Throughout my entire life, my father was a Goodyear employee right up until he passed in 2011. As a result of his time there, we moved around a lot (on average every 3 years until I graduated in 1994.)
And maybe as a by-product of having to get settled in somewhere, make new friends, adjust to a given state/country and then move again, I think I struggled to find how to fit in and find my way.
As part of that struggle, even going back to elementary school, I started hiding my bad grades from my parents.
I told this story to my clients recently as well.
I just wasn’t all that interested in doing great in school. Sure, there were some subjects I had a knack for but, by and large, the motivation to excel was rarely there.
I coupled that with the fear of disappointing my parents which I never wanted to do.
Frequently, I would find myself midway through a given semester and looking at C’s, D’s and the occasional F in class.
Mid-term reports would be handed out and I learned how to forge my parent’s signatures so they wouldn’t have to see how bad things were at the time.
If they asked (and they usually did) how things were going, I would always tell them the highlights. God forbid my parents find out the truth of the matter.
And it bought me some time over the rest of the semester to pull my grades back up and try to pull some miracle out of my ass by time they got the official report card.
A story my mother will still tell to this day is that she remembers sitting in a parent-teacher conference and being told: “Jason knows exactly what to do. But I can look in his eyes when giving out an assignment and know that he’s not going to do it.”
This might explain why I would never be a successful poker player…
And while I would love to believe that most of my clients were better students than I was and never resorted to this type of behavior, I see a similar thing happen with their respective weight loss challenges.
Rarely will a client tell me how they’re “failing” or only getting C’s, D’s and F’s on their diet.
Admitting that things aren’t ideal is hard. It’s not common to find the person who openly and candidly says: I can’t make the pieces fit right now.
As the coach, it’s these moments that I need to hear the most…exactly when they’re happening.
What many clients forget is that their training time is such a small part of their lives. At best, maybe it’s an hour of a given day. Which means there are 23 more hours to either screw things up in grand fashion or keep grinding away at those fundamentals to lock in better skills, better habits.
I shouldn’t be melodramatic about this though. It’s difficult (not impossible) to undo good progress in just one day.
What we (as coaches) see, is that the one bad day can turn into several and then weeks and then the client wonders why progress can’t be found.
Had my parents been more aware of my struggles, I could have had a tutor. I could have had better grades and felt more self worth within the school system by applying myself and reaping the rewards. I was smart enough to get by but honestly…who the hell just wants to get by?
If you’re a client of mine, this is just a kind reminder to show me the “bad grades” too. Those are the ones I really need to see. It’s great that you show me the “good grades” of coming in and acing your workout.
What about all the other “classes” you’re taking? You know, those LIFE classes?
And if you’re not a client of mine but a casual reader, think about your own grades: The ones you brag about and the ones you hide.
Which ones will get you closer to where you want to be?
“We Make Great People Greater”
(Here’s Coach Sebastian, warming up the deadlift platform for the other lifters. He’s too young to hide his grades from us…for now.)