Know your WHY...then grin and bear it.

Last weekend, we posted a video of me performing a power clean and jerk in my swimsuit, swim cap and goggles. Barefoot, of course. It got lots of likes in the social networking world and generated quite a few laughs and conversations since. For those who saw the picture but weren't entirely sure what was going on, their first question to me this week was WHY? My answer: Why not?! But that was the surfaced answer to a much bigger question that I will answer now.

I have a coach who programs for me. It is an individualized training program designed for me, with my personal fitness goals in mind. I pay this guy to create a program that is best suited for me to make me a better athlete who moves well, feels good and ultimately... looks good.

Most folks are surprised to hear that I have a coach. "But, you are a coach. Why do you need a coach?" The answer to that is pretty simple. How many doctors do you know that treat themselves? How many dentists clean their own teeth? Even attorneys generally have additional representation in the event they are going to court on their own behalf. Most of the QUALITY coaches I know have coaches also. Why? I'll speak for myself: because I am still learning and I will always be learning. Does that mean that what I've known up to this point wasn't enough? Not at all but it does mean that I know more now than I knew then.

 You know what you know and you don't know what you don't know.

I like learning about what I don't know. <It's a lot - come to find out> That is WHY I have a coach....

Back to my programming given to me by my coach - who for better or worse, seems to know exactly what I need MOST of the time. (I would say all the time but I don't want to give him a big head) He gives me things that I have indirectly asked for and challenges me to get outside of my own comfort zone. I trust him completely.

Saturday, he programmed for me to SWIM for 45 minutes... "easy" were his exact instructions. Easy swim. Got it. The only problem with that is that swimming is not easy for me. Not AT ALL. It is literally the toughest thing for me to do. Staying in the water for 45 minutes felt sort of like doing underwater burpees for 45 minutes. I tried finding my happy place, I tried different strokes... used the paddle board thingy and all the other "toys" they had at the pool but it didn't help. Instead I experienced anxiety on every lap and thought for sure the lifeguards were contemplating on whether or not they should come and "save me".

It was a tough 45 minutes but the funny thing is that I could have gotten out of the pool at any time and said, "Nope - not happening. I tried. That was enough." The reason I didn't was the "WHY".... I knew why he wanted me to swim. It wasn't supposed to be a lung burner. It was supposed to be a relaxing de-load at the end of a week of training, spent in the water under the sun. I knew that. I also knew going into it that it wasn't going to be relaxing. The thing is though, I don't want to turn my back on things that I am scared of and not even give it a try. I also know that I'll never get better at swimming if I avoid doing it. Lastly, I trusted my coach's orders and knew WHY he prescribed it. SO I DID IT. It didn't kill me, it gave me an appreciation for accepting that not everything we do is easy. It also gave me 45 minutes to think about my athletes and how they must feel when I ask them to do something that they are not confident about. See, being an athlete to a coach makes me more compassionate as a coach. Being a coach with a coach makes me a better coach. So in the end, I knew my WHY so I decided to grin and bear it.


michele quigley
michele quigley


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