I Didn't Want To Be A Health Coach

I didn't want to be a health coach.

I was compelled.

I remember the morning my inner turmoil came to a head and I knew it was what I was going to do and there was no going back. I was standing on the opposite side of the bed from Bill as we pulled the sheets tight and stood the pillows up against the headboard. "I think I need to do this," I said. "I think I'm supposed to be a health coach."

"Really?" he said.

He stopped and looked at me. Listening. Not unlike 5 months ago when I told him I felt like I needed to do this health program. I loved him for that. He knew when to stop and listen.

I took a breath. "I know it's not like me. The whole idea goes SO against my grain. And I do worry that I won't be any good at it, because I'm just not..." I made wide, circular gestures with my hands to communicate a sense of out there...open. "It will probably be really hard. But..." I got quiet. "But I can't let it go."

And that was enough. We've had enough experience in our 9 years of marriage to know that when an idea launches itself into my brain that I didn't put there, it meant something. And it usually meant something big.

"Okay," Bill said, and his smile contained all that that implied. Okay.

I messaged my coach. "Let's do this."

I sat heavily on the edge of my bed under the weight of my fears. I was going to have to get very personal. I was going to have to live in a very vulnerable place. Not only was I going to have to openly share my own personal health story (cringe!), I was going to have to ask OTHER people to share THEIRS with ME!!! I was not terribly good at difficult conversations.

I allowed my fear to roll over me and through me for a long moment, and then I stood up. Because here's the thing. I knew that I had something big! This was the BIG ANSWER! To so many more questions than I knew I was even asking. This was the complete picture. The tools, the community of people that *understand*, and the fact that this plan was more about working on my head than anything else. I had no idea that changing my relationship with food would change my relationship with myself in such a big and such a complete way. I tell my clients that the biggest win for me was that I was friends with my body, again. But I always fail to accurately express just how big a deal that has been for me.

I had something big. Bigger than me. And I didn't have the right to keep it to myself.

So I patted my comfort zone affectionately on the head, packed up my inner gear, and walked with somewhat shaky knees but chin held high into change.

And all the while, my mantra was playing in the background of my mind: I can do hard things. I can do hard things!

I remember that first phone call. The interested person was my cousin. Totally a safe place! She is delightful, and understands my idiosyncrasies probably better than anyone outside of my clan could. Even so, my shirt was so drenched with sweat at the end of that 20 minute call that I had to change. I was shaking with how far I had stepped outside of my comfort zone - but I was also buzzing with the excitement of what was happening! That sweat was the sweat of self-preserving fear, discomfort and vulnerability; but it was also the sweat of power and of cleansing! I knew I would become a new creature! I would get to be a harbinger of change!

Starting with me.

And now - over a year into this incredible journey - I am so in love with what I do. The road has been far from smooth; I've been attacked and harshly judged. I've had clients I had such high hopes for suddenly quit, and I've felt like I've failed them. I've had those times I've had to pull myself out of the fetal position to get back to work. These are the times I remember that I didn't want this - this was wanted for me by Someone with much higher goals for me than my limited mortal scope could imagine. This was bigger than me.

I know I can trust that.

I have proved Him in days that are past.

And I've seen the effects of this work on my life and who I am (and who I am so excited to become). I've learned something about what it means about how I'm living my life when the critics start to show up at my door. And I have a strong community—a FAMILY— that circle their wagons around me when the wolves appear. And oh! The lives I've seen transformed! I get a front row seat to some INCREDIBLE miracles!

Not the least of which has been my process of becoming.

The health program I coach gave me back to myself. My body and my spirit are communicating, again. But where this health program restored the little house I keep within myself to full functionality and loveliness, becoming a coach has started knocking out the walls and rebuilding so that this little house may become an estate.

I still marvel at times that this is my life, now. I never would have chosen it for myself. And I am grateful every day that it was given to me; and that I was able to get enough out of my own way to accept it.


Kara said...

No words. Except to say, thank you! I love your guts, Stepper. I'm so happy every day that I get to rub shoulders with you. You are special.

Janet Paxman said...

Stepper! You are so gifted in so many ways! You are a fantastic coach! So grateful that you are part of my life for so many reasons!!
:) Loves

Emily said...

Love this so much. You're going to do amazing things. And I always say when the trolls show up, you've finally made it. :)