Life is full of challenges. The path to any great achievement is paved with speed bumps. Navigating those speed bumps is called success. The one important discovery that life brings in later maturity, is that every single speed bump you’ve faced has been faced by tens of thousands of people before. In other words, your life is not as unique as you think.
Take my partner Lotte for example: she’s training for the Olympics, and feels extremely isolated as she runs her training load for up to 6 hours a day. Yesterday, two hard time trials on the bike, 1.5 hour hard sprint session plus her daily gym, cooking and relationship time with me. She feels, in some ways, like a pioneer. But her nutrition coaches, running coach, technique coach, physiology coach, masseuse, endurance coaches, swim coach, bike team coach, psychology coach, performance coach and I all know that everything she is facing has been faced millions of times before by wannabe Olympians. Some have given up but others have, by following the routine without emotion, arrived at the opening ceremony of the Olympic games, and achieved their dream.
Lotte is wise to distance herself from negotiating those challenges. She’s hurting, burning, worried about style, keeping to the heart rate (between 150 and 180 bpm for up to 4 hours training a day) and getting recovered ready for the next huge load, within 12 hours of the last. Getting past doubt, uncertainty, disappointment, frustration, challenges, style shifts, and gear failures cannot distract her. Hence, the coaches are collaborating to create an unbeatable team around her. (by the way, she needs a sponsor who will win a huge opportunity to brand their business with run, swim, ride images, stories and achievements for a few 000$).
My journey is similar to Lotte but in life and business. I didn’t have the gift of wisdom she has to use coaches. I blazed my own trail. I went to the Himalayas 55 times to learn what a coach already knew. I went through relationships to discover what a coach already knew. I won and lost sporting events to discover what every sport coach could have shared. And I busted my back doing what any physiology expert would have predicted. I have had depressions and heart breaks that could have been foreseen by a reasonable performance coach.
What’s the difference between Lotte and I in the coaching world? Why didn’t I have the wisdom to use coaching? Answer…. EGO.
Ok, that’s a big simplification but I grew up being bullied by a father who was very strict and a step mother who between bouts of alcoholism didn’t have my best interest at heart. So, I chose to be antidisestablishmentarianism – a radical, a renegade and a free spirit in the world. I wouldn’t change it, I love my life and the experiences from it, but if you ask me the difference between coached and not, I’ll simply put it down as COST.
My road cost time, money, energy, love, effort, pain, that, as it turns out, is pretty much the most precious things we have in life. I paid a high price for my success, Lotte is paying, but her track is straighter, and therefore her targets are coming faster.
I chose to become a coach to help people, executives, sports people, indigenous communities and youth, get to their dreams goals and visions with less of those costs. Sure it costs money, but that, in retrospect, is far cheaper than experience.
Life is too short to learn form experience so why not learn from other’s experience?
A coach needs to have grey hair.