A Case For Coaching

I hired a fitness coach. Those who know me may be surprised. Why do I need a coach? I am active and eat well. I’ve been doing Pilates for the last ten years and I recently began practicing yoga. I walk on average 12K steps a day. So, why am I getting a fitness coach?

Here is the thing. I began feeling unfulfilled, overwhelmed, and confused with all these physical activities. Is two days a week of Pilates enough? What about yoga? One group and one private session a week… would that do it? And what is it I am trying to achieve anyway? I know I want to do the best I can to stay healthy but are these the right activities in the right order at the right time? My last doctor’s visit added to the confusion. The doc said to combat osteoporosis and continued bone loss, I need to do more weight bearing exercises and add 10lbs of muscle to my body in the next twelve months. How in the heck am I going to do that? I knew I needed help, or rather, I wanted help. I was doing many things without a clear vision, goals and direction. A sure recipe for being in exactly the same place I am today twelve months from now, or worse.

A quick Google search brought up the Breakthrough Strength & Fitness studio near my house. The name resonated. “Breakthrough” to a life coach sounds like music. That’s what coaching is all about. Breakthrough. Clever name. The website indicated they build a training program customized to your needs and an experienced coach guides you. They work with a person as a whole to “develop skills that can improve your sport, your work and your life”. And finally, they spoke of “getting results”. I was intrigued and made an appointment with one of the coaches for a “strategy session”.

This is how it went. Kati, the coach, greeted me at the door with a welcome smile and a strong handshake. After a quick introduction and a tour of the studio, she explained how the strategy session works, and we went straight to work.

Kati attentively listened as I talked about my current physical activities, lifestyle, and diet. She empathetically asked questions allowing me to answer in detail. Next, she assessed my current fitness, taking notes and encouraging me with positive feedback and comments as I followed her instructions. After we reviewed her findings, we talked about my goals. “What are the top three?”, she asked, sliding a piece of paper across the table for me to write them down. “I know what she is doing, she is telling me I own this. She is a coach”, I thought, pulling the paper closer.

The first one was a no brainer. The doc said I needed to gain 10lbs of muscle in the next 12 months. I wrote it down. ”What else?”, she asked. “I want more energy”, I wrote after a short pause. “Good one. What else?”, she persisted without rushing me. Now I was having fun. “Can building muscle help with wrinkles?” I asked. We both laughed, and without missing a beat she said: “Of course, more muscle will keep the skin from sagging.” Now we are talking! Unexpected but crucial goal.

With my top three goals written down, we began planning first action steps. It became clear to me that I had too many things going on, not to mention the cost of all these activities was piling up quickly. As I was rethinking my fitness regimen, Kati was right there, helping me review and re-prioritize everything I was doing, making suggestions that might better fit my objectives.

At the end of our strategy session, I had a clear set of goals, a plan for action, and a firm schedule to begin my fitness journey. I left feeling encouraged and supported.

So if to up our fitness game, we hire a coach because coaching works for improving the game, it’s not a mystery that it might also work for improving the game of life.

Like a fitness coach, a life coach helps see through the clutter, remove the confusion, understand where you are and aim beyond where you think you want to be, all the while holding you accountable to take action, unconditionally supporting and encouraging you along the way.