What I love about my job and why I will continue to try to help first is that on a daily basis I get to glimpse deep into peoples souls. I get to see where their sharks swim.
All of our new clients need to complete our On Ramp program. This program gives them the tools they need to enter into our group classes safely and with a promise of maximum success. Under the surface, what really happens, is that I get to have intimate personal time with them. I get to see how they act under duress, whether they are on time or not, have done their homework, in six hours together I invariably get to see where their sharks swim.
I was recently teaching a new client to perform an Olympic Lift called the Clean. Relatively simple to teach and execute with a satisfactory level of safety, extremely difficult to master. Like always we begin with a dowel, progress to a bar and then add load. This new client was doing great. We worked with the dowel, then the bar and then I saw a fin. It was still off in the distance but it was definitely there and beginning to circle. You see I had brought over some weight to use through our progression and I could feel her watching me, her eyes going from the bar, to me, to the weights. She had seen a shark.
Ok great, lets put some weight on the bar. First 5’s, no issues but those sharks were getting closer. She kept looking at the plates I told her they were the same weight that she had lifted in a previous session, she checked herself. Indeed the numbers were the same. Ok a few more reps, looking great, nice work. Ok, take a rest. I started to load the new plates, and suddenly there they were. Shark Attack! “I don’t think I can do that”
I knew she could but instead of telling her that I asked her what made her believe she wouldn’t be able to lift the new weights. Her thinking, came her reply. Ta da! Now this is where it gets cool, and is why I love what I do. I asked her what else she thought a lot about? Fear of success, fear of failure, open water, being unlovable, driving, her reliance on her daughter for company, being judged, the list could have gone on.
I drew a picture of her with all these thoughts floating around her and asked her if she might be able to see how all these thinkings over the years could have a negative impact on her mental health…..Yes. Hurray!
She tells me a story about how she was in Australia on a holiday. Don’t forget, she is afraid of water and afraid of sharks. Bravely, after having been promised there would be no sharks around, she enters the water, with a pool noodle no less. Of course what does she see off in the distance below her, you guessed it, sharks. She told me, “you know, it wasn’t so bad.” She even had the courage to try to take a few pictures. She understood that what she had created with her power of thought was not real and what turned out to be real turned out to be a wonderful experience. Oh and she lifted the extra weight with ease.
If you have read this whole damn thing here is why I love what I do, As she was leaving she said to me “You know, from now on whenever I start overthinking, I am going to remind myself to stop making sharks.”
That is why I love what I do and will always try to help, first.