Finding a Way
It was 8:30pm. I had just settled in on the couch and was dialing up something “Netflix-ish”.
My phone buzzed.
I picked it up and took a look at the screen.
“Hey Coach. I won’t be in tomorrow. The workout has kettlebell swings in it. My hamstring is sore and I can’t do the workout the way it is set up. Hope to see you on Friday.”
I had to think about that one for a minute.
As coaches, we need to remember our professions and the boundaries that we work under. We’re not doctors. I’m not about to tell someone to “suck it up” or “push through the pain”.
If we can successfully work with someone and keep them moving in a safe way, I think we are helping rather than hurting (stolen from the Hippocratic Oath: First, do no harm.).
In the case of our “night before class texter”, here’s what our message conversation looked like:
Me: Aw, man. That sucks? How bad is the pain?
Member: It’s not bad now, but I don’t want to make it worse.
Me: I understand. How long have you been sore?
Member: Since we Deadlifted on Monday.
Me: Wow—3 days is a decent amount of time to be sore. Was it affecting you this morning?
Member: Not too bad.
Me: Cool. I have a thought, if you’re open to it.
Member: Sure thing.
Me: If come in tomorrow, would you be willing to try a Goblet Box Squat? We’ll start with a 24 inch box to squat down to. That should limit the range of motion and not put so much tension on the hamstring. We can lighten the weight and slow down the reps as well. Would you be willing to try that out?
Member: Actually yeah! That sounds good!
Me: Great! If you have any pain, we can always dial back from there, but I think this will be a good solution.
Member: Awesome! See you in the morning!
It’s easy to compartmentalize things. To think that if things can’t be done in a certain way, that they can’t be done at all. So much of fitness is just “showing up” and taking even the tiniest step forward. As a coach, our goal is our client’s goal—the result that they want. I could have just as easily texted, “Thanks for the heads up. See you Friday”.
But we care.
Because we care, we seek the solution that best fits the situation.
In this case, the member got in another workout. They took a safe, smart, step forward.
We teamed up and found a way.