I used to have this idea that in order to be strong and independent, I had to rely solely on me. It felt like admitting defeat, or that I wasn’t enough, if I had to seek out help. It’s actually kind of embarrassing to share that now, as I’ve found so much more strength and independence from seeking great coaches.
As the story goes: I sought out a personal trainer after losing 80 pounds and wanting to learn to lift weights. He was a bad egg perhaps less evolved in his training methods as I certainly hope he is now. He told me it was “too bad my sister was the hot one.” And talked to me a lot about “my pooch,” words I don’t use to describe my own body. I not only didn’t keep seeing him but I sought out to teach myself. I took a personal trainer certification, studied form meticulously in front of my mirror and with youtube videos. “I’ve got this, I don’t need him,” I thought.
Fast forward a few years and I would seriously injure myself. It was the first time I ever took online “training advice” over what my body was telling me. I was not thrilled to be hurt, upset that weight lifting had been “taken from me” and felt like a total failure. I thought maybe I didn’t know anything I thought I knew. What kind of trainer injures themselves doing a basic lift?
I needed help. I needed someone to look at my form. I needed someone with more expertise than me to help me rehab. And yet to seek someone out felt humbling. Like getting a coach would mean everyone would “know I was a fraud.” But seek coaching I did. Both because the possibility of not lifting again was too high a cost to pay, and because deep down I know what’s good for me.
I found out I knew more than I gave myself credit for. That the form for that particular lift was beautiful, but needed some small adjustments for how my body was responding to packing on more weight. It was at times humbling. But I got so much stronger. I felt more confident in doing more on my own because I had a coach I trusted, developing my skills. In my big “duh” moment of the last few years, I realized even great coaches need great coaches. Perhaps even more so.
I am no longer a personal trainer for a variety of reasons. I had realized my work was so little about the physical component and so much about bringing people home to their bodies. I loved writing more than being in the gym. I didn’t get excited and passionate about learning more, getting more certs, I just really enjoyed training. But as a different kind of coach, I still seek great coaching.
Often when I give people readings/coaching sessions, they walk away saying, “You know, so much of this I already knew, but it feels really good to be validated.” So much of what I receive from my own “team” of coaches (my close friends, body/energy worker, trainer, counsel) is pushes in the direction I knew I was choosing. Physically and/or emotionally they help me identify what I know and more forward stronger in my ability to do so.
My former attitude seems to reflect what we so often see in the world. The people who are caretakers do so little to take care of themselves. I don’t mean that as a criticism, but rather a concern. Regardless of what you do in the world, you require great care. But we don’t have to be totally self-sustaining. We can seek help, we can reach out, we get to believe we deserve our own care. And sometimes we need a boost, validation, correction from someone you trust to guide you.
So why do you need a coach?
Because we don’t have to go it alone. Whether your “it” is a deadlift or learning to trust your gut. There are valuable resources all around you you can tap. I’m full of resources if you need them.
I seek to do things I’d thought for myself “impossible” all the time. In the past few months alone that means head stands, assertiveness in business, learning to fight and buying a house. Each of those with the coaching I needed to propel myself forward. In the end it is within us that we find all our own power. But great coaches can speed up the process, and provide you with the loving guidance to be even more.
XO Erin Brown