Wellness in the Real World – As Plans Change

Back in December, we introduced a new feature that would appear occasionally within this blog for wellness coaches around the concept of “Wellness in the Real World.” The posts would allow me (Brad Cooper – Co-Founder of the Catalyst Coaching Institute) to share my own struggles – and hopefully a few success stories as part of my own wellness journey in 2015. The goal is to bring a sense of reality to a world that is often portrayed as equation-based. As wellness coaches, we can often get stuck in the assumption that information = application or that “the answer” is out there in a book or on a Powerpoint slide. Unfortunately (or fortunately), that is not the case. We coach real people in real – and unique – situations. The goal here is to share one guy’s story throughout 2015 in an effort to bring that reality to light…

Going into 2015, my personal goal for the year was to become the first person to ever complete the “Endurance Trifecta” of the Race Across America cycling race (2-person team), Ironman Triathlon, and major marathon, all at the age of 49. The bonus goal was to podium in all 3.  The plan was to race the Phoenix Marathon in February, knock out a sub 2:45 time and then move on. Unfortunately, as I’m typing this, that marathon plan has hit the skids, as a stress fracture likely caused by trying to squeeze in too much, too soon has me out of running shoes for 2 months.

Uggggh. The marathon was supposed to be the easy part. And now there’s even some doubt about how much I should be cycling in order to allow the foot to heal fully and not put the entire year at risk…

Disappointing? Yse. Discouraging? Of course. Typical?  Absolutely!  As wellness coaches, we live in a world that is constantly changing, constantly impacted by outside forces that may or may not be under our control. But regardless of the cause of those forces, plans change – regularly. When they do, how do you help your clients respond? When the “best laid plans” fall apart, do you let them (encourage them) to bail? or do you help them see past the immediate to the bigger picture?

For me, it simply meant a tweak to the schedule. As long as the foot heals fully in the coming weeks, I should be on track in training for the cornerstone event of the year – the Race Across America (RAAM) – and in fact will have an additional month to wind up the cycling mileage due to the change in plans. I’ll then plan to run the California International Marathon in December to replace the Phoenix marathon plans at the beginning of the year. The key will be the way the foot responds, allowing the immense mileage on the bike required by the RAAM event, as well as start ramping up a couple days/week of running in early prep for the Ironman in September.

Time will tell, but the lesson remains – “change” must be part of the plan.  It truly is the only constant.

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