Why I Do What I Do

No one here has asked me this question, but I went on a leadership retreat with other fitness coaches, and I was asked this question about my Why. I actually had a pretty immediate response that was very tied to a specific moment in my fitness journey. But it turned out there were resonances throughout my own training as an athlete, however informal, and in why I love to create the sometimes-too-intense divination challenges I create. So why do I do what I do?

I love helping people discover that they can do so much more than they think they can.

It's simple on the surface, and pretty much any coach of anything could say something similar, but the ability to believe that you can do things you haven't attempted before opens up so many possibilities. And it shouldn't be misconstrued as encouraging confidence or aspiring to have things. Yes, I want people to be confident in themselves and to aspire to lots of things, but I don't want anyone to think they can just get it, that all of a sudden it's just there for the taking. 

If you're even remotely familiar with my pick-a-card readings or my more in-depth readings through this site, then you'll know that the onus always comes back to the querent. Sometimes it's just a matter of the querent communicating what they want, and other times it's a matter of setting a long-term strategy into motion. But either way, the querent has to be willing to take that next step. I want to encourage their bravery and willingness to dare and to do, but neither the world nor I can (or, more accurately, will) do it for them.

Fitness is an easy avenue to find people willing to take on such challenges, but it’s incidental. Unlike most of my fellow coaches, I see fitness coaching as a handy vehicle for something else. Getting someone to achieve their first pull-up or jog a mile is rewarding, but they could get that on their own through regular gym time, coach or no. So why stop there? Many of them can scale an eight-foot tall wooden wall or climb over a fifteen-foot tall cargo net, and many can eventually learn to complete a handstand push-up, even if it requires modifications, but almost none of them will try those things without someone both encouraging and challenging them. And that's a kind of mundane magic because other things seem less impossible too. And it's not just about boosting false confidence. It's about showing them that hard work actually can pay off. It probably will not happen over night (it sometimes does!), and it may never become easy or natural, but when those baby steps do finally materialize into something concrete, it just opens up a world of possibility because something that had been in that list of "things that I can never do" has been proved wrong. What else on the list of limitations is a self-imposed lie? Don't get me wrong: I do think there are limitations to what people can do. But I don't think that should be anyone's main focus. It's something I bring to my tarot reading, but not everyone is as willing to engage with their own futures in the (virtual) tarot parlor as they might be at the gym.

I mentioned this in a recent Instagram post for my TruthSpeaker / People-Pleaser Challenge, but it's worth repeating: I also love to help people see that the world is full of so much more than they realized. I think this comes more naturally to tarot reading and creative writing than to coaching, but both passions—I never use that word, but it came naturally as I wrote this and I chose not to edit it out—can work in many venues. For example, I found great joy in pursuing these when I was a teacher.

To be frank though, encouraging an awareness of the richness of the world and developing a willingness to dare new things can sometimes take longer than one would hope, and the journey can be a bit circuitous, sometimes closing down old impressions of the world before new ones have formed, which can result in greater limitations for the time-being. In one-time tarot sessions or emailed readings, that can be tough to accept. I've seen the pain of dark truths and the frustration of delayed outcomes during a tarot reading before, and it's not easy. Sometimes I have a message for a querent that they aren't yet ready to hear. If we're both lucky, they'll let me know a few weeks later that it all made sense after they finally started opening up to the world more. Sometimes it takes months instead. But every now and again, the querent has made a decision before the reading is even complete, and things don't turn out the way they hoped. Those can be the hardest. I want my work to be helpful, but I can't make someone see all the possibilities stretching out before them. I can only guide them to new ways of thinking and encourage them to reflect on how those new ideas meld with the realities of their life. But a closed mind is a long-term project. You can still "crack a tough nut" with time or intensity, but it's usually painful when the nut is a person. Come with a willingness to have your mind opened, and I will be excited to work with you and help you see new things in yourself and in the world. It may not happen within the space of a single reading, but we'll get there.