What My Clients have taught me so far…

This past couple of weeks has been pretty exciting with the 2017 CrossFit Open underway and the thought of spring being around the corner along with my box community being in one of the happiest states I haven’t seen in a while. Things are really heading in the right direction. I am excited to see where we go this year and what accomplishments my clients and athletes will achieve!

I have had the opportunity to look back at what I have learned from  all of  my clients and it is really quite eye opening. Every single one has taught me a valuable lesson.  From how far to push them in their efforts, to how to really listen to them from their struggles to desires. See, as a coach I have come to discover we are more then just a coach. Sometimes we are friends, “therapists” a way, someone to confide in, a “sibling” or even a “parent” at times. ( my nickname in the box is either “Boss Lady” or “Gym Mom”). To nicknames I know wear with pride and smile at when heard.  A while back I used to feel like it was to poke fun of me, because I was always needing something or worrying about something all the time. Please understand I still need lots of things and I still worry about my business and community. I just tend to have it more under control.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. It has been such an amazing journey to be a part of so many peoples lives at once. Believe it or not you can really learn a tremendous about from people when you actually shut your mouth, open your eyes and actively listen. I never claim that I know it all. Because, I am far from that. I like to believe I am constantly learning from everyone every day. The beauty is in the variety of people within my community.  I have all types of clients from every level. It definitely keeps me on my toes if I am having an off day they can tell. I have had couple times where my clients have even coached me. Which is quite humbling and makes me proud to know they are learning and confident enough express it.

I would say one of the most recent and important lessons I have learned from my athletes is relationship building. Now, I am not talking about being their “bestie” or things of that nature. (Which, if you can do that and still have the respect of “coach’ and “business owner” in place without  things being taken personally, then awesome for you. I can not. I tried it once. It didn’t quite work out.) I am talking about a mutual respect of each other. As coaches we have to earn our clients trust and respect and visa versa. Once that happens a relationship builds and continues to build as you and your client travel together along their fitness journey. It’s not always easy and you don’t always see eye to eye. From what I have experienced so far has been incredible.

Another lesson I have learned is you  can’t “fix” peoples problems. They have to want to do the work. You can show them a path, give them guidance. However, they have to put the time and dedication and effort into it. We can “want” for them and ourselves until we have such lovely shades of blue and hues of purple. It doesn’t do them a damn bit of good. Action has to be taken. We can’t do it for them.  Along with that comes blame. That’s a hard one. I used to accept blame for some many things, some things that didn’t even involve me. But, it was easier to accept blame and bare someone else’s burden.  (At least that’s what I thought)

Then I had an athlete show me and tell me that as a coach THAT was NOT my job. My job was to guide people to establishing their goals regardless of what they were. To show them a path and process. Help them develop habits and systems. Not do all the work for them.  Even more important be a good example. That really hit home for me. Be a good example. Meaning, taking a look at myself and how I lived, reacted to situations, what I said, attitude and perspective. So,  that is exactly what I did and I am a better version of myself for it. And I have seen the positive results of it.

One of the last lessons I have learned so far is to not give up or let outside influences dictate your goal.  I have been witness to some of my athletes struggles, high points and low points in their lives. And what I have noticed is if they fall, they get back up. If they get pushed down, they stand up and move forward. If they have a limitation they have found ways around it. Every single athlete in my community has goals and they have shown me they drive to achieving those goals. Sure, at times life gets in the way, that’s just the way it is. No matter what they find their way back and keep moving forward. They don’t give up.  Which means neither can I…

I am sure I will continue on this subject down the road. But, for right now I will leave it at this. Always be humble, be willing to learn. Keep an open mind and constantly discover new methods and continue to build those relationships with your community and outside it. Don’t ever be too proud to listen and learn from others, especially your community.

(The pic above represents just a small portion of the amazing community that teaches me something new every day. To my CrossFit Akeso Crew, Thank YOU!!)

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