Although I’ve heard about people “hitting the wall” while training for a marathon, I never knew what it meant until I DID hit the wall… hard.  My legs were burning, my feet were on fire, my mind played tricks with me and my energy hit zero.  I first noticed an energy drop at mile 12. At mile 15 I wondered how I was going to finish the final three miles of an 18 mile training day.

I drank all the water I had brought and sucked up the last drop of the three containers of GU I guhad packed in my mini pack.
I stopped to stretch, took off my shoes and socks, walked in the grass, regrouped and headed out to finish the last few miles.
“You can quit. No one will know. 15 miles is great,” an annoying voice in my head tried to convince me to stop.
“YOU will know!” shouted the louder voice.  The odd looks from those nearby indicated I shouted this out loud.  Knowing I needed to drown out the voice that wanted me to stop, I didn’t really care how much of a fool I might look like. I HAD to keep going.
“You can do it. You can do it. You ARE doing it!” It was the stronger me, the me who follows through on agreements, telling me that I had made a commitment and no matter what, I WILL stick with it.
The sixteenth mile was grueling. I was going at a snails pace, but all I needed to do was put one foot in front of the other. It didn’t matter how long it would take, I just had to keep going.
My coach met me at different points on the trail to encourage me, check in on me and give me a pep talk. She stuck with me until the last inch of the 18th mile. Knowing I was in excruciating pain when we said our farewells she assured me the pain would diminish, but it would be necessary to ice my feet, eat plenty of healthy protein, take a hot bath with Epsom salt and kick back for the evening.
Admittedly, at times I wondered what the heck I had been thinking to announce I am doing a full marathon. I thought it would be a great gift to myself for my 61st birthday this coming May.
The fact is, there was a day when 5 miles was difficult for me to complete. Now, 5 miles is very doable and I frequently do this distance with no problem, no pain.

I’ve been able to increase my distance and improve my time with the guidance of my coach. Never once did I doubt my decision to hire my coach nor do I question her expertise. Granted, I did my due diligence before signing on the dotted line.
I also determined from the beginning I would listen to her, do what she recommends, respect her expertise and  commit to the process 100%.

When I woke this morning relatively pain free it occurred to me that a coach is NOT there to do the work for you, baby you or tell you that if you quit it’s okay. A great coach encourages you, knows you are capable of more than you think, and pushes you a little further than you thought you could go.
What I know to be true is this; my coach won’t power walk the race for me. She will teach me how to do it to the best of my ability.
My coach guides me, but it’s entirely up to me what I do with that guidance. It’s the same in business.
In the years I’ve been in business I’ve had several coaches. Not more than one at a time, but I hired each at times that I needed an area of expertise each had that appealed to me based on where I was in my business and what I wanted to achieve. Each coached differently, yet with each I gained something life changing.
With each I gave 100% to my outcome. I was willing to do the work, walk through my fear, deal with self doubt and stretch myself.
It always amazes me when I hear someone bad mouth someone who is viewed as an outstanding coach. Often the person will say every coach they’ve had has not delivered as promised. If it was one coach, maybe that’s true. If it’s every coach, it’s likely the person’s expectations of what a coach really is and what they do is way off base.
Granted, there are some people who call themselves coaches who do suck. It’s up to you to do your homework before signing on the dotted line. Once you do, give it your all.
Here’s the thing, when you have a coach, you will be put to the test. You will be asked to do things that stretch you. You will likely hit the wall of fear at different times. You may even wondered what the heck you were thinking when you hired someone to take you and your business to the next level.
The key though, is to commit to follow through to the end. Miracles happen when we are willing to go where we’ve not been before.
When you have a coach guiding you and you stop just short of achieving that next level, who’s fault is it? Likely not the fault of the coach.
When you achieve more than you thought possible, who can you credit for taking one step after the next after the next? You, of course. You did what you needed to do even when you may have felt like quitting.
Commit to excellence to live a life of excellence.
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