The beauty of examining the ugly

I was mortified.

Snap from my running form reel

Snap from my running form reel

Earlier this month, I had the awesome privilege of enjoying a 5-day running camp with ZAP Endurance in the beautiful mountains of Blowing Rock, NC. One morning, after a fun speed workout in a humid, misty park, coaches captured short videos of us running to review later and assess our running form in action.

I had assumed we would review those clips with the coaches one on one.

I assumed wrong.

We would be looking at those clips as a group. I had a minor internal panic as I realized all my weaknesses would be pointed out in a public setting.

My stomach tightened as we sat down in the lounge to watch the videos on the big screen. I felt myself trying to melt into the couch cushions. I imagined Coach Pete and Matt shaking their heads as my clip appeared on the screen and saying something like, wow, this woman is a hopelessly terrible runner, or suggesting perhaps I should dump this running thing and take up knitting.

I had all these feelings despite all my accomplishments as a runner, including achieving progressively faster marathon times year after year, qualifying for the Boston Marathon at my last marathon, and zillions of hours of rehab/prehab in the gym, barre studio and pool to build myself into a stronger runner.

When my clip came up, I felt my face get hot. Then the coaches asked really insightful questions, a few light jokes were made (apparently I’m a gifted performer of the Marathon Shuffle!), and areas that need work were pointed out, along with specific exercises I can do to work on my weak medial glutes (damn glutes!). It was extraordinarily helpful.

This session also reminded me is how unbelievably brave my clients are.

Every time I meet with a client, I ask them to lay out all their dirty laundry for us to pore over. There is such tremendous courage shown and benefit gained in laying it all out there, looking at facts without emotion, and learning where we can improve.

Check out all the cool goings-on at ZAP here, and please be in touch if you have questions about this experience, or working with me to build healthful lifestyle and diet habits that stick!

Savory Start

Oatmeal with raisins & brown sugar and smoothies made of flavored yogurt & fruit sound like better choices than, say, a visit to the doughnut shop, but they're loaded with sugar, coming perilously close to maxing out the daily recommendations for added sugar. Have you tried a savory start to the day?

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Reason #3 to work with a health coach: Increase your likelihood of achieving a BIG goal

Got a big health or fitness goal, like beginning a new fitness regiment, going vegan, running a race (or achieving a personal best in a race), or losing significant weight? A health coach can help you get there!

This picture is me completing the last tenth of a mile of my first marathon in 2009. I joined a training group and leaned on three excellent coaches (one of whom was my husband, John) for advice on how to train. They provided a plan and gave me lots of smart answers when I had questions. I was accountable to them—they expected me to show up and I did. Let me assure you that had I tried to train for this bad boy on my own without the support and guidance of these professionals, I would’ve ended up as a stain on the ground in DC somewhere along the Marine Corps Marathon course.

In previous posts, I’ve shared the steps for achieving big goals, and engaging an expert is an important one. If you’re ready to tackle a MAJOR goal in 2016, one that requires greater physical demands than you’re used to, or one that mean taking on long standing habits that are standing in your way, partnering with a health coach dramatically increases your likelihood of achieving that goal. 

Could you figure out how to tackle a big goal like weight loss or fueling a big race on your own? Sure, maybe. But with support and education about best practices from a qualified health coach or other professional, you’re more likely to avoid making mistakes (many of which occur after following lousy advice from the internet!) along the way.  You’re likely to achieve goals more quickly, and with me acting as a proverbial net to prevent you from falling, you might even enjoy the process more! 

Get in touch if you’re ready to line up some expertise to get you closer to the big goal.

Reason #8: "I eat a healthy diet, but I'm still gaining weight!"

Reason #8 to work with a health coach is marked by this lament: "I eat a healthy diet, but I'm gaining weight!" A study by Cornell gives us insight into this phenomenon of overeating foods labeled as "Healthy," but it's intensive work with a health coach that will help to untangle this habit. Read more on this study here: