Life Coach or Just a Coach?

Posted by Brian PCF
Aug 11 2011

Who am I to tell somebody how to live their life?

This is a question that runs through my head a lot. Some folks certainly don’t need or want it.  They have their shit together, fitness is what they want so they come to the gym on time, they work hard, they do what they’re told.

Some folks need a bit more attention, but this is based more on lack of experience in fitness, not lack of desire or work ethic. They put in the investment and the investment pays off in fitness.

There’s two type of athletes in between here: there’s the recreational Crossfitter and there’s the self-destructive Crossfitter.

The recreational Crossfitter is totally fine with his/her 7 minute Fran time. They can do it Rx’d, they’re going to get smoked by the heavy hitters, but Crossfit is just something they do to stay relatively fit. It’s not their whole life, they don’t check the mainsite everyday (or maybe even my site). They just show up and do the best they can and on the weekends if they have some pizza and ice cream, they don’t sweat it.

The self-destructive Crossfitter is the biggest moral problem for me. This athlete really, REALLY wants to get fit – but manages to get in their own way a lot of the time. It’s one step forward and two back constantly.

A lot of time your instinct as a coach is to put out the extra effort for these folks. The thought that pops into one’s mind is “Maybe they need ME!” They need my time and energy to get them in the gym and make them work hard.

Only thing is – I don’t know if it works.

If folks know that fitness is what they need to reach their goals, then shouldn’t they just do it? Am I a “Life Coach” or just a Coach.

I think people decide what’s important to them based on their external circumstances much more than their internal drive. If folks have work and family responsibilities that outweigh the amount of time, money, and energy they can expend in any given day, than who I am to tell them they need to spend an hour with me?

Do I think that those external circumstances are easier to handle with clean eating and exercise: sure! But who am I to tell them that?  Even if I do, how do we make it happen?

I think that’s how the self-destructive athlete happens: Terrific levels of “drive” (whatever that is) to get fitter + circumstances that fight against that drive.

If somebody decides spending 12 hours at a job every day is more important than fitness, and I tell them it’s not, am I a coach anymore, or a “life coach?” Do I want that job?

I’m honestly not sure what the solution is here.  My first instinct, and something that I’ve seen work relatively well harkens back to my days in the Marine Corps: “If she doesn’t meet your standards, lower your standards.”

Meaning if you want a sub-2:00 Fran and it’s driving you crazy that you don’t have one, how about we get down to 6:45 first.  Let’s get a little taste of progress and success (I hear it’s addictive).  Everybody loves winning.

Couldn’t hurt to give it a shot right?

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