FOR YOU!

Challenges…for me and FOR YOU!

In the last few weeks, I’ve had lots of opportunities to learn more about the way the world works.  I haven’t had nearly as much time as I’d like to reflect on all of this yet but I do know that the world really does continue to blow my mind.  On some level, I know that  everything happens for  a reason and that there are no accidents.  Yet it still shocks me ( and amuses and sometimes frightens me) when things work out the way they do.

I have been most comfortable coaching people around things that I feel experienced in.  That means health and wellness, recovery from addiction and acceptance of your body.  Recently, I decided that it was time to open myself up and take on some challenges.  I made a pace for it yet didn’t really move into action.  Then, through a series of mix ups, I have been given the opportunity to work with some new clients who come from a very different background than I.  I am nervous about it, and it brings back many of the feelings of “What do I have to offer?”  Yet the energy between us is great, and I know that it will be a learning experience for both of us.

So, even though I clearly was holding myself back, the universe has decided I’m ready and has given me a great opportunity.

The last few weeks have been difficult for me.  The impact of the move from
Korea, the new job, vastly different lifestyle, planning a wedding and a busy, busy, busy life is taking a toll on me.  So I am declaring March “Be Kind to Yourself” Month.  As coaches, many of us often tell our client to be gentle with themselves, take care of themselves, put themselves first sometimes.  It is high time I take some of my own advice and I urge you all to do the same.  Here is a challenge for all of you!

CHALLENGE: BE KIND TO YOURSELF MONTH

Each day in March, do something nice for yourself. Some suggestions:

         buy yourself flowers

         sing in the shower

         don’t answer the phone

         meditate

         go for a walk

         bake cookies, eat a few and give the rest away

         go to bed early-REALLY!

         get a manicure or pedicure

–    JUST ADDED: Karen’s ‘private picnic’ post reminded me of this idea…put up your tent inside, roll out your sleeping bags and go camping!  So much fun!  You can even roast marshmallows over the stove (if you’re patient).

Let’s all post our suggestions and see if we can get something fantastic started here!!!

Good luck!  I look forward to hearing your results!

February 28, 2007. Uncategorized. 4 comments.

Next Page »