coaching

Success!

Aloha! The rain is coming down on Maui on my last night here.  It is appropriate since I will be heading into the rain of the Pacific North West.  The cruel truth is that rain here is warm and tropical, in Seattle it is cold and brutal.  My trip has been a fantastic journey, travel and food and working out and meeting awesome people.  However, I am very excited to come home.  I miss my bed, my things, a closet, a room without spiders and geckos.  Though the gecko is a spiritual creature according to Hawaiian lore, I am ok with not sharing space as much as I do right now.  Tonight, I picked up the sheets (to check for creatures) then lifted my pillow only to find a baby gecko that wasn't in a very safe place.  I put him outside only to see another baby on the other side of the room.  It is like they are gremlins; multiplying with water after midnight.

I also miss my work.  I was in college when I decided that I wanted to become a rowing coach.  It was my sophomore year and I was participating in National Team Testing.  I was new to sports and barely called myself an athlete, but I was good and I knew that much.  I was also good at describing the rowing stroke to my teammates and I loved helping.  I, after all, was a peer counselor in High School and an RA in college.  At the time I decided to become a coach I had a rather socially challenged Head Coach that needed a lot of assisting.  I filled the role of translator when I could.  It was then that I realized coaching was an option.  I thought the thought and then put it away.  I still had to finish school.  After graduating and picking up a coaching job almost immediately I was enthralled by the Olympics.  It was 1996 and cycling was being shown quite a bit.  I knew that I needed to find another sport to do alongside rowing and cycling seemed to fit.  It looked like it was mentally and physically grueling (a requirement for me) and I liked the way it shaped the body (another requirement).  I also sent into the universe ad dream of being able to work out for a living at the same time I was helping others.  I thought I would have to become an Olympic athlete (and I worked on that) or be a professional athlete in order to do so.  Turns out I was wrong with the means by which but dead on with bringing my dream to fruition.  Working out for a living is doable and exciting and literally a dream come true.

Because I love what I do it is hard to pull myself away from it.  So taking vacation becomes a challenge.  I do need space away from the daily grind in order to gain some perspective, stay fresh and study up.  However, it is a joy to come back to what I absolutely love to do day in and day out.  The music, the people, the love.  I am lucky because I worked my ass off for years.  When I began this journey I made $5300 annually for my first collegiate coaching gig.  I got a raise the next year to $5700.  Loving what you do and doing what you love means you may have to wait for the financial reward, but it is worth it.  No amount of money would stop me from teaching/coaching and training.  I always ask myself this question:  If I were to win the lotto would I stop working.  The answer has never been 'no' when it comes to my work with motivation and health & well-being.  When you would do what you do for free you know you have struck it rich!  That is what I would call success.

What are your passions?  Are you living them?  Are you going after your dreams???  Why or why not?

xo

a

Help Me

Hiya! In the past when I felt swamped or overwhelmed I would often stop reaching out, stay home, answer few calls and keep to myself.  In theory it is a good idea to cocoon myself so that I could renew myself.  However, reaching out can help make whatever I am going through smaller and more manageable.  When you let others know what is happening in your world you allow your world to shrink, not seem so daunting and you might just see a way out of the stress heap you are under.  Admitting that I needed help was hard, asking for help was harder.

As a life coach I am there for anyone and everyone that needs me to be.  I hold space for people so that they can better view their world and make the changes that they would like to make.  I help take their stress from keeping them stuck to motivating and initiating change.  I am always inspired by the amazing people who reach out and ask me to help them.  It is a HUGE deal to know that you cannot do it on your own, that you don't need to do it on your own.  Life is so much sweeter when lived with others… when you understand that we are here to learn about ourselves through our relationship with others.  When you allow help, when you give permission, you receive it faster than you can imagine.  Usually the only thing that is standing in the way between you and your ideal world is you not asking or asking for others to participate; giving permission for others to help you.

For some reason (conditioning from our society) we believe that we are here to do everything on our own.  The truth is we are dependent on one another no matter how much we would like to think we stand alone.  We need each other and always will.  You have what I need and I have what you need.  It is about sharing, assisting, helping.  Are there ways in which you could use help but you have a judgement around asking?

I ask for help now.  It is more fun to be a part of  team.  I like the fact that others are just as excited to assist me as I am to assist them.  Life is easier with help.  More fun.  Less overwhelming.  Better, overall.  Giving others the permission to assist was a big step from struggling to make it in my chosen life path and success.  Asking for help made me stronger than I ever would have been on my own.

xo

a

Blanket Them In Love

Howdy, It is interesting how the child who does well in school is never focused on if there is one that isn't doing so well.  As a rowing coach I remember spending more time on the athlete that was having the hardest time understanding the stroke.  The ones that were solid, that had picked things up quickly, would not be coached nearly as much.  They held the boat together while the ones who weren't at the same level were showered with suggestions and coaching.  You can look at just about any situation or any relationship, the one that isn't working is the one that sucks our attention.

I have, in the past, dated the squeaky wheel often because it was a great distraction from my own rickety foundation.  Often we don't know why we do what we do, but there is always a reason.  Who is sucking your attention right now?  Who is the squeaky wheel that you are putting your mind and attention towards.   Is there someone else in your life that is consistently awesome, someone who is always there and doesn't need help?  They seem to never have issues and are there for you when you do?  I have a little secret, they need your love.  They need your attention.  They need your lifting up.  They are the ones who never really get it or have a hard time hearing it.

We don't realize how the ones who shine need just as much polishing as the ones who are crusted over.  After a while, the bright shiny ones put on a protective and see through coating that keeps them where they are but never allows them to grow under the sunlight of all of the love that is out there.  The are able to reflect the love they do get but it often doesn't penetrate because they are expected to be awesome and usually it isn't paid that much attention.  That lack of attention wears on them as it would anyone else.  They work hard to stay bright.  They love themselves and shower themselves with attention but may have a hard time receiving from others because they aren't used to it on the same level someone who is constantly being assisted is.  The saying God takes care of fools and babies says it all.  If you aren't a fool or newborn you are on your own.

Love is warm and cozy and everyone needs it.  Love is soft and fuzzy when everyone feels it.  Who can you show you love and adore that already seems to know it?  How can you support someone who doesn't seem to need it in the same way the energy drain in your life does?  See what happens when you blanket those bright stars in the bright light of love you have to offer.  Try it and see what shines.

xo

a

P2P

Howdy!! I have been a coach for a long time.  During this time I have always benefitted from working near and with other coaches.  Once I left the collegiate coaching world I lost the coaching community that was built-in.  Since that time I have worked in clubs and on my own, but never with coaches that were about connecting, communicating and growing themselves and others, in the same way.  When you are able to work with other people who are doing what you do, sometimes better than you do, differently and in some ways the same, you are able to get what you give to your clients/students/athletes:  Coaching.

This holds true for any profession you are in.  If you are a yoga instructor it is important for you to be with other yoga instructors, be instructed and talk about yoga with people who know it.  If you are a photographer, writer, singer, dancer, designer, executive assistant, manager, or you are doing anything that is done by someone else… you would probably benefit from knowing others in your field.  We are so much stronger when we work as a team, when we share what we know.  There is something about hearing how someone else approaches a situation that you too will be, have been, or are presently faced with.  You learn that perspective is everything.  You learn that there are other ways to do what you do as well or better.  You learn about yourself.

In order to improve, in order to elevate yourself you need to be pushed forward, or pulled ahead as it sometimes turns out.  Being around others that are 'on your level' aid in this process.  You can always tell when you have met your equals because the feeling is mutual.  There is an openness that occurs without force.  You just know that you are peers.  It feels great, you relate, you share and, well, growth begins.

Get out there, get going, meet your people and start growing!!!

xo

a

Walk The Walk

As a life coach and as a fitness coach I spend a lot of time helping people own where they are in order to move beyond it, if they so choose.  I help people lose weight, gain muscle, let go or hold on, find their voice and own their choices.  I help people find and embody confidence.  I spend a lot of time helping others to change their lives.  It is an amazing 'job' I have and I appreciate it almost every moment. Because I spend a lot of time speaking to others about their ideal selves it only makes sense for me to do the same thing.  After all, how effective would I be if I wasn't living what I was giving?  If I wasn't walking the walk?  I feel that for anyone to be a truly effective leader they have to know how to follow.  I feel that for anyone to be an effective coach they must have been coached.  This brings me to my first cross fit experience, which was on Thursday.  I shouldn't say first… because it isn't.  It just has been a long time.  It was fantastic and I am excited to continue on the journey of being new to something and then mastering it.  It keeps me in the place of learning and growth and challenge.  As a coach, counselor and friend experiencing myself in various ways helps me connect to others where they are.  It is too easy for any one of us to find a niche and just do whatever that thing we do is.  It is unbelievably important to push our comfort zones regularly.  When we go to that place that scares us and come out of it we are better able to reach others that are in the same place.  Your work is you… through that work others will benefit greatly.

We are all teachers.  We are all students.  We are all learning and teaching one another.

What area of your life have you been ignoring that may need some attention?  Where do you find you may not be walking the walk?  Is there someone in your life that you "know" needs something but won't listen???  How do you see that trait in you with you?  Are you ignoring your own advice regularly?

Stay present.  Be love.  Shine Bright.

xo

a

Coaching

"I have learned that people will forget what you said; people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." ~Maya Angelou We all have people who motivate us, encourage us, inspire us to change for the better. One of those people for me was/is Heather Smith.

I was a rower in college. I LOVED my time as a collegiate athlete and have to credit Heather, my novice rowing coach, with instilling in me a love of rowing, coaching, and athletics in general. I remember when I joined the rowing team and was told that we would be running 3 miles on one of the first actual training days. I immediately became nervous because I hadn't run 3 miles before. I didn't do a sport in high school due to the fact that I had gone to 3 different high schools in 3 different states. There wasn't much consistency and, though I did very well in school, I didn't enjoy it. I was excited to go to college for several reasons, one of which was athletics. I began training for my sport (I didn't know what sport it would be, but I knew that I would find it) the year before I went to college… actually it was more like the summer before. That summer prior to college I joined the local YMCA and began running 2 miles a day. I thought I was doing great at around 12 minute miles… and I was, for the beginning. So when I heard, during that first rowing practice, that I had 3 miles to run I thought, "Dammit! one more stinking mile than I had ever done!" I finished the 3 miles by bringing up the rear and by walking here and there… but I finished. My coach was encouraging the whole way. She would run ahead to talk to the lead pack and then slow down to talk to the ones having a hard time, like myself. I remember being amazed at how she never seemed out of breath.

I remember when we did hills a month or so later and Heather ran past me saying, "your butt is looking good!" It made me feel GREAT! My body was changing and I hadn't even thought about it really. I was rowing because I was enjoying every detail, every moment, everything. My body getting toned was just a by-product. Heather was always there, cheering us on, keeping us focused, and pushing our limits. We did what she told us because we knew she had a clear vision and, well, we won… everything. Besides, how can you complain about working hard when your coach barks orders at you while she is doing pull ups using only her fingers? At that point you will do whatever she says because she is badass! Seriously. I mean, what an example! She was (and still is) a Goddess!

A couple more months passed. We did stairs and I was in the lead. She looked at me. She congratulated me and I felt great. I was feeling good about being a competitor and getting better. I didn't know what it all meant but I loved it and kept going.

In February of my freshman year the rowing team had an indoor rowing event. We raced on the rowing machines (we call them 'ergs' for 2000 meters. Basically for a rower 2000 meters is death. It sucks. You lose sleep over having to do a 2000 meter piece, an erg test, as they are commonly called. Well, during this event we had to do TWO erg tests!!! One for the "heats" and then you get placed into the "finals." All the women, varsity and novice compete as a group and the same with the men. Somehow I ended up in the Grand Final… the only novice that did. Being a novice and new to sports in general I took a nap after my heat and basically didn't think about it. I was relaxed because I didn't know I was supposed to be nervous. Heather knew that I would probably need a little encouragement because I didn't really grasp how awesome it was that I was in the grand final. She came over to me after I woke and said, "All of the varsity girls are saying that you won't do well… that experience always wins." Well, I have never had a shortage of ego and was shocked at their complete disregard of me as a true competitor. I got on the erg, in the middle of 7 other varsity women and sat ready. Just as the coxswain said, "ready all, row!" LL Cool J's 'Mama Said Knock You Out' played through my head, "Don't call it a comeback, unh, I been here for years, rocking my peers, puttin' suckers in fear…" I pushed all the way to the lead, all of the women not in the grand final and all of the guys were standing around us, screaming my name! It was awesome and I won! I won.

Heather pushed me to be more than I knew I could be in rowing. She also showed me how to be a completely present and solid coach. She saw something great and made it better. After that year I knew that rowing, sports, and coaching would be in my future somehow. Each day I get clearer and clearer on my future in sport, athletics, and motivation. It is a beautiful journey.

Who has motivated you? Pushed you? Seen more in you at some point than you have? How have you risen to their fantastic expectations? Who are you encouraging and shining light on?

"You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him discover it within himself." ~Galileo Galilei

xo

a