How is a coach like water?
A question I am often asked is what is the difference between a Personal Trainer and a Health Coach. Why would someone need to enlist either of these professionals to help you get healthy, and how would I know which one I should go with? Perhaps you have some experience with fitness or you maybe are a newbie to this world. Are you recovering from an injury, or have you just come back from your doctors office and were given some not so pleasant news? There are a million different reasons why you would seek out some help. Let’s dive in a little.
I want to you think back to a time when you were embarking on a new adventure - you had a deep desire to accomplish something and knew a little bit about it, but not enough to achieve it on your own. Maybe it was a new sport you wanted to try and just weren’t sure where to begin, or perhaps it was wanting to climb a mountain. You understood that a lot of planning and preparation to have a successful climb was in order. Sure, you could have done your research, watched video’s, or even spoke to some people with experience and they gave you a few tips, but would that be enough? You would have needed to get some training and support to guide you along the way.
Well, let me share my perspective with you that may clarify how I see health coaching. There is an analogy that I’ve seen demonstrated at a number of different conferences that have been to on my own journey. It is the one where there is a glass jar, and the person places rocks in the jar until it is full. They proceed to ask the crowd if the jar is full. Of course, seeing that there is no more room for any rocks, the jar is full. Then they pull out a bowl of pebbles and begin to shake the pebbles in to the jar. Watching them drop like a game of Plinko, the pebbles settle to fill in the gaps between the rocks. Is the jar full? Not yet. Not even close. He proceeds to produce a bowl of sand. He slowly pours the grains into the “full” jar shaking it gently to allow all of the tiny grains to settle into the even smaller spaces. The crowd is watching this with huge smiles on their faces. But wait, there is more! When he asks if the jar is finally full - everyone is nodding their heads up and down. What can possibly be added to the jar? Out comes a jug of water, and you know what comes next.
Now this demonstration can be applied to so many facets of our lives, but for now I will relate it back to answer the title of this piece. The rocks represent the internet. There is so much great information available to us, but is it right for you? Educating yourself invaluable and is the first step of transformation. Then the pebbles, they are your friends/family. These people can be a great resource as well, and this could be enough to get you along your way. Let’s get a little granular now with the sand. This is where you begin to get down to the nitty gritty. The roadmap, the directions, the recipe if you will. Last, but definitely not least we have the water. The fluidity that is needed to fill in all of the gaps in between the rocks, pebbles and the sand. Now the jar is full.
If lasting health transformation is what you are seeking, your journey is in the jar. Rocks and pebbles can only get you so far on their own. Having a personal trainer, aka sand, will help you to work out the finer details of your plan, and customize it to meet your individual needs. For most people, having a plan and some accountability is exactly what they need. If you are inexperienced, or have lofty goals then you may need a little more support.
The real magic is in the water. Having a coach takes you on a deeper journey. You get to discover your motivations, uncover your fears and learn strategies to implement habit changes that will lead to long term lifestyle changes. Think of having a coach as having your very own GPS on the road to a healthy mind, body and soul.
If you are ready to begin your own health adventure, grab your jar and get going!
“You are in it for yourself, not by yourself.”
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