I've played sports my entire life. I was a soccer fanatic growing up. If you ask my mom, she'll tell you I cared about a few things: eating, video games, my friends, and soccer. I won a club state championship and was on a team that was a very close-nit group. The Jake Sweeney Sweepers. Our coach, my childhood friend's father, was brilliant. He brought a group of us together at a time when we were buddying adolescent boys more concerned with girls, jean jackets, and the latest video on MTV (yes you young peeps. MTV used to play these things called videos....they were....oh well...you know.)
Mr. Miller was the first coach I remember making an impact on my life. He was patient, firm, a good listener, had a sense of humor, and we knew he cared about us as young men more than soccer players. I often wonder if he knows what an impact he had on my life. Because of him, I was able to persevere through three high school soccer coaches in four years at a high school that was rich in soccer history. I had two coaches in h.s. similar to Mr. Miller. My high school basketball coach, Mr. Martin, was also very influential. He was a sound communicator, had a sense of humor, was patient, a straight shooter, and cared about us as students and young men. As average as we were as a basketball team, he was a big influence on my teenage life because of the qualities he possessed. I hope he knows he was successful with me as a human much more than we were in the win column.
At one point in my life, I thought I wanted to be a soccer coach. But in Indiana it's a different sport that most play. Can you say, "Hoosiers.....Bobby Knight......the greatest high school basketball tournament that once was."
Based on Milan High School in Milan, Indiana....here's one of the best speeches by a great coach. Based on a true story in that town.
Love that classic sports movie scene. Lots of great "Hoosier" coaches......
Rockne, Knight, Keady, Wooden, Dungy, Yeagley
Say what you want, all these folks...they all possessed great qualities that made them successful. Yes, even Knight. Ok....so he did this....
Not one of his better coaching moments (depending on who you ask in this state)....however....
I often thought of my 8 year teaching career from a coaching aspect. I was not as passionate about finding comma splices and literary irony as some of my great colleagues over the years, rather I cared about getting students to learn, improve, and achieve. I feel wired the same way as a school counselor. It's usually about getting another person to make change in his or her life, and there are specific skills that need crafting to get others to make such change....the same way a coach draws up a practice plan, a drill, a motivational speech, etc.
These days, I've been sticking with Crossfit as my main method of exercise. If you know nothing about Crossfit, you do not work with a trainer, rather a coach. At Crossfit Carmel, there are a few coaches and all have their own unique style and talents when it comes to communicating with clients about form, fitness, and overall health. I like how each is concerned with form over output. If my form is off, I run the risk of getting hurt. The better my form over time, the better my performance will eventually be, hence the better my fitness will become. It's this approach that's kept me Crossfitting day after day, month after month. I can not imagine where I'd be without going to CFC on a weekly basis.
As I put all these thoughts together, I've decided to embark on a new chapter in my life. I've decided to enroll with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a Certified Holistic Health and Wellness Coach, a one year program that I'll start in March. It's my hope that I can help others with what I'm most passionate about: Achieving personal wellness. I've found that so many people either talk about one of two things:
1. Working out......or
But the key is bridging the gap between the two. I'm convinced you can just eat well and be healthy. I'm convinced you can just eat well and get results. But if you eat well and exercise regularly......consistently.......you will lead a healthy lifestyle that is as natural as putting on your shoes in the morning. But that is easier said than done. So much complicates us from eating well and exercising let alone doing it consistently.
So it's my hope that I can take a bit from Mr. Miller, Mr. Martin (and even Gene Hackman), and the other coaches who have made a difference in my life. Because....there is nothing more rewarding than helping someone else make a difference in theirs.