Sunday, August 17, 2014

My BIG secret

I coach for a living. I work with amazing teachers that are interested in improving their teaching or are "stuck" on a student/curriculum/organization problem and would like some support. They are teachers long before I enter the picture. Some people don't want to work with me as their coach. I get it. They have different reasons. I get that too. Sometimes it has to do with me, sometimes them, and sometimes factors out of everyone's control.

When a teacher decides they want to work with me a few things have to happen:

1.  Extreme vulnerability- Teaching is a solo activity and to invite someone in to see what you are doing in your classroom really opens up your skills for criticism. (I don't think I have a reputation of being critical, but the fear is still there.)

2. Have a willingness to change- An attitude of "I'm the best and don't need help" will never foster a positive coaching relationship. We all need to grow. I've learned so much from my teachers about my own teaching. 

3. Commitment to the work- For a coaching relationship to work both sides need to be committed to the same goals. If one side doesn't do their part, the goals will not be met. 

Coaching requires me to be:

1. Adaptable- Teachers all have a different style of teaching. Think back to your teachers. Did you ever have 2 exactly the same? The best part of my job is that I get to see so many different styles that still work. My personality will shift based on the teacher I am supporting. I have one that I tell her "let's play today" (meaning teach her Kinders to the best of our ability) and I have another that cringes every time I say "play". 

2. Patient- There are times where, for lots of reasons, growth doesn't happen as quickly as either side would like. Change takes time. 

3. Consistent- Education is full of mandates and expectations. I need to be consistent in my message and support. I can't tell one teacher "I love walk to read" and tell the other one that "walk to read is the worst thing to come to public education". No one wants a wishy-washy coach.


I have a secret. It's not really a BIG deal, but I've made it one in my head. I told a good friend my secret this weekend and she said, "Kari, the entire world knows what you weigh, but you won't tell them this?". Good point E, good point. 

(Runs to get another cup of coffee....)

I've hired a running coach. There. I said it. No big deal, right? 

For me it is a big deal to share because for some reason it is embarrassing. Why? Because I'm not an athlete (working on this one...). I'm not going to be winning any races. I'm certainly not making money off of my racing career. How in the world can I justify spending money on a coach for my hobby? Who am I that I think I deserve to have special attention paid to my running. I totally see the irony in the fact that I think EVERYONE (even the REALLY good teachers) can benefit from an instructional coach, but don't think I'm good enough for a running coach.

Kyle (that's my coach) and I have been working together for just 2 weeks and I'm really digging it. He sent me my first workout and I sent him a thousand questions. He modified my first workout. It made me giggle. He didn't say this, but my guess is that he realized I needed WAY smaller baby steps in to this running thing that what he anticipated. I only think that because with my own teachers I've done the same thing. Poor guy probably didn't realize I'd be analyzing his coaching moves.

I decided to start working with Kyle because I really want to become a stronger runner. I feel confident in the swim and on the bike. Not fast, but confident. I want that confidence on the run. I'd also like to be just a little bit faster. I get that I'm a bigger runner, but believe that I do have the ability to be faster. 

Two weeks ago I was convinced that I had one running speed, survival. I've done a few workouts with a tiny bit of speed work thrown in. It didn't take me long to realize that I actually had different speeds. 

My hips hurt after a longer run. I whined to Kyle. He sent me hip strengthening exercise. It NEVER occurred to me to strengthen my hips instead of just whining about how they hurt. DUH! That's what a good coach does- they help you see things that you can't consider when you are entrenched in the work. 

There you have it, my big secret. I've hired a running coach. I still don't feel like I *deserve* one, but I've got him. 

Lots more to come about this running coach business, I promise. 
In the meantime, go check out Kyle's site


About Me

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On June 19, 2009 I started my weight loss journey. It has become quite the journey! As of today (2-1-11) I have lost 162 pounds and have gained a whole new life. This blog is a continuation of my journey. I hope to inspire and encourage others through my process.