The Gift Of CoachingMar 02, 2022
I never saw myself as an athlete. Little league was an indisputable disaster, and my confidence was shaken. I did have a barbell and a bench and started lifting weights as a teenager. It wasn’t a regular hobby, but I enjoyed it. The weight lifting class in Phys Ed gave me pause. Rather than join a gym, I decided it was better to go it alone at home. I read books and magazines and tried to teach myself the best techniques. I wasn’t fully committed to lifting, but it was fun in my spare time.
In my senior year of college, my roommate and I joined a local gym. I went early in the morning when the gym wasn’t too crowded. It wasn’t long before I started meeting “the regulars.” It turned out the techniques I had read about were good, but there was something different now that other lifters surrounded me. They were willing to share techniques that worked better for them and discuss other methods that were less successful. I could watch the exercises being performed in real-time, try things out and figure out what was working for me and what wasn’t. I still remember the morning I tried to hit one more rep on the bench press without a spotter or collars on the bar. The wobbling of the barbell over my head as the weights fell off either side is a sensation and memory I will never forget. I was mortified. No one judged. They had all been there.
In medical school, lifting became somewhat of an addiction. It was my outlet. After lectures ended each day, the gym was filled with classmates. While talking to a friend, he touted his gains while working with a personal trainer. My thought: “Why? I’m getting really strong and figuring it out by myself.” He went on to tell me that you can absolutely get stronger while working out on your own, but the impact of the personal trainer had been immense for him. My next thought: “If you want to waste your money, go right ahead. I got this.”
Fast-forward ten years to my post-fellowship life. My workouts were sporadic at best, and I had lost my passion for lifting heavy things. My wife had started working with a personal trainer, and she dragged me along for one of her sessions. The workout was so intense that I found myself hovering over the garbage pail retching. I had never worked out with that much intensity in my life. Before long, I abandoned personal training and was back in the gym hitting the weights by myself. In my late-30s, I was in the best shape of my life. I always knew what I wanted, but I needed someone to clear out the cobwebs and remind me of my potential.
If you are still reading, I will assume you knew where this was headed. We clearly understand the benefits of coaching in sports. Many of us have even experienced the benefits of a personal trainer. But the idea of a physician coach might still seem foreign. Some of you might be skeptical of physician coaching. You might think that it sounds contrived or that the value is questionable. And, if you had asked me my thoughts on physician coaching two years ago, I would have agreed with you. What I have come to learn since beginning this journey is that you can indeed do this work on your own, just like I used to do. But a good coach can help you get results faster and more effectively.
One of the most interesting descriptions of coaching I have heard is: You can’t read the label from inside the jar. Sometimes it takes someone outside of you to provide clarity. We see our lives from the microscopic level, but the bird’s eye view perspective a coach can bring to the situation can reveal details we simply couldn't see before. The most interesting thing about coaching is that the client typically brings the answers. A good coach doesn’t tell you what to do but rather unveils your truest wishes and desires. In a way, it gives you permission to do the thing you already knew you wanted to do.
I wish I had found coaching sooner. The truth is, however, I wasn’t ready for coaching before now. Like my personal training experience, I didn’t understand the value because I wasn't struggling. When I lost my passion, a coach reminded me of my potential and set me back on track. I found coaching at the perfect time, and it changed everything. I found coaching when it would have the greatest impact on my life, career, and family. I’m not sure I understood what I was doing when I embarked on this coaching journey, but Pandora’s box is open, and there is no turning back now. Once you see that there is a different way, you cannot unsee it. Could I get back to working out alone? Absolutely. I’m just not willing to give up the gains.
Do you need a physician coach? Only you can answer that question. But if you find yourself wondering what life could be like, there is no better time to explore how coaching can unlock your hidden potential. Even the smallest changes can make a tremendous impact. And when you change your trajectory by one degree, you will end up in a completely different destination. Where are you headed now, and where do you want to go? If the answers are not the same, physician coaching might be just what you are looking for.
Are you interested in creating more balance in your life? I want to invite you to check out my FREE TRAINING. Click here to get: How Busy Physicians Can Stop Trying To Escape Medicine And Start Living Their Best Life Today.
With this training, you will learn about the five most essential techniques physicians need to stop feeling stuck, burned out, and trapped in medicine. You will also learn how to discover what you truly want in life and how to get it!
PS. I get a lot of inspiration from music lyrics. Many people use inspiring quotes (and I do too), but music really speaks to me. I hope you find inspiration in the songs too.
DJ Licious ft Jack Hawitt - We Don’t Know
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