Today I took a client out for a run for her first time.
This lady has been training with me for about 6 months and has made amazing progress but she won’t train in a gym because she doesn’t feel confident enough.
In order to overcome her fears we have set some challenges which frighten her. The aim is to slowly get her to step outside of her comfort zone – to build up confidence.
For the last few months we’ve talked about going out for a run in public during one of our sessions but it’s been too terrifying for her so we’ve avoided it.
Most of her fears stem from her early PE days at school when the kids would be harsh about her appearance and she had to get her parents to write in sick notes so she could get out of PE lessons.
Years of over consuming food, lack of exercise and low self esteem later…
Has lead to a bunch of limiting beliefs which have sabotaged her mindset and left crippling fears about being harshly judged in public – like back in the bad old school days.
I totally get the fear to be honest. The thought of people looking at you and judging is enough to put many people off.
Today, without any warning I decided we would go for a run…
As we set off for the run I could see the fear and worry in her eyes and noticed her tensed up body language. We walked for a bit and then did some slow running intervals.
The first 20 minutes were filled with total panic. A car would go past and worry would strike. A person with a dog walked past…panic. We ran past a cafe full of people…panic.
It was a pretty terrifying ordeal for her but we took regularly breaks and as the run went on her confidence grew.
The last 20 minutes of the session she ran without stopping. She realised that her fear was all in her mind.
Nobody looked at her on the run or made nasty comments. Nobody beeped their car horn and shouted abuse.
Most importantly she suddenly realised that she could do it!
As we got back she broke down in tears. It was a mixture of tears of joy and tears of relief.
It was the first time in her life that she’d done a run. It was the first time in many many years that she put herself in a vulnerable position and came out on top. Proud would be an understatement.
I’m all for the weight loss and visual improvements but to me the most rewarding aspect of being a coach is seeing somebody grow mentally.
All of the things that hold us back are in our minds – just a limiting belief, a story which we tell ourselves over and over again until eventually it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy, a truth which feels like it can’t be changed.
It’s totally BS!
When you face your fears and your demons you soon realise that they aren’t actually that scary. It’s the thought/feeling, not the situation that scares us the most.
For those of you out there trying to overcome your fears and limiting beliefs I take my hat off to you.
I know how difficult and scary it is to face them (I have my own demons too!) but keep going and you’ll soon realise that you can overcome them.
This post is dedicated to those of you out there trying to improve your lives. Keep up the great work and give yourself a pat on the back for being brave and trying your best.