Recently, I’ve been re-watching a favourite television show of mine from the early 2000’s; Being Erica.
It’s the story of a 30-something, Toronto-dwelling woman named Erica and her relationship with a non-traditional psychotherapist, Dr. Tom.
Dr. Tom has the power of time-travel (if I were to have a super-power, this would be it). Erica’s ‘sessions’ consist of re-visiting pivotal moments in her past, seeing them through a different lens and applying the lesson learned to current-day challenges.
In one of my favourite episodes, Dr. Tom attempts to teach Erica about compassion for others.
He quotes the line ‘you are your patient’ and illustrates how, in order to truly help a patient, the therapist must recognize that they share the same challenges, obstacles, hurts and regrets as their patient does.
And letting the patient see how they’ve dealt with these hurdles in a non-pedagogical way is not a sign of weakness, but rather instrumental in their patient’s healing.
While re-watching this episode, I was struck by the similarities between the therapy-patient relationship and the relationships I share with my fitness coaching clients. And reminded of the importance of sharing my own struggles with them, and by extension, with readers of my blog.
Trainers need trainers too
Like many of my clients, when they first come to me, I am currently struggling with motivation.
While I know that regular exercise and good nutrition will give me the energy I so often lack, my usual strategies just aren’t working.
I head to the gym, quasi-regularly. But instead of mindfully executing a pre-planned program, I hop on the treadmill for a while, head on over to a weight bench and half-heartedly perform several sets of three or four random exercises.
I spend too much time chatting with friends and colleagues (often recounting the story of my daughter’s death to those who don’t know or are seeing me for the first time since that day) and leave feeling deflated and sad.
What I need is exactly what my clients need from me.
- Someone to plan a program for them.
- Someone to cheer them on and keep them accountable.
- Someone to give a little ‘tough love’ when need be.
- Someone to suggest solutions to obstacles and help them move forward.
I am my clients and I need a coach too.
That’s why I’ve signed up for a 6-week Kickstarter Strength and Conditioning program at a fitness facility other than the one I work at.
A place where nobody knows me and there’ll be no distractions from the task at hand. A place where I can get back to a regular and consistent routine of strength training at a intensity level that makes me feel confident, strong and capable of handling the challenges that life has thrown at me. A place where I’m expected to show up, cheer members of my group on and get the job done.
Stay tuned, I’ll be sharing updates on my progress. And would love to hear updates on yours.
What are you doing to make 2016 your happiest, healthiest, strongest and most capable year yet?