My husband completed his first Ironman triathlon last year at the age of 48. Even though he has been a disciplined runner and cyclist for all his adult life, he knew he would need support to complete the 140 plus mile endeavor. So, he trained with a coach.
The coach helped him figure out how to precisely calibrate his calorie and electrolyte intake, showed him how to stretch, gave guidance on sleep and provided weekly training plans. My husband finished the grueling race and swears it wouldn’t have been possible without his coach’s experience guiding him.
Coaches Are Crucial Partners
Coaches aren’t just for elite athletes or Little League baseball. Now, more than ever, all people can benefit from coaching.
Coaching is for creating healthier relationships, for working on weight-loss, for understanding a new health diagnosis, and for getting unstuck when we just know something needs to change.
Coaching is for all these reasons, circumstances, and more. Unlike the image of a screaming football coach on the sideline, Health and Wellness coaches don’t bark—we listen and we guide.
Because You’re That Important
We hear you when you tell us what you want to change in your life, and why you want to do so. We sit by your side while you make choices for your health and well-being and help you figure out how to realize the goal.
We want you to succeed. We want you to make meaning out of the chaos and look inside for the answers that lie within. We want you to thoughtfully examine your life and make lifestyle decisions that prioritize what is important to you.
We believe that when you invest in yourself, you will gain confidence with action and satisfaction when you realize your goals. In some ways, coaches are like mechanics, helping you to repair the pieces that don’t work and fine-tune the ones that need attention.
Love and care need to be paid because we can’t trade ourselves in for a new model. Ensuring that our bodies and minds keep getting re-tuned over and again for a lifetime is imperative for winning YOUR race, and coaches are crucial partners on this journey.
Recipe for Wellness
What does it mean to be well?
Abraham Maslow developed a pyramid outlining the “hierarchy of needs” he deems essential to human development. Once the base of the pyramid (our basic needs) are met, there are a few more levels and a myriad of ways to achieve these psychological and self-fulfillment needs. For some, it’s running. For others, it’s spending time with friends; it can be volunteering or taking classes online.
Every day we make choices. Some aren’t worth remembering and some seem consequential. In aggregate, if we consistently make choices that resonate with our values—with our wellbeing at heart—then we will likely feel satisfied and content.
However, what works for you may not work for your child, your friend, or your mom. We each have different ideas about what will enhance our lives, and when we are “in sync” with ourselves and our desires we aspire to align our intentions with our actions. This is the optimal scenario, integrating all aspects of ourselves in service of a good life, a life that has meaning and substance.
A Single Journey Leads to Many Places
My own wellness journey has been a winding, yet ultimately, rewarding experience. Don’t get me wrong, I have handled my share of personal heartache and pain. Life doesn’t spare anyone from that. I have learned to hold suffering in one hand and joy in the other, amidst harrowing circumstances.
Wellness isn’t linear. We can get derailed, and that is okay. I grew up dancing and playing soccer, so I was accustomed to exercising regularly but even so, when I hit adulthood, the pressures of motherhood, budgets, and partnering with my husband left me with little motivation and even less energy.
Health Coaches were not a thing 20 years ago, but if they were, I would have been a great candidate. I was a young mom looking for direction. Looking back now, I see that I began “coaching” myself. In the subsequent years my journey has been full. I had mentors that helped me and when I felt lost, I just kept looking for strategies that worked. I read any book I could get my hands on that talked about personal growth and wellness strategies.
I found yoga, mindfulness, and other creative endeavors to help keep me on a healthy path. I took classes, volunteered, and stayed curious. I prioritized my family in ways I hadn’t planned and worked through communication challenges in my most important relationships when they arose. I continue doing these things and exploring new ways to find meaning and purpose.
When You Get Discouraged
Sometimes we just can’t find our way, get in the “zone,” or muster up the energy to take care of ourselves. Sometimes, a life event happens that we didn’t see coming. Whatever the reason, we can find ourselves at some time in our life feeling uncertain and unfulfilled. Feeling discouraged about your health or state of being is understandable, but you can absolutely do something about it.
It can be overwhelming to figure out where the starting line is and which race we should be running. There is a dizzying array of options available in our modern lives, so how do we know what choices are right for us?
Coaches will help you consider what ingredients to add and subtract, and how to come up with your own recipe for wellness, your recipe for optimal health. Feeling discouraged is normal, staying stuck is no fun.
From Knowledge to Action
Unfortunately, it’s too easy to hit a roadblock and stall. We get distracted with the noise of the world and forget to listen to the whisper in our hearts. We doubt ourselves and think we need to follow the advice of friends or fads online. Sometimes we know what we need but ignore the nagging voice in our head telling us to eat healthier, exercise, fix that relationship, focus on our finances.
It’s not enough to intellectually understand that nutritional choices are a key to good health and maintaining an optimal weight. To realize results, we need to act. A coach will help you turn your knowledge into action. Relationships, nutrition, and professional development are just a few of the areas that coaches can help you focus on in the spirit of bettering your life. There isn’t one road or one way. You get to create your own action plan and that is both hopeful and satisfying.
There isn’t one road or one way. You get to create your own action plan !
Coaches Bridge the Gap
In the past quarter of a century, Americans have traditionally visited doctors, specialists, therapists, and chiropractors. We were also introduced to acupuncturists, and nutritionists, and more recently, we work with functional medicine and holistic health practitioners. These are all vital resources, yet many of us leave these visits, go home and ask, “Now What?” There is a need to bridge the gap between practitioner and patient.
Lying in the vast space between doctor, diagnosis, prescription, inaction, fear, and uncertainty are health coaches. We help you find clarity, connection, and confidence. We want you to feel joy and have meaning. We stand by your side while you do the work, cheering your successes and redirecting after setbacks. Whether the work is prescribed by your doctor or you, health coaches bridge the gap and help you make your ideals real.
You are the Secret Ingredient
Board Certified Health and Wellness Coaches understand the behavior change process and have your best interest at heart.
We have your best interest at heart because it is your heart that gets to speak.
Health coaches understand that people have different lives and demands placed on them, so we listen, and act as a mirror, reflecting your vision for your life as you voice your needs.
It may sound a bit frightening, the prospect of championing your own life, but the question is, “If not you, then who?” Change can be daunting, and head-spinning, and the role of the coach is to break down your goals into small, digestible pieces.
We can expeditiously (and kindly) tear down the barriers with you so that you can step up and into the unknown, making it known, making it happen. Your goal or goals are the priority and we help you visualize how to get there. It can be small or big…that is up to you! You are the center of your life and we want you to feel empowered and confident that it’s the life you want.
What Really Matters?
If you struggle in any of these areas, then you may want to consider partnering with a health coach because reflection and introspection are stepping stones to achieving your optimal goals.
I have had to ask myself this exact question numerous times in my adult life. In fact, I still focus on this essential question when I feel stuck or disheartened or conflicted.
While raising my children, I faced fraught times, and had to get real with what was important. I decided that what really matters is unconditional love, for myself, my husband, and my children. I had to learn how to find grace and have hope.
I have taught and mentored teenagers for the past four years in a one-on-one setting and what I know is that they need love, grace, and hope, too. This is what guides me. I hope you find your north star and believe that working with a coach can be that impactful.
People that work with coaches are likely to have better health outcomes, and to feel more connected to themselves and the people in their lives.
By the way, people with chronic illnesses or even terminal illnesses can be well, happy, and find joy, so “being well” doesn’t mean you aren’t contending with a health challenge. It means that, despite the challenge, you are making choices in mind/body/spirit to be as well as you can for as long as you can, and isn’t that the point?
Navigating the challenges can be hard, but when you see your vision come to life and the results of your efforts rewarded, there is nothing more fulfilling.
The Ironman was my husband Josh’s race, what will yours be?
If you're ready to make changes in your life and could use a coach, browse our VHC directory. Our board-certified coaches are experts in the change process and can help you navigate your way through the fear of failure and onto success.
To connect directly with Katy, find her on our directory or visit her website.