Friday, July 25, 2014

Ask for Help and Show What You Know

I'm pretty sure my first words as a baby were "I can do" which was a good indication of who I'd grow into. I'm super stubborn and hate hate asking for help. I have no idea why. Maybe I always saw it as a sign of weakness or just thought I was a superhuman genius but I was always so incredibly embarrassed to need help with anything growing up.

As I got older I learned that needing help was necessary because I didn't (and didn't want to) know everything about everything. I finally accepted that there were people who were experts and that those people weren't me. But what I also realized was that I too could become a so-called expert in something!

Now I have issues with the use of the term "expert" as nobody ever really knows everything about something but for today's purposes we'll go with it. Nobody knows everything but there are definitely people out there who know a lot about one thing and that was who I strived to be. My biggest problem was finding something I was interested enough in to know a lot about. I am someone who has double twin signs which means my sun sign is a Pisces (2 fish) and my moon sign a Gemini (twins). I won't get into all of the astrology even though I'm totally into that stuff, but I've been told these double signs contribute to my multiple personalities and highly varied interests. In a twin sign you see 2 entities, essentially 2 personalities existing together and in some cases fighting for control. To have two sets of twin signs makes you crazy. In a nutshell. I've always had a hard time picking one thing to focus on and have become pretty good or ok at a lot of things without ever specializing in anything.

When I finally got back into this running thing and added on triathlons and miles and more miles I thought maybe I'd finally found my thing. Once I started studying for my trainer certification I felt even more strongly that I was on the right path. And now as I set up my business, find my client specialty (endurance training in case you were interested), and determine what other types of certifications I might be interested in I realize that this is what it means to be an "expert". All of those people you look to for advice and words of wisdom in your life have spent a lot of time learning and researching things like a crazy person to eventually become the go-to. Before my exam I talked to a local trainer and TRX Master Instructor Ami about the fitness world and she talked to me about the importance of specializing. She's the authority in TRX training here in Louisville (according to more than just me) and runs a TRX boot camp you should go to if you're in town but to my surprise, doesn't know absolutely everything there is to know about every type of exercise. In fact she even told me she didn't like running! She may have said hate but surely I misheard that as nobody hates running. Talking with her taught me that a) asking for help can be and usually is hugely beneficial in your life and career and b) don't be afraid to share what you know.

Before deciding to take the plunge into a fitness career I had and still have lots and lots of challenges within myself to overcome, the biggest of which was believing anyone would actually want me to train them. In my eyes, I don't look like the typical personal trainer and I don't take nearly enough selfies on instagram for such a career. I've been running for years but I've never won anything, never placed in my age group (although I did get 2nd place in the Athena 39 and Under category at a tri last year if that counts) and really never had any spectacular fitness achievements. What's worse is that I never plan to really have any of those things. I'll never qualify for Boston or Kona and I'll probably never put up any incredible finishing times. What I will do and plan to do is continuing to finish at all. I have lots of dreams that I know will come true someday. Ultra dreams...even Iron dreams...but I also recognize the importance of having the endurance to be able to chase your kids around on a Saturday or walk around D.C. during a vacation.

My point is that I will never know everything and have no shame in asking others anymore. What's perhaps more important is that I also no longer have shame in sharing what I do know. Some people are naturally faster than others but everyone can be taught to endure (if they want to) and I'm going to learn all I can so that I can help those who need it.


  1. Yeah, girl! Thanks for the shout out. And you're doing the right stuff! You're never going to know it all so keeping up with your education is paramount. Thanks for seeking it out. I'm glad I could be a small stepping stone to help you along the way. You'll kill it! :)