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Coaches: Reason, Season, or Lifetime


Your relationship with your life coach or strength coach or teacher, is much like any of your interpersonal relationships: it can be for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.


REASON: you’ve got a specific issue that you want resolved in a specific amount of time. Maybe you've got back pain, maybe it’s to help you make a decision in your personal life. I get clients who want to do prehab before their hip replacement surgery or even to delay surgery. I have taken clients who want to feel confident for an upcoming beach trip or a special occasion. It’s pretty common for a skier to hire me for the few weeks leading up to time in the mountains. One of my favorite clients was a teen aged dancer who wanted to pass her studio’s test and graduate into pointe class–she had 4 weeks until the next test and she saw me twice a week (yup, not only did she pass but her teachers were very impressed by the changes in her). A client I saw for almost a year, was preparing for a trip to South America and had started off with pain in both her knee replacements. She texted me when she returned to tell me what a great time she had and how glad she was to have trained. That’s not to say, however, that everyone knows or has a specific reason. Some hire me for a more general feeling: I have several private GYROTONIC®️ clients coming to me because they feel a lot of “stiffness”. When we dig a little deeper, though, there is always a deeper reason they want their problem solved: they miss gardening and Spring is coming up soon, or their brother is coming into town and they made plans to walk around Rocky Mountain National Park a month from Tuesday. Often people come to me for several reformer sessions just to see what it’s all about and whether or not it will yield the desired result. (FYI: you can’t accurately predict outcomes in Pilates after just a few sessions…) All reasons are valid and all reasons are important.


SEASON: similar to Reason, but often less detailed, coaches are hired for a season are often in a client’s life for a hazy amount of time. I approached my strength coach as I was wading into the sticky mire of menopause. I was gaining weight, losing muscle, and generally unhappy with my body and energy levels. I started lifting with her about a year ago and haven’t looked back. (PS. I feel a zillion times better now and surpassed many personal goals!) I have a client who is training for a triathlon and wants guidance on upper body strengthening because most of her training is lower body. I recently polled my Pilates clients asking them why they came to classes; the majority had no particular reason but reported that they could feel it when they didn’t make it to class. I can think of more than one client who enjoys the social aspect of their semi private sessions–they chat while working out and then more often than not, go out afterwards. I often train busy, type A individuals who want a workout but don’t want to think about how to program one. A favorite class that I teach is a slow-flow GYROTONIC® group class where we explore transitions between exercises so that students build a deeper relationship to their movement practice. As for group Reformer classes, my fervent wish is that each student gain the strength and understanding of Pilates principles to move on and advance to the next level. And it’s important to note that it’s part of the process to move on from a coach when the season ends.


LIFETIME: this one is perhaps the trickiest…there are rare few relationships that last a lifetime. Some end earlier than we want for a variety of reasons. I’d love to believe that I’ll be seeing my strength coach weekly until I’m physically unable to lift a barbell. Or that I’d have the support of my creativity coach until my last breath. But people move, finances change, and seasons pass. Recognize that each step you took along your journey, led you to who you are right now. Those coaches may no longer be there, but the lessons we learned through them will.


It doesn't matter whether you utilize a coach/teacher/trainer for a reason, season, or lifetime. What does matter is that they are here to help you --go ahead and reach out to them and see what unfolds.


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