Apply these lessons to any area of learning or development! Tali and Cody discuss leadership and mentorship qualities from their experiences as coaches, mentors, leaders, and students. What to look for and how to get the most from a mentorship.
00:45 Icebreaker MASH game
03:25 Coaching And Mentorship
05:24 Asking for guidance is not a sign of weakness
09:15 Culture is punishing us for asking questions
13:18 One Hallmark of a great coach/mentor: Creating a safe environment for curiosity, shop around for someone you resonate with
15:42 Askholes, don't be one!
17:09 A great coach is a collaborator, not a dogmatic dictator Ex. Coach Burgener, CrossFit Invictus
25:23 Leadership and Management are not synonymous
27:06 "I don't know", is a respectable answer, especially if it's followed up with, "but let's figure this out"
28:36 What is a leader? John Maxwell: Leadership is influence. You can identify them through consensual followers vs. forced "followers"
33:12 "A wise man has many councilors". Find different mentors for each specific area of improvement, instead of a one-size-fits-all guru
35:38 Chris Cooper: Two Brain Radio Podcast
37:05 What is the difference between a Coach and a Mentor?
39:14 Dr. Dave Rief
42:30 The value of mentorship and coaching
48:20 Some pitfalls to having more than one coach/mentor at the same time, fix: collaborate!
54:21 a good leader should be able to communicate the "why". "Because I said so" is not a valid "why"
1:03:47 When leadership goes awry, The Stanford Prison Experiment
1:05:40 You may need different coaches and mentors for different stages of your journey. Example: Rocky, for in-depth ideas about mentors, check out Mastery by Robert Greene
1:19:55 Sometimes the right mentor can give you a simple queue that is exactly what you need
1:23:41 Don't let value slip away, develop systems for holding onto what you learn
1:25:21 Should there be a separation between you and your mentors/coaches?
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Hi, this is Cody Limbaugh and
I'm Tali Zabari, and you're listening to the Philosophy of Fitness podcast on the
Do you have any icebreakers
for us today?
Well, you had discussed in the car that we just jump into the topic and see how that went.
That's the exact opposite of what I had said. I said I wanted to do show notes like a full day before you did say that to see what it was like to just kind of marinate on whatever the subject was going to be.
But we didn't try that either. So maybe next time. So I guess no icebreaker.
I think the ice is broken between us. I,
you know what, actually, we're coming up on our, it's not necessarily three year wedding anniversary. I know it's not necessarily for us. I feel like it's more for the recording experience.
It's also an opportunity for people to get to know us better. Vocal warmup, and I have a great one. Okay. So, no, not vocal warmup. Those are really embarrassing. But we were watching Orange. It's a New black, it's one of the handful of television shows that we are rotating through at the moment, and they were playing mash, which for a lot of little ladies out there.
If you ever had a sleepover in the nineties, you probably know exactly what I'm talking about, where you I guess design your life of like what kind of car you're gonna drive, where are you gonna live, and who you're gonna marry. And there's this really fun element of sabotage where the person who you're playing with gets to add some of the options of, you know, what, what your life might end up like.
And so Cody you ended up living in a mansion in boring Oregon married to me with a dog. And Oh yes. Your occupation is mouth model. . All very
fitting. Just for those of you who may not be familiar, boring is a place, not an adjective. Oh yes. Sorry, . It's, it's not boring. Old Oregon, it's boring, is a little town in Oregon.
just didn't sound like a really exciting place to me. Just based off the names. How, put it, if you are from Boring Oregon and you're listening, feel free to let us know what is exciting to do there.
Yeah. And what I say about, what? About living in boring?
Oh, that anyone could own a mansion there. . So what it was,
sorry, you said it.
You totally pitched that to me.
I said it would be exciting if I was with you. Oh,
thanks sweetie. Yeah.
Okay. Today's topic we're talking about coaching and mentors as a really important piece to our pursuits. Even considered like necessary or vital to our success. And Cody and I are both coaches, so we definitely have a lot to say being on the other side. But I also have had experience with a coach myself.
And I know you have not, but I know that you've had mentors and other really important figures in your life that would probably fall into a similar category.
Yeah, and I have had short term coaches. I mean, I've gone to many weekend seminars and all kinds of certifications of course, but not just certifications.
I did actually, you and I shared a coach, not at the same time, but
Jay, I know exactly who you're gonna say. Yeah, Jay wasn't his name. No, no,
Todd. So I did a weightlifting camp sort of thing, and it was like every weekend for six or eight weeks. It was pretty intensive. Who are we talking about? You coached their Jim a little while after Vulcan.
You kind of was there for a few months. I thought his name was Jay. I don't
know who we're talking about. I was thinking Todd Wood.
Oh, no, that's your, that's your CrossFit Crush
and I, my CrossFit Coach Crush, yeah. .
And I've worked with, I've worked alongside him at competitions and stuff. Oh, okay. And watched many videos from him.
But no, there's a weightlifting coach that you worked with after Vulcan, who is
Oh, yes. J Teeter. I was right. J yeah. A genius. Yeah. Well, you just said Jay, and that was, that's a very like, common name, but yes. J Teeter. I really wish I had worked with him longer. And some of the themes of what we're gonna be talking about today, I think are gonna explain that story a little bit.
More about like what I wanna say about Jay and why I'm not working with a coach right now, but we'll get into that later. Yeah.
So I'll just start out real kind of with a vulnerable moment here and just tell people like, I think that I, from an outsider's perspective, have probably seemed like I was not very coachable for most of my life.
But I think not being coachable a lot of times stems from arrogance, but insecurity and arrogance can present themselves very similarly. Totally. And there was some seed planted early within me. Self-reliance is respectable and therefore asking for help was like a sign of weakness
that's been turned on its head many a times.
And I know that this is also part of male culture. You know, there's big emphasis in our political society right now to sort of demonize masculinity and patriarchy, that kind of thing. Like there. And, and I think sometimes that gets muddled into sort of a victim mindset for women, which I think is unfortunate because I don't think all women need to be presented as victims.
And I think also on the flip side of that, it tends to ignore some of the things that our society teaches men that is very unhealthy. And one of those is like this cliche of men being arrogant so they won't stop and ask for directions. But we're also taught at a very young age, most men in western culture to that, that's a sign of weakness.
If you don't know what you're doing, then you're stupid. Or if you are not strong enough to do something on your own, that is a sign of weakness. Mm-hmm. and asking for. Stems from that weakness. And it's not something that's explicitly said as I just described it, but I think it's an undertone that is just an unspoken given that you're just supposed to know what to do as a man.
You're supposed to be the one who knows what the hell to do. And so earlier in my life, in my twenties and such, I think it was a little difficult for me to receive coaching, not because of a an arrogance that I knew what I was doing, but more of an insecurity of I don't want to appear like I don't know what I'm doing.
And unfortunately that carried over to not getting a lot of coaching. So what, I mean, the whole reason I became a coach to begin with was along that same lines in a way. I mean, I was pretty broke and outta shape and sickly. And so I had all these things sort of working against me from a perspective of being able to hire a coach.
It would've been difficult for me financially, but also I thought, well, why hire a coach when I can just become one ?
And I love that. That's where you jump to. I mean, that's like diving in the deep waters.
Yeah. And so my first experience with anything to do with personal training was getting my own certification.
I love that. I had never set foot in a commercial gym really until I got a job at one. Mm-hmm. , I had never been in a cross. Facility until I went to get my certification to be and already had my own gym. Like it was a very backwards story from where most people are. And that's given me some interesting, unique perspectives that have been valuable.
But we'll get into it as we discuss here. How much of a detriment that's been as well, not getting coaching sooner, because I did learn that lesson eventually in life, that no, actually being smart enough to ask for help is the opposite of what you think is making you insecure. Well, I was
gonna say, I don't know if I would say what makes you smart enough, I'd say secure enough.
You know, I can't speak to male culture as having grown up a, as a woman, but you know, I think about my experience in school and, you know, raising your hand and saying some, like asking a question and the kids laughing behind your back or you know, what I would say is even more potent was my experience in college where, you know, I didn't think that those dynamics existed and college was all about like free expression and like really being able to explore ideas in a safe environment.
But I went to a school that was very liberal and I don't know if it was specific to the, the program that I was in, but there was a lot of hostility. And it. You, it would be con, it would be combated when I would just ask questions like, like, fuck, you're so stupid. Like, you don't know what the state of the world is right now.
Like and what is politically correct to say and shit like that. Yeah. That's unfortunate. Well, it is because in that moment I'm not learning how to be s you know, more sensitive or, you know, speak in a way that is more preferred or whatever the issue was. I was scolded mm-hmm. and pretty much learned to never raise my hand again.
And to realize that like, this is not a safe place for me to explore my thoughts or respond. And yeah,
that's a really, that's carrying over from university to our society at large. You know, now that a lot of these, well, it's the step just before, right? Right. A lot of these students have graduated now and I feel like we have a culture and maybe this is just amplified through media, you know, maybe it's not really the way the world is.
Mm-hmm. online, at least it seems like asking questions puts you in the camp of being a bad person. So for instance, if you bring up anything about race or gender or any of these sort of like really hot topics right now I mean hot as in you, you can't stand the heat like get out because it's bad. It's just bad to go there.
And I. Asking questions sets you up as a target to be labeled as ignorant or a bigot or a racist or whatever. Yeah. A bunch of names start getting thrown at you not knowing is a crime. Yeah. It's like, man, I'm just asking a question. Like I don't, I don't understand the thing that you are assuming that everybody should understand.
Yeah. And so I'm asking a question and because of that, it's taken as sarcasm or defaming that person or whatever, especially in, in modern, sort of like in the gender issues that keep coming to the surface. Politically, it's, you know, a lot of people are confused cuz there's a lot of new terms coming on.
Language is changing and, and society is changing fast and somehow you're just expected to know . Yeah. It's, it's an unfortunate side effect and I think it's probably just a symptom of like some immature people who have loud voices online and it's, I think, so it's not really the state of the world because I don't get that impression when I'm speaking face to face to people.
Well that's the
other thing, it's a face to face. So the stakes are much higher online. People can be far more aggressive seemingly without consequence. Not always true. But we've also seen like, the incredible amount of censorship online and, you know, things just being deleted like they never happen, but totally separate
Well, not really, because I think it does play into. When we're talking about mentorship today as the topic, I think that sets you up for a state of fear. Like you're talking about your experience with school and my experience of like, men should know these, that sort of sets you up for a resistance to seeking out coaching or mentorship because you're just expected to know.
I've also had experiences with mentorship that have made me like, you know, afraid to seek it out again. I mean that can happen there too. So but the thing about great coaching and great mentorship is that you're creating or they are creating a safe space for you to really explore and for there to be some sort of guardrail so that you can continue your pursuit without like catastrophe or injury or like whatever else is on the table.
Mm-hmm. , you know, you have a safety net and you have somebody that you can ask questions too. Yeah. If they allow you. Yeah. And I say if cuz not everybody has the same style of coaching and mentorship and to seek out someone who you jive with, vibe with mm-hmm. Is really important. I really wanna stress like right up front shop around.
Yeah. I know there aren't. Options for everybody, like right next door. And you know, you and I live in a small town and looking for services is really hard, especially having competition within those services. Mm-hmm. . So, but we're
offering remote coaching. You and I are remote coaching. Sure. So the world is a smaller place these days.
Yes. You can seek out mentorship from a lot of sources.
Absolutely. And I would just say shop around, there's gonna be somebody that resonates with you. Yeah. I
think a good thing today as far as a takeaway for this podcast is we should continue to circle around to the qualities that we would search for in a mentor, because I think that's some valuable information and I think you and I with our combined experiences probably have a lot to say about seeking out quality mentorship.
and I also think that's something that's on the table now more than ever building our own business. I've always worked for other people and so there was a, there are often like very procedural ways of approaching things that I didn't necessarily had the freedom to do it in the way that I would want.
Like we've talked about, You know, challenging clients that only up until the time that I worked at Nike and you had your own business, like learning that I could fire clients was huge. And I'm not trying to like dwell on something negative or point to something negative, but you know, it works both ways.
I was saying shop for a coach, it's the same thing with clientele. Mm-hmm. don't just take on anybody. Yeah. Sometimes those clients are gonna give you hell and it's probably better for both of you to sever that tie. Yeah, yeah.
Yeah. I brought up a term I think in a previous podcast, but I'm sure in our conversations, cuz you were a little appalled by it.
what? But there's a term that I used behind the scenes. I would never say this to somebody's face, but there's a term for the type of person who asks for advice repeatedly over and over and over again, and perhaps even hires you and pays you money for said advice and then never takes it or argues with you about it.
And I call those people assholes because they're kind of always asking, but never following through on anything and. They can also turn around and blame you for lack of results. And it's like, man, you're, I don't, I don't know how to help you because , you know, I
have a, I have a curiosity about assholes and I'm not sure what made me think about this just the other day, but I, I was thinking about it probably because when I'm meeting new people, I have a tendency to ask them questions.
It's like a way of getting to know people. And I don't know if this is like a widespread method or maybe something that's like inherent to my family, but I think about when I'm trying to relate to somebody, I try to ask them questions, whether it's like their expertise or something that they're interested in.
And it's possible that that could come off as ask Holy, because you are extracting all of this information is valuable information from somebody, but maybe not applying it to your life. But sure, in a coaching situation you are literally paying for their opinion mm-hmm. and to do things their way. But at the same time, I also really think that there needs to be a collaborative piece Yes.
When it comes to coaching. And that seems really fucking
rare. Yeah. I actually wrote that down to make sure that we bring that up. You were talking about the ability. Or feeling safe to ask questions and that questioning is allowed. I think also input should be allowed. I think the sign of a good mentor, leader, et cetera, is someone who's willing to ask or, or, or accept input from their students.
It's not just a one way street. Right. I, I'm thinking of a really great mentor and coach, coach Bergner, and you went to his seminar and you brought up a cue. I'll let you, you know, tell the story if you'd like, but he was like, that is great. You know, like, he, he really, he took your cue and this is a veteran coach.
He's been around forever. You know, he's like this
sort of, he's the coach of great
coaches. Yes. He's a coach of great coaches and has, has been, has coached generations of people. And his son and daughter-in-law went to the Olympics. I mean, it's like, he's, he's,
he's well and his kids are coaches. Yeah. It just goes on and on.
He's great. You wanna tell the story though? Sure. So the first time I took Bergner's weightlifting certification was way back when I was probably 20 years old, which, gosh, I can say way back when now. . I was 20 years old and I ate it all up. I, of course was like just diving into weightlifting and wanted to do everything.
But when I was working for Nike most recently we. Opened a CrossFit gym on campus, blue Ribbon Standard CrossFit. And the gal who had kind of spearheaded the whole thing had very close ties to this is always very hard with CrossFit names. Is it CrossFit Invictus or Invictus CrossFit? I think it's CrossFit Invictus.
Okay. Thank you. So had very close ties with CrossFit Invictus, and we did a lot of collaboration with them in terms of like their on ramping and programming and things like that. They're just very holistic in their approach. And so I had went, I had gone to San Diego to visit my family and decided to stop at their gym so that I could meet their head coach and the owner.
And it happened to be on a weekend that Coach Bergner was holding a seminar and I was just touring the place, but I had to take a moment to say hi to him and I said, you know, your certification was the first one that I had ever taken and I was so starstruck and it's changed my life. Like weightlifting has become super important to me.
And I just wanna thank you like for that time and I forget like how the conversation exactly went, but He was like coaching somebody kind of on the side and he was like, man, these CrossFitters like always lifting through their heels. Like, well, it was like the cue that we all learn is heels, heels, heels.
Like dig your heels into the floor as you're pulling off the ground. And I told him that, you know, I actually decided to change the language with my clients because I was getting the same results. They were leaning into their heels and their toes were lifting off the ground and they were no longer pushing through the floor.
So rather than calling the beginning of the lift, being executed, the first pull, I've started calling it the first push and he was like, that's a damn good idea. . Yeah. And you know, for me it was really important to have like very sensory specific language and that was what my time as a weightlifter really was, was how can I translate weightlifting even better, like, know it so deeply that I can teach others how to do it.
And that was just one example. Yeah. So yeah,
so it's a great cue because, and it really, that's helped me out too because yay, I have a tendency to Think about my hips a lot because I'm not opening at the top.
It creates kind of like a rocking thing if
you're not Yeah. But because of my focus, you know, you can only focus on one or two things.
Like sure, you get three or four things and you're just lost your mess. So my focus has always been on trying to like open up my hips at the top and then get under the bar and, and I'm so focused on that transition thing. And then you had cued me to push through the floor, like push press, you know, it's a leg press, you know, through the floor, and it changed my lifting.
Like I feel so much stronger in that initial pull quote unquote. Now as a result of that queue, it's a damn good cue. But for somebody who's such a veteran coach and has been around for so long to give you credit where credits do and just say what you know, that's to point out to you that, that's such a, a great cue is an example of the type of mentorship that I think people should be seeking is the type of mentor who's humble enough to learn from their student and give credit where credits do.
Because I think that that's part of the mentorship process, part of the leadership teaching, you know, all these words that surround similar concepts is that it's a relationship and you're also bolstering the confidence of your student. Like I'm sure you felt pretty good when he said that.
Yeah. I remember walking away and being like, damn, I should have trademarked that first before saying anything. Cuz you know, he's this like world class coach who has this great business and is touring the world and now he is gonna be telling my key to everybody.
Yeah. . But I think that that is an important aspect of a mentor is someone who can bolster your confidence by giving you credit where it's due and even learning from you.
I think that's the sign of a great leader.
Well, and you've talked, you've said many times that you know, you are worried about being stagnant in your, like coaching capabilities. Mm-hmm. and you wanna continue your education because you don't wanna be stuck in paradigms that you've had for 10, 20 years
Yeah. We've worked with coaches who are like, one way is the way and that's the way, and that's the way they've been doing it for years. Yeah.
Gosh, it really does come off stale . Yeah. That's rough.
Yeah. Yeah. So I think that's a perfect example of not only a mentor who will allow you to question things, but also to receive your input.
Just one of the aspects of things to look for when you're seeking out mentorship. Well,
and it feels like it makes so much sense this idea of allowing things to be like organic or symbiotic, like these things that we see in nature, like happening in the gym too. Mm-hmm. . You know, it's a, it's a arena for growth.
And so why wouldn't you expect the same kind of like pliability in the coach to athlete relationship? Mm-hmm. , it's so authoritarian often. Yeah. Yeah. It just can be, and I don't know if it is like business driven, like you are, I don't know, trying to, you know, keep your clients and keep the money. I don't know exactly what it's motivated by, but it's so common and I feel like you can tell.
Yeah. You know, and I would have coaches who were just like, yeah, warm up. You want, that meant a lot to me because that would be like the little crumb that I would be thrown that like, well, yeah, also like them trusting me to be able to take care of that part. Like I don't need to be micromanaged. Coaching is not micromanaging.
There's a lot of different ways to do it, and they're definitely needed. And there are different degrees where it's effective depending on like how intensive your career is or your sport is and all that. But there's so much beneath the surface that I think goes unchecked or unnoticed when it comes to that relationship that.
I'm really hoping this time around you and I with this business, like we'll be able to identify what those are and hone those skills more. Yeah. There's a
vast difference between management and leadership. Those, those two words are not synonymous. They're not even correlated. Honestly. Management is positional and leadership is a skill and quality, and I, I've seen that played out in many instances in the business world.
You know, I worked for a big bank corporation and I saw that play out many times where there were people in managerial positions who were not good leaders and people who were not in managerial positions who were great leaders. And you could see, it's kind of funny because what would happen is the manager would come in and sort of lay down the law and say how to do something.
And then as soon as they walk away, the people in the room would go over to the leader who was not the manager and say, okay, now how do we really do this? , you
know? Well, the really big difference between those two is like that safety aspect. Like, can I ask you questions and not get, you know, hit upside the head for
Yeah. So, yeah, very important dynamic and I'm not exactly sure where that comes from. You had mentioned, you know, not, not knowing where it comes from for coaches to be rigid and sort of a top down authoritarian kind of thing. Mm-hmm. , my suspicion, or what it at least appears to me to be is a lack of confidence in their own abilities.
As a leader and as a coach, you know, it's like, like an
Yes. Or even a frustration like, I'm the leader here, I'm the coach, you're gonna do what I say. And because it's almost like they're afraid of losing the authority and unfortunately it, it backfires off.
Totally. Yeah. Gosh, I would have so much respect for a coach who was like, I don't know, let me get back to you.
Or, I don't know. What do you think? I don't know. Seems to be just as like poisonous as saying, sorry. Yeah. Like people are fucking scared to touch that.
Yeah. And it's really modeled in our society in very, very unhealthy ways. When you look at, you know, the political climate, I mean political, they
have to give an answer.
Yeah. Politicians, that's gotta sound good.
Yeah. Politicians are not allowed to say they don't know, or that they made a mistake or that they changed their mind on something cuz they're just, you know, well, they're a flip flo. Well, well like you said, it backfires. They learn something. Maybe they grew, you
know, it backfires.
It makes them seem insincere Sometimes they're not actually saying anything of value, they just string together a bunch of words that sound eloquent. Yeah. Yeah.
the political answer. I mean, you can ramble on for five minutes and not say anything. Right. It's like, what, what question did I even ask? I don't even know what I asked cuz that answer made no sense.
But yeah, it's, you know, when it comes to politicians, it mean it gets. To the point where I can't call it anything else except they're lying. I mean, they're lying when they say one thing and then turn around a month later and say something completely different. And then they, since they can't admit that there was a mistake or a change or new information or anything like that, there's nothing else to call it except they're lying to you.
You know? They're saying, well, I never said that. It's like, well, there's a whole bunch of videos that looks like you did say that. . Yeah. Yeah. And I'm, I don't mean to just dive into politics, but I think it's just another Well, you're talking about leadership quality. Yeah. It's a, yeah. And that's why I hate, I don't say our leaders because they're not, it's positional.
Exactly. Almost. I've never, I haven't seen too many politicians that are leaders because they're not. I, I heard in a leadership seminar once with John Maxwell, who's sort of like the leader's leader, like this guy has made an obsessive career of learning and teaching all about leadership. Like that's just his, his one thing that he just dives deep into.
And I once heard him say from a stage that, If you want to identify a good leader or to become a good leader, you should be in a position where people are voluntarily there. Like they can leave at any moment. They're not getting compensated. You're not getting compensated. There's no money exchanged, like in a non-profit organization or a charity or something like that.
Mm-hmm. , because that's where you really identify your leadership capabilities is when people don't have to listen to you. If you're in a position where people have to listen to you, you won't know if you're developing good leadership qualities because they may just be obedient outta fear of getting fired.
Sure. And so it's, it's really important to develop your leadership skills in a way that people who don't have to follow you are. And it's also a good way to identify, you know, good leaders is to look for that. It's like, well, okay, so you are a district manager of a fitness facility. Does that mean you know anything about fitness or what we should be doing?
Usually not. And yeah, usually not the case. I think we have both encountered situations where that wasn't really the case and. On the other hand, you might see a, a coach or a trainer who doesn't have a lot of papers on the wall. Maybe they just have one certification that they got and they just got started.
But they have this huge following of people who love them and follow them and like these big boot camps on the weekends and everybody's high fiving and, and there's a dynamic there where they're being followed even though they don't have the positional authority.
Ooh, I have a fun little story about you were just saying about a following and you know, I've let my certifications expire.
I haven't done a lot of education as of recently with nutrition aside. But in terms of like clientele that I'm still in touch with, I've got a pretty good good group going Yeah. That I'm still in touch with and I really love that a part of coaching. And just this week, a a client of mine from like, ooh, maybe like six years ago now had posted a video of them I dunno if it was a PR or something, but, oh no, it was during their deload week and he had commented on how he like finally moved his feet cuz he was a chronic no foot snatcher.
And you know, there are different ways of getting underneath the bar, but I was always very preachy about foot displacement and how that's faster, but it can be more demanding on. Timing and your balance and all these things. So finding he had posted that like, has this look coach T like, is this what you've been waiting for?
Yeah. And I was just so delighted that something as silly as that had stuck with him for such a long
time. Yeah. And how, how long has it been since you've coached
him? I, like I said, like six years. Six years? Yeah. Yeah. It was when I was working at 5 0 3, which has been so, yeah, a long time
now. So you're hearing your, your coach's voice in your head six years straight on
the cue that they gave you.
That's how I know I'm successful. I have like buried in your brain, my voice queuing you of something. Yeah. And it was really fun because after that I had reposted it and then a bunch of other clients of mine had stepped forward saying like, oh, this is what I still think about, you know, I still hear your voice when this happens.
So that's really meaningful to me. I know that I'm good at coaching some very specific things. And then in the realm of CrossFit, like there are so many other disciplines and skills and techniques to learn. So, you know, I, I don't think of myself as like the best coach in all of those areas, but in terms of like the relationships that I was able to foster during that time, That feels really good looking back.
absolutely. So it's kind of funny cuz we're coming at this topic of mentorship from both directions. Mm-hmm. like which is kind of cool. One thing I wanna point out, I think in, in mentorship is finding a specific mentor for the things that you want to learn, achieve skill sets, you know, the direction you want to go with in your life.
Because there's a saying, I think it may be from the Bible, I'm not sure, but it says A wise man has many counselors and the, the idea there is that you're not gonna dogmatically follow one person for all types of different things. And so within the gym world you know, I had mentioned that I'd worked with Jay and that was for specific thing that was just weightlifting.
And I'd worked with other coaches for ket, bes specifically for learning how to, for striking specifically like striking a heavy bag that, that type of thing. And I've worked with individual coaches even to those very fine minute details of specific fitness things. One of the big mistakes I made in my career as a gym owner for nearly 20 years is that I never hired my business coach that I should have because here I was, Trying, you know, selling myself as a coach and a mentor for people in their fitness lives and in their, you know, personal habit lives as far as lifestyle changes.
But I was failing to do that on the business side of the very same gym. So it was an ironic thing where I was I was a mentor and a coach to a lot of people in this one domain, but in the domain of business that was, that do that
whole stuff. Well they were, they're merged. Yeah. Yeah. That's kind of tricky though, because as an athletic coach, you're an amazing coach, so you definitely put a lot of effort there.
It shows when you're, when you're coaching people. So thank you for
that. But I, I think it was a big mistake because I, I lost track of how many certifications I have. I mean, damn son, every once in a while it's like, oh yeah, I took that other course too, you know, blah, blah, blah. And I, I wanted to become a better and better coach, cuz I thought that was the secret also to becoming a better businessman in that industry.
Sure. Not, that's not the only reason. Of course, I want to do better for my clients and I love loyalty. Well, you think if your
product is the best, then people are. Talk about it. Yeah. Stay all that stuff. Yeah.
So I'll give a shout out to Chris Cooper over at Two Brain Business two. Brainin Radio is his podcast.
So if you're a gym owner or a personal trainer or anybody in the fitness industry, you should absolutely be plugged into their systems. I'm just gonna say it , because there's, there's others out there. But this guy has done more work than I think anyone in the industry ever to share best practices for businesses in that industry.
And one of my biggest mistakes was not hiring him sooner. So I just wanted to bring that up because I think sometimes we think of a mentor as being some guru or guide for your life. And I think you should be willing to have specific mentors for very specific objectives. And I think that's just another thing that you should do while you're out there shopping for coaches and mentorship.
You know, if you want to lose weight, you probably should seek out a specific type of coach. You know, someone who has a lot of experience with weight management programs and a lot of success in there. Versus if you want a whole fitness lifestyle or weightlifting specific or, you know, whatever that is. Or business or relationships or whatever it is that you're needing help with to seek out mentorship
So I'm actually glad. What you had just said, kind of segues into a question that I've had all through this recording so far. And I really wanna distinguish the difference between a coach and a mentor. Because I've had a lot of coaches, but I don't think of them as mentors necessarily. And I guess I can use kind of that information to start breaking that down.
Mm-hmm. , I've definitely had coaches who have created structures for me, created a plan for me, given me accountability. Mm-hmm. Given me advice even. But when I think about mentorship, I think about it differently. Almost like you were saying, like a guru, maybe not like guru specifically, but I think about it more of like a, I don't know if it's because the coaches that I've worked with have been kind of more like that top down model, and that's why I won't let myself think of them as mentors.
What do you think?
I think that that's just like the management leadership paradigm where managers can be leaders but they're not synonyms. And I think a coach and a mentor is the same situation. You might have a coach who is a mentor but a coach also might just be someone who's gi, who's more informational.
Whereas a mentor, I feel. Is also showing leadership qualities to pull you on onto a path that you want to follow.
Okay. So I think I might have one in mind. I think I might have one in mind. A
person Yeah. Specifically. Yeah. Do you wanna
bring it up? Sure. So when I was training with Vulcan there was a guy who wasn't like on the team for a while.
At first he was like very mysterious. Very alluring, didn't say much, was strong as fuck. Yeah. And would always be doing like, the weirdest shit in the gym. Like, just things that would always catch my attention. Like, oh, that's really interesting. Why is he doing that? And this guy ended up being my chiropractor.
So this is Dr. Dave Reef that we're talking about here. Who I just got the sense that he was experiencing weightlifting in kind of a similar wavelength in terms of just experiencing it fully and like letting it change him. Mm-hmm. in a more cerebral to like a cellular level. It was like, like I said, it was alluring, like the way that he would.
Lift the way he conducted himself. Like he was not a personable person. Like he wasn't like saying hi to everybody in the gym and like giving out high fives and things like that. But he had an heir to him that I was drawn to and wanted to know more about. Yeah. And I think that that might be a quality of a mentor.
Mm-hmm. . And I just wanted to know more. You know, I got to work with him once a week at least at the chiropractor's office. And you know, things would start with talking about like my joints and what I'm gonna do in training differently and blah, blah blah. But it would start to expand to really deep depths.
And it's interesting because I feel like our relationship was very much confined to that space when it was, you know, him treating me. And then anywhere else it was very different. It was almost like it existed in a vacuum of sorts. But it was a very special relationship to me. I feel like, you know, when I would be super distraught about something whether it was weightlifting related or personally related to like one in the same really but he would know right away and he would just give me a hug.
Like he just was a support for me in a way that coaches weren't because yes. Telling me what to do, but I don't know if like the very physical nature of his work translated differently to mm-hmm. , you know, a chiropractor's like very handsy like . And he also, you know, treated me for free. Like, there was incredible care that was provided and I always just really looked up to him in weightlifting and in other ways too.
Yeah. You know, there are other people throughout my like athletic life that have inspired me that I've had the pleasure to work with. But yeah, I feel like the idea of a mentor is it seems like it's gotta be bigger mm-hmm. than just a coach, you know, coach a dime a dozen. You know, I,
I think one of, one of the ways that I feel like I can differentiate between the two in my head is that a coach being more positional, like the manager Sure.
Is also somebody who might just be someone you, you need or are, you know, utilizing their knowledge and their experience in a very specific way to the point where, like I've described where I've worked with a lot of coaches, but it's always been a workshop or a weekend or. You know, a series, there wasn't a personal relationship there.
Like I don't, I would bet money that Jay does not remember who I am, but a mentor would, because a mentor is building a, a deeper relationship with their mentees, if that's what the word is. I think it is. And so I think that's one differentiator there as well. And that kind of brings me to something else I wanted to bring up, and this is true, whether it's a coach or a mentor, is that one of the things that I think people push back on paying for a mentor or paying for a coach is that we live in a world where information is ubiquitous.
You and you, you can get anything you want. You can learn just about any skill in the world from watching YouTube these days. True. I've even heard of people learning things like jujitsu from home. I mean, that's like, how does that work alone, alone in your home? Well, at least getting started there. Okay.
Or, or meeting up with a couple buddies in the garage and watching YouTube tutorial
say that first bout's gonna be real scary. . Yeah.
So there's, there's this sense that anything you really need to know, you can find on your own. But there's a few things. One of the most obvious things about a mentor or a coach that.
Versus just finding information on your own is that they can distill it for you. So if somebody comes to me and they want to know something specific, they don't have to search my brain and cross index and go down a rabbit hole of 15 thoughts before I can just give them the answer that they asked about.
Yes. Because I'm a person ,
it's a very customized experience. Yeah.
So I'm not an algorithm in the same way that YouTube is. I can actually just, I can give them the information if I have it like right off the, the cuff. So there's distillation, there's also distillation in a way that I might be able to communicate it to them differently then they can find online.
So if they have a question on form, it's just like your cue, you know, to push through the floor instead of the first pole. It's more of a press, it's a push into the floor. That cue may speak to people differently even though it's the same information you're teaching that they can easily find on a
Oh yes. As a coach you have to say the same thing in 5 million different ways.
Yeah. It's one of my favorite things about coaching. And one of the things I used to, I learned early on with National Academy of Sports Medicine, my first certification, and then later on in CrossFit it came up. But I would have back in the day when I was more of a hands on mentor for my coaches unfortunately you didn't get to experience that much cuz you came into my gym late.
Yeah, late in the career. I know early on we used to do. This thing where we would try to coach one movement, but we would use tactile only, verbal only demonstration only. Like we would go through like various forms of communication to try to communicate the same thing. I love
you so much. I'm so bummed I missed this.
And in CrossFit, they actually do this in the level two seminar. So Oh, they do my level two cert. That's cool. From them, they actually have this kind of game. It's almost like game offi where
Yeah, it's like playing taboo almost. You're
in a group and you have one student and the coaches in the group take turns coaching the same movement, but like you can only use verbal, you can only demo, you can only do tactile cues, you know, and that kind of thing.
And so then you have to try to get this person moving right, with whatever assignment that you have. So that's so fun. But the point that I, I'm trying to get to is that if you hire a coach, you can expect them to learn your language and what's going to distill that information for you in a way that you might never find online.
And if you do find it online, how many dozens of hours have you spent going down the wrong way or not understanding something before you finally find on something that clicks for you? Whereas a coach can, sometimes a good coach can sometimes get you moving. 30 seconds. Mm-hmm. like, boom, you're there. So there's the time and clarity aspect, but something that's even bigger than that, and I think this gets more into the mentorship situation, is a YouTube video and all the books.
And I love books. You know, our, you and I both, like, we have a rule that we, we budget very strictly and we have certain money set aside for different categories in our lives. But you and I agreed early on in our relationship that books were always a yes.
So you can thank my mom for that. Yeah. So she has a few non-negotiables and I know books is, is one of 'em.
And so our house is full of books and I love books, but,
but we don't have enough shelves.
Well, the thing is, is that I don't have a relationship with the authors. And that's a big difference between a mentor and information. There's a relationship. And so when you have a relationship, we talked earlier about the my podcasts are running together cause I've been on other people's podcasts recently, so I can't remember if I brought this up with you or not, but we've talked about it before, how the whole idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, the reason that's the case.
I didn't, I couldn't figure out how to philosophically explain that for quite a few years. And then I realized this is almost like a math problem where if you have. Part A and part B, and you put them together and they function differently. Why? Why? Why is the hole greater than the sum of its parts? And it's because the invisible part is the relationship between those two things.
Yes. The influence, it's a multiplier effect. So if you have three different parts and they're all laying, you know, strewn out, but then you put those three together and they function in a certain way, it's almost like A times B times C. And that's why you end up with this greater sum. And it's the same with learning.
If you have a mentor or a coach, even you can develop a relationship that is greater than the information that's being provided. Well,
you were talking about A, B, and C and I, you know, love to ask questions and so I would really, I would never hesitate trying to learn from multiple coaches even at the same time.
Mm-hmm. , my coaches fucking hated that. Yeah. There's . They really, really didn't think it was a, a good quality of mine.
Yeah. And as a coach myself, I've struggled with that at times as well. And like, so sometimes, you know, you have to be careful with the timing of it. Like, I've had a lot of different coaches, but they haven't been at the same time.
And so, yeah. But when you're
in the coaching world, like your friends are coaches Yeah. Like we're all in the same place. Yeah.
But here's a perfect example. So I'm training my replacement at work because I'll be quitting soon, right. To go full time back into the coaching business. Woo. And I'm training this young kid to do my job, and every once in a while, there's another guy at work who will come in when I have headphones on and I'm kind of like, I have assigned this new trainee, a certain task, and he's over there doing it.
And so I'm letting him, you know, do his work. And I'm over in the, another section of the room doing my work, and I have headphones on. And I work in an environment where I have a, like headgear on, like goggles and a respirator and all this sensory deprivation stuff. And I'll look up sometimes and there's another guy who works in a different department.
He's, he's like telling the kid to do things differently than what I had said. And I'm like, this is not good. This is not productive. Well, it can
It can confuse the apprentice or the athlete. Yeah. And
that's what I told this other person. It's like, you know, I, I don't mind you wanting to help, but I'm, I have a long time to train this kid.
I have like, you know, eight weeks that I'm gonna be working with him. And I got a crash course in like a week and a half on how to do this job. So I'm trying to parse out little bits of information to him so that it's absorbed a little better. Mm-hmm. . And and if you come in and offer. In a different order than what I'm teaching it.
It's gonna just add confusion. And so I tried to convey that to him. It didn't, it didn't really hit with him cuz he's been in there doing it again since then. It's a frustrating situation for me as someone who's trying to teach someone to have another voice come in and contradict me. So I can understand how your coaches may have wanted to push back on that a little.
a difference though. Like, I think there is something in the coaching community that like you, that are kind of like already known. Like when I would work out at Nike for instance, there would always be like people working around me and I would always ask like, do you want coaching? Yeah. Do you already have a coach?
Like there's a courtesy there that you kind of assess the scene. Yes. As the coach, but I was the athlete in this situation and seeking it out. Yeah. But that's because I know this about coaching, I know that people can speak to you in a way that just makes sense to you and I think that's cool. Like, I'm trying to think of like what it was specifically.
Oh, I was coached for like, what felt like a hundred years to push my knees back as the bar is passing off the floor. Mm-hmm. . And like even thinking about it now, like I never give that cue. It doesn't make any fucking sense to me. to me that sounds more of a byproduct of another mechanism. But I have been coached to specifically push my knees back.
And it has never made sense to me, like I said, even now. And some other coach had said something that had made it click. And so I guess I've just come to want to know what people's specialties are, or want to know, like what is unique about your coaching style? Yeah. Like I said, I was in an arena where I was around coaches all the time.
It was kind of unavoidable. Yeah.
So I think there's a couple of aspects that might be more productive in general that have to do with courtesy. Like you just brought up the word courtesy and that mm-hmm. really can actually also make the process more effective. So two things. Hopefully I can keep both these things in my head.
I don't forget. The first thing is communication between coaches. So I have worked with clients who, for instance, was working with a physical therapist and a physician and me to try to achieve a, a common goal of, of healing a, you know, a from a surgery or something like that. I've, I've encountered that several times and it's amazing to me sometimes that some of those other practitioners don't want to talk to me as the trainer.
And I'm like, well, I, I'm working with this client three times a week. You see them every other week. Like, wouldn't it make sense if you wanted, wouldn't it, wouldn't you want to know what I'm doing, ? Mm-hmm. , you know, and so I made it an effort. I even had at one time with some paperwork that I could take to.
For the client to take to another practitioner to release information and collaborate. And so in that way, I could understand, well, this is what the physician wants. This is what the personal or the physical therapist is, this is their approach. And so how can I collaborate with that, knowing what the objective is, then to communicate with this client and build a relationship that's needed to get them compliant and doing all these things.
So I looked at myself as part of a team in that sense. That is so cool. And so I think that's one thing that mentors slash coaches leaders can do is to try to collaborate rather than say, no, you need to not do what that guy said. That's wrong. Do it my way. You know, instead, you don't say that to your client.
You go to the other practitioner and you ask, why are you having them do this? Or Why did you say lunges are off limits? Like, what's wrong with lunges in this particular case? And, and if they can give you a valid explanation as to why, then that makes the whole experience more valuable for everyone. Yeah.
And if they can't give you a valid reason why, then it makes me question their abilities. , as, as a coach, I've had, I've, that's one of the litmus tests that I always gave my coaches and that was given to me by some of my mentors too, is like, if you're prescribing something for somebody, you better damn well have a reason for.
We're not just here making people sweat and party in high fives. Like, why are you prescribing that exercise? What's the purpose for it? And so I would expect that from other practitioners as well in communicating. So collaboration, that's one thing. And the other thing I knew I was gonna lose it, shit.
Yeah, it'll come back. Okay. That's all right. But I think there's things that we can do from a standpoint that basically it's, it's a courtesy, but it's also just makes your experience more effective with your mentors. So if you have several mentors or like a wise man has many counselors, if those many counselors are all for one topic, then maybe that was the second thing you should be able to ask your coach.
Why? Because if you can't ask them why, or they should be able to explain why they're teaching you something. And if they can't, then it raises some suspicion that maybe they're just giving you generic information. No shit. Yeah. And so from the mentees perspective, I think that's a, a good quality to look for in a coach is to be able to ask them why and they can give you a reason or.
A philosophy behind what they're doing. You
know, even if they said, because I said so. And that way at least be transparent. Well,
yeah, but might not go very far in, in the context of having multiple coaches or multiple mentors in the similar position. Like if I had two different business coaches, for instance, yeah, I'll take it out of fitness for a little bit.
If I had two different business coaches and they're, and they're giving me contradictory information, then I would need to ask each one of them why they're giving me that information. And then what I might do is go to the other coach, you know, I'll ask coach A and when he gives me the reasoning, I'll go to coach B and ask her like, why are you, this is what my other coach said and the reason that they're teaching it.
Can you speak to that? Or you know, if you don't agree why and that kind of thing. And that way you're getting, you're not just getting conflicting information and then making your own decision on who you're supposed to listen to. Cuz that's what kind of would get to me as a coach sometimes is when people would go seek outside advice and then take it over mine without ever asking me why I said what I was coaching, you know?
And that to me it's just like, well then you don't trust
me. Did well. I mean sometimes it can really come to that. Yeah. Did you ever get feedback that you were like unapproachable or anything?
No. Cuz I'm usually digging for those kind of questions. The only time I really remember that happening is with clients who weren't getting very good results because of their own non-compliance
Yeah. And I've seen this happen. It's an unfortunate thing and I'm sure I, I'm guilty. I mean, I think this is just a human nature thing where if something's not working, we look for outside reasons why it's not working instead of looking, oh yeah, we're the last place to look. Yeah. And so if I have them on a specific program and they're not losing the body fat that they want or whatever then they go and ask somebody else.
You know, they go to Weight Watchers or something and get a whole bunch of processed food eating program and I'm just like, I wish they hadn't done that. Well, yeah, there's a
lot of play. There's impatience for sure. Yeah.
And so I think that's the only time I can really remember that happening is with people who sort of weren't compliant to begin with and then instead of communicating with me about how to fix that, they would just go find different advice that sounded better , or they would, well,
that definitely does happen.
I mean, we were just talking about shopping for coaches, right? Like yeah. Resonance can probably look like a lot of different things. Like some people want to be challenged, some people don't wanna be where they are right now. And some people want validation for where they are right now. Yeah. You know, like I think about.
I had torn my rotator cuff man, it was back in my Mercer Island day, so it's been a long time. And I remember the first practitioner that I'd gone to, they're like, I don't even want you thinking about a barbell for like six weeks. And immediately I looked for a second opinion and they're like, oh, like that's not that, like don't worry about it.
It doesn't have to be that extreme . So I think that can be part of the shopping process and like finding something that does resonate with you. But yeah, I can think it can be a lack of trust too. Yeah. Whether they're, they don't have an answer for you or they don't have an answer that's convincing.
Yeah. And that's a tough situation too, because if, if you knew what the right answer was, you wouldn't need the coach to tell you, right? Like you're, you're trying to get this information as a student because you don't know. And so if you're getting two coaches that say conflicting things, how are you supposed to know which one's?
Right. You can't, by definition you can't because if you did, you wouldn't need the coaches to be teaching you to begin
with. Well, let me just be clear. When I was asking other people about information, you know, one of those people would even be like my chiropractor who had been a weightlifter since he was like 12 years old, maybe even younger.
You know, these were people who, you know, were not my coaches. I did not spend like the equal amount of time with them that I did with my actual coach. I'm kind of surprised, like did I actually disclose to my coach that I had sought out, like potentially conflicting information. I don't know. I just have a tendency to be a little too transparent sometimes that can get me in trouble.
Me too. So maybe it's just that. But yeah, there was a definitely like, there's kind of like a stigma, I guess maybe it's not just in the weightlifting world, but like you had said at one point, like you have been pegged as like uncoachable. I have actually been pegged as uncoachable as well. I don't really remember who said it, but they had alluded to that.
And so I had always thought, okay, like if I could just stick with one coach for a really long time, that proves that I am coachable and I can listen and I can be, you know, moldable. And so you know, that might not have been the right reasons to have stayed or I did. But then when I did de decide to move on, finally, like it took a while for anything to stick.
Mm-hmm. , nothing really has stuck ever since. Yeah. You know, when we moved out here and I had learned that there were some local weightlifting coaches, I was like, Fuck. Yeah. This is it. Like this is the only place I can get coaching, like in a 200 mile radius. I should see this as like a sign. Like this is gonna be my next step.
And this was after not having had coaching for a long time, but as soon as I got a whiff of like that coach athlete relationship at least like some of the more like toxic traits that had me kind of cut my ties with weightlifting in general started coming up for me. I was like, oh, I, I don't think I want a coach anymore.
Mm-hmm. . And it makes me kind of sad because I, I desperately want that kind of learning experience and that kind of support. And also, like, you know, the reason I have a nutrition coach is that I cannot shoulder the burden of my neurosis on my own . I know that when I have support or somebody in my corner whose job is specifically to be a sounding board or create a program for me, it takes a lot of that pressure off.
Sure. And I can relax in my own head and about my own body. And I think about that with weightlifting too. But I have yet to find a situation that. Feels collaborative. Mm-hmm. enough. Yeah. Because I don't wanna jump when I'm told to jump anymore. Yeah. I'm an adult now, and I always was an adult while doing this, but like, like I know what I deserve now.
You know, it's kind of like in romantic relationships, like you're willing to put up with a lot of shit just because you don't wanna be alone. But I feel like I know what I'm deserving of now, and I know what I know. Mm-hmm. , you know, you know when it comes to weightlifting, I know my shit. You know, I don't, I I remember telling you that I missed feeling like an expert in something because I loved being a pillar for people to ask questions about.
Mm-hmm. because I knew the answers, or I at least had my own answers. It's just a good feeling and I, I still wanna invest in something like that, but I just haven't found the right situation. Remote doesn't really seem to work for me very well, unless the communication's fairly often. I'm thinking about maybe just lifting with somebody who has a background in that so we can talk about it.
We wanna be able to talk about weightlifting, like in that way with somebody who has a similar experience. But I don't know, being told what to do and how to do it and when to do it, you know, I'm not saying that everybody had such a tight hold on me, but the thing is, is that it's like that prison experiment, like these positions have expectations attributed to them, and we so naturally fall in them.
So I just became very compliant as somebody who would never consider themselves
compliant. Yeah. When I first met you, I was shocked at your, I mean, I think compliance is too soft of a word. . I, I you know, right after we got together, I went to Mexico for a month and you, well, I had strep throat and was dying.
Almost didn't go on the trip. I was so bad. But the antibiotics kind of kicked in at the last second, and I was able to go very last second. But I remember texting with you a few days later and you were coming down with strep as well, and you were, you know, practically should have been bedridden, really, but you were just an agony.
And I remember you saying that you had asked your coach if you could take the day off, and I was like, you what? , like you asked like, this is a serious, seriously painful, maybe, potentially dangerous. I don't know. It was, it was bad though. I mean, it wasn't just, we were really sick. It doesn't, it wasn't like you had a cold.
I mean, it was real bad. And when I saw that you had asked and I was like, You should have just told him like, I'm taking this week off. Sorry. You know, this is unavoidable kind of thing, but, well,
I thought being a good athlete is to give up that kind of control. Yeah. Just like I was saying, it's like a romantic relationship.
Like we sacrifice our agency, our security, like all kinds of things because we want that person. Yeah. And that's why when I left my team, it was like a breakup. It was like a real, yeah, it was like harder than any other breakup I've had. It was because it was with many people, you
know? This kind of reminds me of the Rocky movies.
What part? How Well cuz he, he had Mickey, his coach, the old guy, and then he had, you know his former opponent as a coach. And then in the last one after after spoiler alert. I mean, it's been, wait, have I
seen this one? Have I seen what this
one? Yeah, but I'm saying like, it's been 40 years, so if you haven't seen it, hop to it.
Spoilers on you. But when Apollo dies, he doesn't have a coach anymore and they go to Russia and he is like training in the barn and everything. And I remember the guy who is like one of his cornerman for all the movies, you know, and he Pauly he says no, the, the other. The other big coach guy he, oh yes.
Minor role in most of the movies, but in this one, he kind of stepped up and was helping him, and he said, you know you know, I'm not gonna, you don't need a coach anymore. You know, you know what to do, so do it. And so he, he was like, he was basically saying, I'm here for you and I'm gonna do this with you, but I'm not your coach.
You don't need that anymore. And it was like these different, it was different mentors that he needed at different stages. And I think that can be a really important thing to consider as well, is that you're at a stage now where you don't need somebody trying to build you up from the ground up.
Well, I don't need the technical coaching.
That's what I mean. Yes. My technique has like suffered severely, but if I video myself, I know how to correct it. You know what the
hell you're doing. Yeah. So you need more of a mentor and less of a coach, you know,
or, that's very interesting. I'm really glad we're talking about this. Yeah. Because obviously this is something I'm challenged by right now, but yeah, this is, keep going.
Yeah. Sorry, . No, I just,
I feel like that's another important thing to recognize in yourself when you're seeking out mentorship is to find out what stage you're in. Because if you're just a, a newbie, beginner, then you need a coach. You need someone who's gonna lead you by the hand and show you step by step how to build a foundation of knowledge and technique and skills or whatever it is that you're trying to learn.
But if you're someone who's been a practitioner for some time and. I've even experienced this as a coach too, where I will coach people beyond my own abilities to coach them anymore like they outgrow me. Can you
give an example?
Yeah, that I've, I've had some really, I've had people come to me who were not very fit, you know, real deconditioned, couldn't, you know, do one pull up or anything like that.
And then get to the point where they're like at the top of the leaderboards and everything in the gym and they, to take it to the next level, they would've needed somebody else who had more experience in perhaps competition and things like that. Cuz I was never a competitor. I was never a competitor and I never really coached competitors specifically.
I, I, I was the strength coach for like professional ski team and rowing clubs and stuff like that. So, but I was just their strength coach. I wasn't teaching them rowing, I wasn't teaching them skiing.
And you weren't like at their competitions, like the person in the
corner. Yeah. And so they needed somebody else for that, you know, they needed somebody who was familiar with what competition training is not just getting fit.
I, I had one guy who come, who came to me who wanted to do competition type stuff and I helped him fix some stuff that was atrocious. Like he got on a rower and it was like, what are you doing? It's not, that is not rowing. Let me teach you some things. And he was like a big powerful dude and he just couldn't get the rower to like put out any power and just a few days of coaching fix that.
You know, it was just like some easy fixes if you know what you're doing. Sure. And he is such a big powerful dude that then he would just like knock out a 500 in like one 20. It was like, holy crap. You know? And so I would just fix a few things like that for him, but that's all I could do for him. When it came to like getting bigger, stronger, faster for competition style, he kind of was at a level that man, it's like, man, I don't, other than doing what you're doing, I don't know what else to tell you cuz you're, you, you're to the point where in my view, you're doing everything right.
Yeah. So you need someone else to take you to that next level. And I think it's important for, for a leader to recognize when their students are beyond them. And I think it's important for the student to realize too, that you're not gonna have one mentor, one coach, one leader who can take you everywhere.
Yeah. Well I find this all really interesting and you know, that might be a defining feature of a mentor as the mentor maybe ought to be somebody who has been where you are trying to go, like specifically down to the. Like level of stimulus, like, you know, I was just telling you about Dave Reef and how he was really instrumental to me mostly through mindset.
Mm-hmm. , I would say that he had the biggest impact on me when it came to my mindset, when it came to weightlifting. And that's what I attribute so much of my success to not necessarily like having fun with it. Like I feel like that's very uniquely mine and, you know, putting on the lipstick and the glitter and like making it my Broadway show and that I did not get from Dave.
But what, you know, Dave would always like text me the day before me and it would always be some like Bruce Lee quote or something. But I, he had competed at a very high level and so I really had a lot of trust in what he had to say because I know he had been there. So I think that that might be something really important in terms of mentorship, like you were saying, you could have, you could have coached this person to a certain, like, physical capacity, but you weren't able to speak to like the nuances or the demands that an arena like competition would have on you.
And, you know, for competition, so much of it is mindset, being able to control your adrenaline and how to channel it appropriately and like to have all the skills to know when things need to ramp up. And. Coast back down, you know, that management is everything. Yeah. I used to black out like my first couple of lifts and it took me many years to like figure out how to relax enough to just like get that first snatch on the platform.
Usually the first lift is, alright, let's just get the nerves out. Yeah. But I really felt that that's what I got really good at and that is what I wanna be able to teach someday.
Yeah. I think that's a really cool aspect of you and I coaching together, is that we can fill in gaps for each other in that sense too.
Yeah. I do love that. Not not to brag about us or anything mm-hmm. , but like, you know, I feel like I can help people with imbalances and, and injury rehab or prevention and lay a strong foundation on things and you can like, put the technique on top of it and the mindsets for, for competition and yeah.
So again, it's, it's like having a team of mentors rather than just one person who's expected to have all the answers.
I have to say though, it gets scarier the further and further away I, I get from those now memories. Mm-hmm. and hoping that I still got it enough to pass along. I'm sure, you know, there was a time where it was so vivid and I could distill it so easily, but that's one reason why I find myself like still wanting.
You know, be in a weightlifting program and like looking for a coach. Like I have to kind of tap into that same stimulus, but at the same time, I also have to be okay with that changing. Yeah. I have to open myself up to being, to having new experiences as a coach and as an
athlete. Well, everything will continue to change cuz that's just the only thing that stays the same is change.
But well that's
why this book is so important to me is to be able to recall these things.
Yeah, that's great. I also think though, that you could reenter that environment and all that stuff would come back, you know, in maybe a different way. You might have different perspectives. So on, on the other episodes of this podcast, I'm reading my book out loud and it's been almost three years now since I wrote that book.
And now it's like I still have those same concepts but a different perspective on it. Like I can step back and look at it in a different way. And I think for you in competition it's a similar thing where there is a lot of value to really being in it and in the moment. And you said, you know, it's all vivid and everything, but I also think that it could be a very valuable aspect of you, of your coaching and you as a mentor to have been, to have had that experience and now step back and can look at it from a different perspectives.
You know, it's kind of. You were talking about how you were just sort of this obedient Yes. Person for a long time with a particular coach, and then you kind of had a hard time finding and kind of bounced around from coach to coach to coach after that mm-hmm. and, and that change, and at the time I remember it being a, a source of agony for you.
Like, like something was wrong, like you couldn't get your groove or something because you kept going from one coach to another. But I think now we can look back at it in hindsight and with some distance and see that, oh, it wasn't that you were doing anything wrong, is that you needed something different.
Yes. I was trying to do the same thing again. Right. And it's taken me a long time to acknowledge that that's, and to also really
feel it. Yeah. And that's my point though, that that could make you an even more valuable mentor or coach for somebody else because now you have that experience, but only the distance well can show you that only that gap can show you because now you're able to look back at it with a little less emotional aspect and see, oh, this is, I needed something different.
And so if, if you're coaching somebody and you recognize that in them, now you have that experience to
share. Yeah. And I think it'll also, like you had said, you know, it's really important to get real with like where your boundaries are as a coach and like how far you can take somebody. And I think that's gonna help me.
Grasp that for my clientele too, to really know what it is that I can offer them. And it's, I think it's important also not to be limited by your fears. Like I had a friend who was a coach who, you know, when I was starting to think about moving on, I had asked that they would coach me, and his response was, well, I don't, I don't think I'm like, qualified to do that.
And now he's coaching like all kinds of like national, some international lifters nowadays. And I think he would look back on that memory and laugh. But you know, there are rooms for growth as a coach as well. But I do think that you know, that's what our consultations and our intake and our time with our clients is just so important to, to know if it's a good fit.
Yeah. You know, and that is a constant change. Yeah,
absolutely. When we launch our upcoming course that we're gonna be doing, I really am adamant that it's an application process, not a signup form. You know, I'm, I really don't want people to
be able to, we don't wanna coach
just anyone. Yeah. Well, I mean, it's not just that.
It's like I want to get, I wanna make sure people get as much value as possible, and the only way I can do that is to vet. To know that, oh, you are the right person for this. You're, you're a good candidate for this program and what we can do. And if you're not, perhaps we have a different service that can be a better fit for you, or I can recommend a different coach.
Yeah. Like I can tell you right now, if somebody came to me for a body building competition, I have two good friends of mine who are both very active in that world, and I could definitely recommend both of them. They both do remote coaching, so it was really easy for me to just refer out to them rather than I have experience with body building.
But it's 17 years ago, and I never competed. I did work with some competitors and some sort of alongside competitors, so I'm not ignorant of the sport or how it works or the programming or any of that. So I could probably add a lot of value to a beginner, but if they're really wanting to be competitive, I know it would be a way better fit with those other coaches.
So I really wanna vet people to make sure that they're right for our program and are gonna get the most out of it, and that's gonna make our. Better too as coaches and as what allows us to
rise to the occasion. Yeah. I've just, I've been kind of thinking about some clientele that we've been or some prospects that we've been kind of talking about lately.
And I just, I'm wondering about like you and I doing our consultation together because yes, they might have like heard about me, but we're talking about how we can fill in the gaps for each other. Mm-hmm. and I was just thinking like, well, this person might actually be a better fit for you. Yeah.
Truthfully, just based on your skills. And it's really important as coaches, like for us to feel stimulated too. Mm-hmm. , yes, helping people is like incredibly rewarding, but like, I love to coach sport because of all of this mindset stuff. And of course like CrossFit will have that too, but I never took CrossFit to that level.
Mm-hmm. , most of what you and I are talking about on these podcasts is what I've learned from my time in weightlifting. Yeah. Very much so. Yeah. And I really just want to like rise, be able to rise to the occasion and be like excited about it. You know, in that way. And I think, I think coaching, weightlifting is like, what is feeding me the most?
And I have a new client starting next week that I'm like so jazzed about because it's gonna be starting from the beginning. I'm excited for you. I'm so excited. I can't wait to like you know, update on like how that's going because I know that it's to, to teach her and to feed her, but it's gonna feed me too.
Yeah. Yeah. Yep. I'm just curious, do you have any like cues or any like something that someone had said to you, a mentor or a coach that was like, really transformative for you that you
can recall? Hmm. I mean, probably many, but you put me on the spot a little bit.
I'm not sure. Okay. Well, two had come to mind for me, and I just think about how, I've just been thinking a lot about how like mentoring and coaching are differing and I guess I'm kind of putting all the mindset stuff into the mentor pile and all of the technical stuff in the coaching pile.
I know it's not that cut and dry, but I think about like the two cues that were given to me that like turned out the best performances in me. And that is because it. Allowed my like mind and body to connect like on the same level. Mm-hmm. . And the first one was from my first coach at Vulcan and he would tell me to put on a show.
And one thing that I loved about weightlifting so much is that I was alone on the platform and it felt like being on stage center stage Yeah. Spotlight. Yeah. And like when the crowd is cheering, like such a great feeling, it would totally energize me. And so he would say, put on a show. And then my next coach after that, he said like, be a professional or something like that, or mm-hmm.
Yeah. Be a professional. And so that was when I felt like I really kind tightened up a little bit, like had a little bit more finesse. Mm-hmm. . Because I, at this point, I had been competing for a while and like people knew who I was and there was, I was the one to beat and that kind of thing for a while.
And so it just, it brought like a level of focus that my previous coach had always criticized me for. Like, you're not taking this seriously enough, like you're having too much fun back there, blah, blah, blah. And this next coach had like really appealed to my desire to be poised mm-hmm. ,
I was just gonna use that word.
Yeah. Cuz I love seeing you on the platform and that's what I think of a lot is you have such poise and just a presence about you. It's like a stage presence. But very real and very powerful. Like hard to describe, but it all came through.
Yeah. And I feel like that's, that's what transformed me the most as a lifter.
Like, yeah, if you put in the hours, you'll probably get pretty good anyway. But I felt like my edge was really tapping into those mindsets. Yeah.
Yeah. Yeah. And that mindset really sort of bled out into the physical realm because the way you carried yourself at the meets, and especially on the platform and with the social interactions that you got at there and everything you were I remember when I started going to meets with you, I was so, I was so proud to be seen with you because you were just like this very strong presence in the room.
And I'm like, I'm dating her. . Yeah. Yeah. Good stuff. Yeah, it is mentorship and leadership is something that I've been. Curious about and going on deep dives for a long time. So I feel like this is a, an episode we might touch on again. Oh, absolutely.
There's quite a few things that I did not get to. Well, you
can now if you, if you know
I mean, well we've been talking a lot about the, well, did you have something to round that out with?
No, I just am like, flooded with lots of memories of, I don't know if I've mentioned it on the podcast yet or not. You and I have talked about it recently that I used to be in the, in the Amway business. Mm-hmm. as a kid. I was like 17 or whatever. But for all the criticisms that those multi-level type businesses get there's one, a few really valuable things that I took away from that.
And that was just hours and hours and hours of, of going to an attending and listening to recorded seminars from really great speakers and leaders in the business community, not just in Amway, but from even outside the industry who would come in and do a lot of these talks on mindset and leadership.
And John Maxwell is the one that just comes. A lot because it was just his specific niche. And so if anyone out there is looking to develop better leadership skills, he is like the man. And he's got apparently dozen, I think at this point. Dozens of books. How many of those do you have? A few . But yeah, just really, really good stuff.
And he, he's obsessed about it. He even takes, you know, if he hears an inspirational quote, you were just talking about the things that were told you, little, little points that were given to you that had made a huge impact. Mm-hmm. . And every time he comes across a quote that has impact, he clips it and has a, like, file cabinet full of quotes, organized by topic and, and everything.
And it's, that's the type of obsession that he has over this idea of leadership and, and mentorship. So,
sort of similarly, you know how I've always dreamed that each room in our house would have a different, like, genre of book. Mm-hmm. , maybe he'll have his own like shelf one day. . Yeah. . . So one thing that I wanted to bring up, you know, we've been talking about the relationship between the mentor slash coach with an athlete.
Something that you and I have both experienced that I really wanna tease out, like maybe for the sake of like our past clients or just to explore the idea is that you and I always felt like we needed to keep some sort of separation. us and our clients. Mm-hmm. , you know, CrossFit gyms are very, very social.
They would always have lots of parties and things at people's houses and whatnot. And when I was a client, I have a gym. I would go to all those things. So much fun partying with your gym friends. But there was this weird thing that happened when I was a coach that I really didn't wanna go there. Yeah.
I felt like I had to kind of like maintain some sort of separation. I'm not exactly sure why. And I wonder, you know, we've been talking about how positioning can lend to like, feeling threatened or feeling like we aren't being trusted if X, y, and Z happens. And so I wonder like, was this just another way of like trying to hold onto that authority or what, you know, part of me thinks it might just be like, well, that was my job.
Mm-hmm. , like my job was incredibly social and I would be exhausted by the end of the day because I'm interacting with everybody, like putting on a show and like authentically connecting with people. And so maybe I just didn't have the capacity anymore, or I felt like I couldn't just like relax and be my weekend self because then I would no longer have that persona that I was like putting on at the gym.
So, I don't know. I'm curious like what your thoughts are on that, because.
Yeah. I think it's important to, to point out real quick that what you're talking about is not being inauthentic. You know, you and I are authentic people. Oh, as coaches, you mean? Yeah. We really strive. Both of you, both of us strive to be authentic in all of the areas of our lives.
You know, we're real and we're, we're us. You know, the,
it's try to be, it's not fake. There's always effort, whether it lands that way or not. Yeah.
But one thing that I think a lot of people don't realize if they're not in the coaching world, is that it is somewhat of a performative effort. And it's not performative as in I'm not real, or I'm acting to be something I'm not.
It's just that it's very important to me if I have one hour with you or in a class that I am being articulate, I'm being efficient, I'm fun, I'm being heard, you know, like there's projection of the voice and everything. And I'm demonstrating exercises and I can't demonstrate sloppy. I need to demonstrate what you, what I want to see happen in the room.
And I'm engaging with people and I'm, I'm watching the what's happening in the room and the movement, and figuring out the best communication style for each of the. Person, you know, people that I'm coaching them. I mean, I could just continue to go down this list. It's a lot you are on, you are really on for that entire hour.
And when you have a split shift where you're on like that for 3, 4, 5 hours in the morning, 3, 4, 5 hours in the evening, it's a little difficult to describe the emotional energy that that takes to show up and, and be there every day. It's sort of like if you're a musician or an actor on a stage or whatever, you know, imagine doing two or three concerts a day and he to how freaking exhausting that would be.
Yeah. And so I'm totally with you on that. That's not, it's not a matter of being inauthentic and then showing your real self on the weekend. I, I think that exhaustion thing is real. Like I had enough of that energy and I need a different kind of energy of just like being with my inner circle and.
Smoking a cigar, , you know,
that's, see, I would feel weird smoking a cigar in front of my clients who I'm trying to help build healthier lives. Like, I'm not saying that I'm trying to keep things from them, but there's something that feels weird to me about that. Like, I would feel weird to be drunk in front of my clients.
Yeah. That doesn't seem like a cozy place for me to be. I've seen many of my coaches in that position before and as their client I was like, oh my God, they're so much cooler now, . But there was something about being on the other end that like, I couldn't, I felt like I had to maintain that Coach Lee part of myself.
Yeah. Some professionalism.
Yeah. Yeah. Well,
well, can I just say something really quick? Yeah. You were saying like this big long list of things that like you were taking into consideration when you were on Yeah. And I had kind of interjected by saying fun, you know I was listening to your audio book the other day and I told you how great it was to listen to it and how like animated you were and that was so engaging.
Some of the greatest books that I've ever listened to are so dull because they're speaking in monotone or there isn't like any enthusiasm behind it. Mm-hmm. . And I feel like that's an important part of being a coach. You wanna be engaging, you wanna be. , you know, these people are listening to every word you're saying, or at least you want them to be.
Yeah. Well, and so to be able to do it well
is huge. If you want them to listen to every word you need to be engaged in. Well, that's
what I'm saying. Yes, yes. Yeah, totally.
Yeah. But I, I think your instinct to not want to, or to maintain sort of a line of professionalism, I think there's some real value in that.
Because there's some saying, which I'm gonna slaughter cause I don't remember what the saying is, but the, the meaning behind it is like, you should never meet your heroes. And the reason is because they won't, you'll realize that they're just a real person and so the hero will be lost. That's a little sad.
It is a little sad, but it's, I I'm sure
I've been there. There's some super reality to that, you know? Yeah. I've, I've known people, you know, who were super engaging on stage and, you know, like these business mentors of people that I would go to and, and listen to, and it's like, oh man, this person is just so amazing.
And then I would catch them off stage and it could have been fatigue, it could have been a million reasons. Like, that person probably is as awesome as I thought they were. But in that moment, they seemed to be really disconnected from me and not wanting to be there. And I was like, oh man. That was just, it was kinda like soul crushing.
Like I've, maybe all that shit is bullshit that they're saying on stage, because that's not the vibe I got when I was one on one with them. Yeah, I was young enough, I was too young to realize that they're probably just tired or distracted or, or that they're people too, or Yeah, or somebody they know was just in a car accident.
Like, who the fuck knows That could have been a million things that in that moment didn't allow them to be as engaging as I had perceived them to be. And but I do think there's a, a danger there in getting to know a mentor who might give you solid, real good advice slash teaching slash coaching, whatever, and everything they're giving you is real and authentic and valuable, but then you see them violate their own advice and all of a sudden it's like you're starting to question it.
Because, so I wonder if, but they're not perfect. The coaches are not perfect. Well,
we were talking about mentorship being a two-way street, but maybe it just dips down further on the mentees side in terms of like how deep you're willing to go. Yeah. And the mentor still kind of like maintains this sort of level of, I don't know, not anonymity, but you know, it's not about them, it's not about the mentor.
It's about the mentee. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. And I always kind of felt that like, our relationship is built on me helping you. Like, I don't, I don't know, especially if like drinking is involved, like who fucking knows where that's gonna go.
Yeah. Well, and there's other aspects to that. You bring up drinking specifically for me, I've been, I've had relationships with alcoholics for a lot of my life.
It's in my family, et cetera. I am not an alcoholic, and I'm not just saying that out of denial. , I really, I'm attest to that, you know, that, you know that I don't drink very often and when I do, it's not excessive. And I tend to just not have an addictive personality in general. You know, there was a time where I was regularly smoking cigars, like nightly, seven cigars a week kind of thing.
And when I stopped doing that, it was just because I had a schedule change or whatever. I didn't crave them. I didn't regret not having them. These days I smoke one or two a year. I, I'd say probably about one cigar a year. Well,
you've replaced them with another kind of smoke.
Yeah. But, but again, that's just really sporadic.
Like right now we're kind of in a, in a pattern where we're watching TV and exhausted at the end of the evening, and so we'll smoke a hookah. Yeah. But my point in bringing all this up is that I know I'm not an addict and so I'm fine having a cigar and not feeling like it's ruining my health overall or a drink.
Let's go back to the drink thing cuz this is what comes up the most of the time. But I have counseled my clients to just stop drinking. Like, stop completely because I know that they are a. Self proclaimed two or three glass a night drinker, which I know from experience, if you're a two or three glass a night drinker, it's maybe five some nights, and you just don't, two or three sounds better.
You're not admitting it to yourself, or you don't wanna say it out loud. So my advice for my client is for them, it's specific for them. You know, if they're working their ass off in the gym and they're following really solid nutrition plans, and they're not overeating and they're being so careful and they're doing all these things right, but they're not changing their body composition as effectively as they should be, but they're drinking 2, 3, 4 glasses of wine a night.
Like, I'm gonna tell them, you need you, you, that, that is it. That's it right there. And then if they see me drinking wine on the weekend, now I'm thinking, well, do they think I'm a hypocrite? Do they think that I'm giving them bad advice? Yeah. But I'm a different person. I know I can have a couple glasses of wine on the weekend and then not drink again for six weeks, and I don't care.
You know, I wonder if it
would really be perceived that way, or if that's just like our own paranoia, like being in our position that like, ugh. I mean, I always am paranoid about things like that. It
could go both ways. Yeah. Yeah. But with substances particularly, that's a really tricky one, because addiction is so rampant in our society.
It's, it's, it's a difficult one to tread because. I think a lot of times when somebody will say, well, I'm not an alcoholic. It's like denial. You know, like everybody's an alcoholic , but I really, I'm really not the type of person to just fall into those types of habits really easy. I, I have other issues.
I have, I have lots of other issues, so, but I don't, but that's not one of 'em. And so my advice to people, to most people is gonna be drastically different than what I follow myself. That's not hypocritical, it's just that we're different people, but having somebody witness that could damage that mentor relationship.
So I don't think that you're wrong in that you might feel like you might lose some authority. Mm-hmm. as a mentor, as a coach, by letting people see that side of you because they might not be the type of person who can occasionally party. They might be the type of person who, if they see you party, they just assume you're doing it all the time.
Mm-hmm. , because that's how they act. Mm-hmm. . And it's a little bit of projection. Yes. We definitely project in that way. Yeah. And so I think there is some value in keeping that professional line.
So another thing that I have been thinking about in my show notes was when is it the right time to look for a coach?
Because we, I had kind of talked about how there's like a little bit of stigma of like bouncing around and like, as a young person, I played like every sport, every instrument, all that jazz. But really didn't stick to anything for too long. Mm-hmm. . And so for a lot of it of that time I was just kind of like, oh, well nothing feels like a good fit, or I'm just not coachable like we were saying.
But I've been kind of trying to figure out like something that might be a little bit like more formulaic. For instance, like learning to play the cello and the piano and those pursuits that I kind of dabbled in. I thought, okay, I'll, I'll try to learn the cello as much as I can in the beginning, like in the first year.
And if I still like it, then I'll get a teacher. Yeah. Or then I'll start to invest cuz you know, hiring somebody costs a lot of money. Usually if it's like a private, like one on one kind of thing. Yeah. And so, you know, I was thinking about the same thing with piano. I had just kind of thrown something out there on Wallowa County classifieds to find out if there were any piano teachers in town.
Apparently there aren't none. nobody even made a suggestion. But I figured, you know, if I can develop some. Time with the instrument or the discipline that I wanna learn to just like play a little bit mm-hmm. and see if I like it and build some traction or curiosity to like, take the next step. You know, maybe that's the right time.
Cause I was reminded that when I decided to go into weightlifting, specifically from CrossFit, I just got some like random catalyst program and like, would build my own lifting blocks out of like, stacks of plates and would just do it at the end of the night, at the end of work. Mm-hmm. , you know, so I did a lot on my own before I was like, okay, I like this enough that like, I wanna know more and I've done kind of like all the YouTube that I can essentially.
Yeah. Before I give any response to that, I think my, my first bit of advice that I would put out into the world, not to you, but just in general, and this is probably biased from my own experience or my own mistakes, is that I think people should seek out coaches slash mentors sooner than they think. I think that's as a general rule, probably going to be better off than delaying or going
Do you think just like over, it just gives like a better first impression? Well, so there's, because like I said, you have to shop around. Like, the first time I went to a CrossFit class I was like, I am never coming back to this place ever again. Yeah. The coach that we had was. D I C k, Dick . And that was a total fluke.
I never saw that coach again. And I went to the same gym. Mm-hmm. . But that first experience was so horrendous that I was like, fuck that. Yeah.
Well, so something to be said for early mentorship in a new skill is that you won't build bad habits. So True. You know, so true. When you're talking about weightlifting or I've heard this said specifically from violin teachers, that people coming to them self-taught with postures and hand positions that are now ingrained that they have to overcome.
And it would've been so much faster and more efficient and better for the student had they just started with the
coach. That's so true. And I'm already like identifying my bad piano habits as we speak. Yeah.
So there's, there's one aspect is it's a little better to start right than to have to correct for bad habits.
The other thing is a matter of efficiency. You know, when it comes to business mentorship, for instance, I waited, I, I thought I was waiting until I could afford the mentor, but the mentor probably would've helped me be financially successful earlier. And so, well, that's why you're doing it differently this time, right?
Yeah. It's a real chicken and the eggs situation. And yeah, I I put myself in that, you know, there were moments where I. come into some money or just have a particularly good month, and I would invest it in new rowing machines or something. It's like, man, those new rowing machines would not have that.
They, they didn't affect my bottom line at all, ever. Mm-hmm. , you know, having a wall of 15 rowing machines was fucking cool, , but it did not bring people to my gym, you know? And so hiring a mentor sooner is just kind of my overall, you know, like general advice. However, I will say, and it's related to what you were talking about, exploring, like exploring the cello to see if you even like it first, and then hiring somebody because of the expense or whatever.
I do think that before hiring a coach or mentor, you need to get real with yourself and ask, am I in a position to follow the advice that they're gonna give me?
Ah, like, are you open to it?
Are you open to it? Have I allocated the time and resources to follow through? Because what's the point of hiring a coach if you did not carve out enough time to do the things that they're instructing you to do?
and we've, we've encountered that with people who have signed up with us. But this is also like that story that I had told last week about not really being ready to receive. Coaching for nutrition and that whole spiral. Mm-hmm. . But you know, what did come to mind is, you know, I wanna learn to ride horses that I am not willing to just self-teach.
Cuz that sounds really scary and really dangerous. Uhhuh . So in that situation, like assessing the risk of chorus of like what kind of bad habits did you take? A bad swig of coffee.
There's a lot of grains in that gritty.
Sorry. It's okay.
I'm a man now, .
So I think like risk assessment is super crucial, like you were saying.
There are things that you might have to unlearn later down the road, I'm sure, depending on what it is. Some would be more severe than not. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. You know, I don't know. I feel kind of split. I don't feel like there's nothing, like no hard, fast rules about that for me.
I think there is no hard and fast rule, but I think that making sure that you are willing to follow through on the commitment is important.
And I think sooner than later is also a, a good general rule of thumb. For instance, even in the business world, you were talking about the horse being dangerous or whatever. Mm-hmm. or bad habits that you might pick up on your own. They have to be unlearned. Well think about it in a business context. If you're product and pricing is not a good market fit and you're struggling in business that way, And then you hire a mentor and he's like, you should, you should be charging twice what you're charging now You have this big ship to steer because you have existing clients who are at a certain price point and marketing that's been out there at a certain price point or whatever.
And now you have to fucking raise the prices by double because the mentor said, if you don't do that, you'll probably be outta business in six months. Like that's way harder than just starting out correctly to begin with. Well that's
kind of a hard and fast rule with you. Remember we were talking about pricing?
Yeah. And we were just like, start it high. We can always lower it, but we can't go the other way.
Yeah. It's easier to go the other way. Yeah. But I learned that the hard way, you know? Yeah. I learned that because I had a studio at one point where I had as many people as we could physically fit in the room and I was having a hard time paying the rent.
Wow. It's like, well that's a problem, . Yeah. You know? So yeah. I'd say sooner than later is always a good idea for the mentor. Yeah.
I think that's mostly everything. I had this note on here that I'm not really sure how it would've fit into anything that we talked about. Maybe that last topic we were discussing about like the boundaries that we wanna have. Mm-hmm. . My first note written here is that I was in love with two of my coaches, back to back, and
I think you just ha are attracted to strong leadership.
That's so true. Yeah. However,
so that may be a little specific, like,
I don't know. I wouldn't like, like one of those is definitely not like a legitimate like, leadership example. I would say . My coaching, my coaches have been incredibly varied in terms of like who they are as people and their coaching styles.
I don't know what it is, but this sounds like more of an athlete problem than a coach problem. Except I did have a brief like, relationship with a client once and I was like never, ever, ever, ever again. The thing about gym world, probably like theater world or like anything else, like it can be kind of an incestuous thing.
I mean, hello. I ended up with you . But I know a lot of other people who've like met in the gym, like coaches. Clients even. And you know, we've seen and heard about how like that can play out horribly for business. Mm-hmm. , like if that relationship ends or whatever. But yeah, I really never wanted to cross that line and I was like, fine, I'll like bend the rules ever so slightly.
Mm-hmm. . And it just really reaffirmed like my initial stance that, that that's just probably a bad idea, but not with me. No, not with you . But you weren't my boss anymore when things like really heated up. Right.
Well, you knew I was on the way out, so I was your boss, but you knew that
would not have stopped me.
It was a limited thing. I had no control over what was happening. at the time. I was just neither going for it. Yep. But we were both kind of in like the same side of the equation. Right. Like I said, crossing into like client territory. That was a mistake, right? Yeah.
Yeah. I'm not sure where to go with that.
okay. It might just be like a, a fun little thing for you all to chew on. Little antidote. . Yeah.
you might find. Yeah.
Your next great love at the gym. You never know. Yeah.
You know, I wanted to touch on one other thing with. Advice that sooner is better with a coach or mentor. Mm-hmm. , you had mentioned putting in a year for the cello before you decided to get a
I just say that that year long thing is like just as arbitrary as like, I need to work somewhere for a year before I Oh, I know, make a decision. I know that I'm starting to realize that these things I've just been saying for a long time, like, yeah, it sounds good. Don't really apply anymore. Yeah. Well maybe when you're young and you're building your resume, like having anything less than a year doesn't go on a resume, right?
Yeah. So I've got, I've got, I've got a lot more now. So
my personal focus for my coaching going forward is an emphasis on helping people make lasting changes. So my focus in the past has been on joint rehabilitation or, you know, GPP conditioning or how to get your first muscle up, or, you know, like really kind of how can I get the information to the person to get the results that they want.
But what I've come to realize is that my biggest frustration in coaching, and my biggest desire in coaching is to help people make lasting long lifestyle changes that impact them and their families and all the relationships for the better. And so that's why I wrote the book that I wrote. That's why we're doing the course that we're gonna be teaching.
And the way I want to, you know, help my, my influence in the design of our coaching and our business here is to be, yes, fitness coaches. Yes, nutrition coach, but more than that, a lifestyle change coach and someone, a mentor, I want to mentor people to mm-hmm. to be able to make these types of changes. So when it comes to hiring a coach, you know, like when should I hire a coach or a mentor?
The thing about Sooner is better is that they can also help, also help you be more compliant and consistent. So when you said you put in a year, this isn't a criticism, but when you put in a year to test out the fellow Yeah. How consistent was that? That's what I'm saying is like, it was kind of on and off, on and off, on and off for a year, which was telling, because you, you recognized that there was a lot of friction in setting up the bow and cleaning it all up and, and doing that every time you had to practice and that the keyboard was much more approachable.
Yes. And so you're loving the piano because you can just take the cover off and sit down and start playing. And I think that's an important thing to have figured out. However, it's possible that had you had a teacher from day one that there may have been more consistent practice that could have developed a passion for the instrument earlier, so that that friction wasn't so much of a big deal.
And I'm not saying that that's a, the case with the cello, I'm just using it as an example of a potential scenario where, We, you and I have both had the experience where people didn't want to come in and do CrossFit cuz they thought they needed to get into shape
first. Yes. Right. I wish, I wish all of you out there knew how often we hear this and how insane it sounds.
Yeah, . So
the thing is, is that as coaches, we know we can scale any training program for anybody. Mm-hmm. , like, I, I've trained people with missing limbs, you know, and, and over 80 years old and Parkinson's disease, you know, like I've, I've trained so many people with things that other people would just look at as excuses.
You know, I, I trained a, a gal once with six artificial joints, like two shoulders, two hips, two knees. We called her the cyborg. She's like a robot lady. But my point is, is that the person who says, well, I need to get into better shape first and then I'm gonna come see you. I know that I'll never see that person because the reason that they're not in great shape now is they haven't been consistent enough.
They haven't had the lifestyle change that was needed to get to where they want to go. And I want to help people with that. I want to be the person who is a catalyst for their change and their ability to create better practices in their life so that the future life that they have is the one that they want and that they, that that's healthy and thriving.
And it's a real passion for me to be able to figure out a way to mentor people. Changing the, their day to day. You know, so it's just another another point, I guess is to back up my claim that sooner is better because they can help you be more accountable to what you're trying to do. Well, I also
need to acknowledge that I am definitely kind of skittish about getting into that dynamic with somebody again, just because I've let those relationships become such a large part of my life and then when they end, it's, it has been very devastating.
Mm-hmm. . And I'm not saying I'm gonna fall in love with my piano teacher, or like anything like that. It's just like a sore subject. I know. It just is. You have a hard
time with breakups. Who the fuck doesn't of any kind?
Who doesn't? Yeah. Still. Yeah. I mean, my last like coach that I worked with, with for a significant amount of time was my friend.
They were my neighbor. They they were on the team with me and then for that relationship to be over. For, for what I would consider valid reasons at the time. It's always very interesting, like looking back now and maybe having different opinions, but at the time felt like very valid reasons. It then like changed my relationship with the sport.
Like I don't, I've been feeling kind of like a floater for a long time because I have only known the sport in the realm of having a coach and a team and competing. And so just to like, wanna do it for fun or like, whatever, you know, just, it's not a bad plan, but like, it just feels weird and I don't know how to relate to it.
Or like I said, I worry about losing these lessons because the stimulus is gonna be different. So I, I definitely recognize that it might not really be valid for me to buy into that story anymore. Like about being at a job for a year or mm-hmm. playing with something for a year before I get a coach.
Like maybe I just need to move on from telling myself that a relationship with a coach will always be this way. Yeah. You know, I was just thinking in my head about a piano teacher. Like, what if I did a trade, I could trade someone coaching for piano teaching. Mm-hmm. , you know, there are ways for. The playing field to kind of be a little bit more level.
Yeah. And that was kind of a key difficulty in my coach, in my last relationship with a coach is that I just felt like my level of expertise was not being acknowledged. Yeah. And very much like intentionally stifled.
So it's, I can't believe I didn't think of this sooner. What, because I read this book before I ever met you, and I'm not even sure I read the whole book, but sometimes you get what you need and it's okay to put it down.
But there's a book on our shelves by Robert Green called Mastery and it kind of charts the typical path to mastering something, to really be a master at something. And it's more than just like the 10,000 hour rule and, you know, short things like this. It's like a whole book on explaining how mastery works.
And it's a very, very, very common pattern for people who begin to outgrow their mentor. And it ends sour, it ends badly. And he gives all kinds of examples of scientists and famous people from history who have had famous mentors. And while they were the mentee, there was this great, thriving relationship where there was like admiration.
And in public they would, you know, Edify each other and that kind of thing. And then all of a sudden it's like this split that's not just, I'm moving on, it's hurt feelings. And you know, the mentor is like, well, that're just so arrogant. And the mentee is like, well, I am, no, I know more than they're giving me credit for.
And, and all these, this dynamic of the mentor starts to break down and it, on a personal level just doesn't feel good at all on either side. Yeah. And it's amazing to me actually in all this hindsight of seeing how that went down was so similar to how he describes it in this book what you went through.
situation. It sounds like it. Yeah. And that's the odd thing about it, is that it seemed like unavoidable. Like neither one of us could figure out how to stop this train. Yeah. It just like kept going and going. Yeah. And got worse and worse. I really hope that book has some sort of like, I don't know, antidote.
Like, like I said, it was kind of like a force bigger than us. Like that might just be how that dynamic.
Works. Yeah, that's what I was gonna say is I don't remember specifically cuz it's been years since I've read that book, but from what I remember, he was kind of describing it as like, this is, this is the life cycle.
This is a life cycle. This is part of the process of mastery is that you, you sort of burn through different mentors because you have to level up your mentor and it's very common that that kind of doesn't end well. It's just part of the suffering of becoming a master at
something. Well, you and I, you know, started this podcast, this episode by saying like, it would be really beneficial for us to think about those things and like try to recognize when we can no longer serve somebody adequately or how do we make it more collaborative.
And you know, the, a big part of this is like you and I trying to build our business in our image and really wanting to do things in a way that. It resonates with us now. Yeah. With all of this experience and all the things that we've wanted to change. And so I think that that's gonna be really important to pay attention to because it's a real shame.
Yeah. It really is. Yeah. That it plays out that way.
I don't mean to make it sound like I'm just plugging our services mm-hmm. , but I'm actually really excited about one aspect of the Lyceum course is that my intention and, and how I want this to work. And we'll just see how it plays out. Cuz this is a new, new thing for us mm-hmm.
But what I really want to do is help people make the lasting lifestyle changes like I was talking about, to make myself obsolete. Like, like I'm going into it with that intention. Yeah. I don't wanna be your coach for life. I want to be your coach for a little while to help you make a change that you can take with you for the rest of your life.
And knowing that going in, I think might help set us up for healthier relationships with clients who feel like they have to move on. It's like, great, I, but only if it's only great if they got what I'm hoping they're gonna get out of it. Yeah.
I'm really glad that you brought that up because going in with the intention can change the whole trajectory.
Yeah. Just going in with
that and the structure that we're setting up, it's like, it's 90 days a pretty intensive coaching. And then at the end of that 90 days, there's like various tracks that people can choose. To get more one-on-one coaching with us or to just become a member of our community.
And the community aspect is something that now people can continue to practice what we they've learned, but do it in a dynamic community and not just like a guru or a, like, not so much the mentorship, but more of community support to replace the, the mentorship that was going
on. So, yeah, I mean, the whole point is to pay it forward.
Yeah. Like that's the beauty of
coaching. And so, so I'm really hoping that that plays out the way I just described and that it might have a healthier dynamic for the resolution of the coaching process.
I love that. Yeah. I'm really glad that you said it. Yeah, it's interesting. My experience with nutrition coaching.
There were many years where I was really compliant and had great success. I had dropped like multiple weight classes and was like the leanest I ever was and also was performing the best that I had ever had. And then like kind of amidst all of this, like questioning of all the very structured things I had in my life, I was like, all right, well, I kind of like, don't wanna count my calories anymore.
I. I don't wanna control everything anymore. I wanna just be, yeah. And then like, as a result, like swung way too far in the other direction, like lost a lot of control and a lot of like neurosis crept back in and I was like, well fuck, like, are my options to either just like not have any support or to have to be like all in and like reliant on this service for the rest of my life.
Mm-hmm. , I haven't experienced any other successful means of getting to as lean and stuff as I was. So I tend to kind of like buy into that is the only way. Mm-hmm. . And so my way of kind of like combating that was like, well, I'm gonna get certified because as you and I talk about all the time through teaching others techniques, like I just happen to rise to the occasion more readily.
Yeah. Right. Through teaching, I change. Yeah. And that's, and so I still think that there is gonna be a really important lesson in like, how to balance that because I don't wanna count for the rest of my life. You know, there are some people who never even wanna take it to that level. But it worked for me.
And so, you know, it makes me question like, will I always need that level of support to deal with this? But, you know, there's therapy, there's, there are other things that I can do to kind of manage this aspect of my life. And you know, one thing that I really wish the program emphasized more is exactly what you were just saying, that there's kind of the intention that people will then be able to do it on their own.
Yeah. I mean, it's not a great business model. Like, well, it can be seemingly, I think it's like, you know, maybe not the most obvious thing in the world, but it doesn't make sense for a lot of people to be like, well, yeah, we want people to stop using our services eventually, but that's how like, pyramid schemes become a thing, right?
Because like then they're like, well, we can still retain them if they like, get their own clients. And then those clients are still really our clients. Yeah. I can see how that like, might be an obvious route to go down, but I'm really wanting our professional lives to be something that like we feel energized by and not trapped in.
And I think that that has to be like, like I had said earlier about. Jim being an area of growth, like that relationship with the mentor and the mentee or the coach and the athlete should be organic too and retaining clients for life doesn't really sound organic to me either. Yeah. Yeah.
Yeah, that's what I'm hoping is, you know, if somebody's finding value in the community, they can be a community member for life, but that doesn't mean that they're paying us for one-on-one coaching for life.
Mm-hmm. . Yeah.
So that's very interesting to think about. I feel like a lot of the conversations you and I have been having here recorded have really been kind of like opening up these like old paradigms that really haven't been modeled any differently. Mm-hmm. in terms of like businesses mm-hmm. for athletics.
Which is exciting cuz I feel like it's gonna allow us to consider all kinds of different ways to conduct this. Yeah. Because I already know that the old model is not what I want.
Yeah. Yeah. Well, I'm excited. Me too. We have some really cool shit happening. If any of you are interested and this isn't, this wasn't just a two hour commercial.
This is some real conversation and we're learning and growing as we have these conversations. And bringing guests onto the podcast and continuing down this rabbit hole, I'm sure will result in future episodes on this topic because leadership and mentorship and coaching is a deep, deep well mm-hmm.
And so I can't wait to revisit this with some different perspectives on the next time that we do. But in the meantime, if anyone in is interested in working with us for coaching, remote coaching and some of the mentorship on those lifestyle changes that I was describing before hit up our website at live All your life.com.
I'll leave link in the description and all that. But I've enjoyed this talk. I think this was our longest one yet. A little over two hours. Oh, shit. You're right. Yeah. Nice, and I almost don't wanna stop. I'm having so much fun. But we'll see all next week on the Lym Network.
This episode was produced by Tali Zari and Cody Limbaugh. Check out our writing, coaching services and home studying adventures at live all your life.com. For show notes, resources mentioned, or to submit a question or contribution, click on the podcast tab.