Like many things in life, Coaching… and our training, is a risk, like many things in life. In those shitty moments of self-doubt and struggle I ask myself, rather talk to myself, "The hell are you doing this for right now?" The conversation eventually leads to "What's the reward for taking such a risk?" and the usually the more penetrating (like hit you in the heart type feeling) tone that comes with "WHY am I doing this?"
Why are we doing what we do? This post is not so much about that. I don't care too much. I mean, I care enough...just not right now, not for this post.
So, I'll assume you (and I) know the "why." Based on that...exactly how do I do it? Like I said, I don't care too much as to why the client, trainee, fighter, or competitor has that goal. This post is about how we approach and take that risk. It's just as important as the decision.
What IS...(see that pause for effect?)...the real reward for a full heart and a pure, concentrated effort in taking on these risks, for each and every moment of the task at hand? Whether the endeavor/challenge/goal is:
a Tough Mudder or some other dirty running thing
beating your personal record on a 1-mile time
adding 2.5 lbs to your bench press
losing that top we call a muffin, but your friends call skin
sparring for the first time
walking into a gym without feeling self-conscious
walking without pain
big toe fat
playing with little not yet grown humans...on the ground
getting up, off that ground...quickly and easily
or a cushy online-game-web-porno-surf-Facebook-stalking leather chair
a jiujitsu tournament or competition, like the Golden Gloves
In every possible moment in of trying to reach your goal, can you give and exert (to your best) an effort that is concentrated, focused, and mindful to the task? And what is that true reward, at least as I see it? Now, I'm talking about a lot of moving parts here, so it's completely understandable if while trying to pull your deadlift, and you see the sexy trainer-client cougar-milf-oh-my-god pair in the mirrors RIGHT BEHIND YOU, you have to settle down and refocus. Or if in a sparring session, checking your punch technique or position runs a close backseat to dodging your partner's incoming bombs… or even his stinky nuts as he tries to get on top of, around, or behind you (yeah, sexy).
With all that going on, can you stay focused, in your mind, on the task at hand for (whatever) your end goal? And I mean with every rep, press, and pull.... every punch, kick, takedown...every sprint, lap, and step you take to get up early or stay late. Every marginal calorie, whether extra or subtracted to your plate. I'm talking about every sacrifice you make for your goal, small or large, by no one's measure but your own. Do you approach each moment of your training wholeheartedly? And by "wholeheartedly" I mean that exactly. With your entire heart, or without reservation. (love this)
Saying something cliche like "without fear" isn't entirely what I'm getting at. Acknowledging that fear, the fear of what you don't know; the possible failure and maybe embarrassment or disappointment… that's what I'm getting at. Vulnerably meeting a challenge knowing you're vulnerable, that you could fail, lose, or just plain suck at… and still going forward with that in mind as well as what you have to accomplish. This is the type of stuff that turns me on. When I see clients and training partners face something daunting, scary and nerve racking, sometimes I tell them, "Yeah friend, eat this up. It doesn't get any deeper than this. You made it here. And guess what, after this, regardless of what happens? You'll still be here."
I tell it to myself almost everyday.
And so goes my and my clients’ and/or partners' journey. Win, lose, suck, out or under - perform. It’s during those sweaty, ugly-face, exhausting and mentally draining moments of solitude where I , personally have discovered true rewards to those risks I take and the sacrifices I've made.