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Chasing Real

How was work today?

It’s really a small sentence and without any context it’s silly, pointless and small talk for most conversations.

I’ve been a health coach for three years. I can’t believe it’s been that long and that short. Individually, I’ve worked with almost 100 women in that time. Since I started small group training this fall, I’ve worked with an additional 50 women and it’s growing.

In three years, I’ve finished a new degree, started and quit a job, and have transitioned to solely focusing on my business. I’ve also started classes again to build onto my education.

I’m not an expert, I’m also not a novice. I have a lot to learn, but I also know a lot. I also think that no one is truly an expert because we’re always discovering new things. You don’t know, what you don’t know until you know it.

I find myself sometimes saying things like I feel like a real trainer or I feel like a real coach. When I say these things, I stop and think about where it’s coming from. Then I list out the things I believe I am.

I’m a real trainer and coach.

I’m also a lifter, a writer, a cook, a business owner.

I also live with PTSD and anxiety.

I’m a byproduct of perseverance and determination. I’ve been shaped by the abusive nature of my upbringing.

The negative labels happened to me, but I can take ownership of my reactions to it and how I’m working through it or doing things regardless of it. But the positive – that’s all about me and my decision to do. It’s about my ideas, my hard work – why is it easy to discredit it?

Why is it easier to own the labels that have been placed on us than it is to own the ones that we’ve created?

For me, some of it comes from doubt, which stems from the conflict between self-belief and the beliefs others have. As kids we’re blind, we don’t know we’re not special until someone points out how special other kids are either in the classroom or on the playing field. As adults it’s the same.

When I started lifting, I was just excited to do it. I was pushing myself more than I ever had and I had the goal to just try. At some point, just trying wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to actively choose and be more strategic. Does this still require trying – yep, but the mindset for me was different.

I used to wear lifting gloves. First, the gym I trained at didn’t allow chalk and second, the job I had required a lot of hand shaking and elbow rubbing, so rough hands wasn’t really appealing.

I never thought about how the look of my hands reflected the effort I put in at the gym or my ability until I was told I wasn’t a real lifter because I wore gloves.

Here’s there thing about real – it’s not imagined. You can see it or feel it or taste it. From first person, it’s about perception. What’s sour for me might not be sour for you or might not be as sour. What’s heavy for me might be heavier than what you lift. A lot of clients for me might seem like a small portfolio for someone else.

The other side of real is more concrete – a solid is a solid because of how the molecules that make it up move This is fact.

Think of progressive overload – what was once hard becomes easier because you got better and stronger, adding weight or changing up the structure makes it challenging, which stimulates further growth.

We all have our own capacity. We all have our own perception.

Accepting our perception as part of our reality but acknowledging that others have their perceptions too is the real challenge. Both are allowed to exist – they can be right and wrong at the same time.

There are times that I find I’m chasing real that I miss the process that is evidence that I am real before I’ve finished. Don’t discredit the steps you have to take.

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