“With Great Coaches, Comes Great Responsibility. ” – Me
Shawn Dunn – Personal Training Director CFT, SFN, SET, SSF, SSC, YFT
Brooke Neeley – Certified Personal Trainer ISSA, CPR/AED
With my training for the half marathon quickly becoming more intense as the weeks go on, there came a point where I said, “I can’t do this on my own.”
After such a difficult and unusual situation from my surgery, plus being on bed rest for so long, I quickly discovered that my mind told me I could do all the things I did pre-surgery, but my body was telling me to think twice.
This is the point where I was surprisingly blessed to be introduced to these two AMAZING coaches, Shawn Dunn and Brooke Neeley.
In my earlier competitive years, I had the opportunity to work with a few different personal trainers. However, none hold a candle to these two! They really are more than I deserve.
What makes them different? We hold ourselves accountable to our responsibilities.
When I say “With great coaches, comes great responsibility” , I say this because there are FIVE major parts to a coaching relationship that I feel are truly important . Shawn and Brooke excel in these areas!
1. They Have A Responsibility To Me: To Be Their Best
This category is pretty self-explanatory, however one of the MOST important. This one key element sets the tone and effectiveness of your personal training experience. Brooke and Shawn use every available resource and training they have to help me reach my goals. This includes nutrition, safety, workout variety, injury recovery, injury prevention and goal expectations.
They also have to be their best mentally. Be the “up” for me when I am down. And my safe place where I can have break down if I need it, due to the emotional and physically taxing journey I am on. Lets be real, there is not a single part of this journey that is easy. But that is why they are here. They are a big part of my support system. In my book ,they definitely deserve 5 stars in these areas.
Let me remind you of you one key point in this section. Your trainers are also HUMAN, so make sure to keep that in mind if they need to move your session or reschedule. You have no idea what is going on in their lives and by them rescheduling on you, it could be the difference of an effective session or not. You want them to be at their very best!
2. I Have A Responsibility To Them : To Be My Best
This does not mean to only be my best whenever I show up at the gym, giving 100% of myself. Yes, this does help and makes our sessions go well. But this also applies to all the things I am asked to do outside of my workouts. If I apply all the things they recommend for me, which they take special care in creating the correct nutrient plan and tips based off your personal goals and body, this will keep me healthy and uninjured. There is a REASON they give you the material that they do.
3. They Have A Responsibility: To Protect Me
Example: As I mentioned in my last post, my knee was giving me a little bit of an issue this week. I told Shawn I was going to go for a run on Wednesday. He advised me to hold off after what he observed with me in our session Tuesday morning. I was much weaker than I thought.
His job is to protect me. Sometimes that even means protecting me from myself. I REALLY wanted to go for a jog to see how my knee would feel, but he wanted me to rest it. At this point I was crying inside, because a week off from running when I am preparing for a half marathon, makes me cringe. I am only at a 4 mile base and I have to get to 13 miles!! Yes, cringing might even be an understatement!
Turns out, my knee needed more time than a week and we went for two. Two weeks are nothing, to what a knee injury could do in the long run. It could take me out of the race all together. As hard as it was, I listened and obeyed.
Protecting me also applies to the workouts they create and spotting me. I wish I could put into words the attention to detail Brooke and Shawn put into these two areas. They take very seriously the safety of their clients and adjust the moment they feel you are reaching muscle fatigue. You may want to keep going, but they WILL stop you.
When you are in a session with them, their focus is on you and you alone.
Too many times I see trainers get distracted by their gym buddies and sometimes it even can make you feel like a third wheel. That is NOT the case with them! When you are in a session, yes people will come by and say hi, but they have made it known that when there is a client before them it will be a “hey man! ” (which I would want them to) but it will not be a full conversation. Your safety and your well-being is ALL that is important to Brooke and Shawn. Again, 5 stars in my book!
4. I Have A Responsibility: To Trust Them
When you have been through training programs before, you feel you have gained some knowledge about what to expect and what your body should feel like when performing certain exercises. And lets get real honest and say, it sometimes can be hard to fully trust a brand new person in your life. It takes time. Unfortunately, time is something you do not have in the gym. Your trust must be instant until proven otherwise. If trust is lacking there is a real, serious potential for someone to become injured.
Besides safety, sometimes we can get in our own head and not like a workout because we (you and I) think we know better and should be doing something different to impact muscle “X”. That is where trust comes in. Shawn and Brooke are introducing me to workouts I have never seen or heard of before. Why? Because I have to modify my workout schedule based on my neck and throat, while still accomplishing my fitness goals.
Last week, we had this exact conversation. They were having me do a movement that was a little odd to me and I said, there is no way that is working muscle “X”. I was severely mistaken! If you think for one second that you are not working the muscle groups they tell you, wait until the next morning. When you roll out of bed, it basically feels like you fought a ninja in your sleep and you are not really sure if you won or lost the fight. They will make a believer out of you!
5. We ALL Have The Responsibility Of: Communication
Communication is what makes all of these responsibilities blend together to create a beautiful couching relationship. Is it easy? No. Does it take time? Yes. Will it help me reach my goals? Absolutely. Because without communication your trainers will have no idea what is working, what pushes discomfort into pain, what adjustments need to be made both during workout and outside of gym time. In all honesty, the list of why communication is needed by all parties could be a post all its own. But I know you understand the necessity of it. Communication creates, great results, more confidence, prevention of injury and great relationships.
The most important thing I have found is the way Shawn and Brooke communicate and speak to me. Not only during workouts but outside of workouts as well. By having the constant communication with them through the week, they are never guessing what they want to work on with me, in our next session. I found it refreshing to get a text the day after my first workout with them to see how I was feeling and asking me if there was anything they needed to be aware of as far as pain or other issues. My first thought was, “Ok, this is normal. First workout they just want to make sure I am not dying and that I am coming back”. Then my next workout came and went, then I received a similar message, which then ended in a phone call to give me tips on how to adjust my protein smoothies due to my food allergies and it still taste good! I knew from that phone call they were going to be completely different from any other trainers I have ever worked with. It is times such as these, I love being pleasantly surprised.
I know a lot of these responsibilities fall more heavily on the trainers, but that is because they are the professionals. Not you.
As you can tell, I have an amazing team surrounding me during my training. I am truly blessed and so thankful. The best part is, I still have more people I want to introduce you to as the weeks progress! So make sure to subscribe and follow along!
Blessings and Love,