I wish you would have asked.
The power of words in my career.
I wasn’t going to tell a soul but I wished they would have asked anyway.
I have been working with athletes of all ages for 20 years. Training people to push themselves to what they think are their limits allows you to get to know people really well, really quick. By body language alone you can tell if they are having a bad day or a bad week. And, like most walks of life most of us are trying to do our best no matter what life throws at us.
I remember right after my dad passed away I would be coaching groups of people at a local gym and it was awesome to be around people to put my energy into. Some days though, I was just grieving. While I didn’t really want to go “there” it was so nice when people asked me how I was doing. You get really good when you have a public facing career of playing it off. Kudos to teachers and nurses and anyone who has to compartmentalize real life stuff and doing a job for others. Just knowing that people care a little more than just the standard:
“How ya doing?”
I don’t know how many times I’ve stopped to ask, “No, really, is everything good?” Just to have the walls come down and see the tears start to flow. It’s not even important to know the source of the sadness or pain most of the time. People just want to be seen, to know that their hurt is recognized and that people truly care.
The other day one of my friends was walking out of the gym. She is a hard working mom, wife, business owner and has to be “on” a lot. Her eyes were red and she was hurrying out the door. We had one of the interactions I am talking about and no matter how tough what she is going through is, I wanted her to know we are all there at some times.
We are all living this complicated life and I can think of times I was coaching after losing a former athlete to suicide, or when one of my best friends lost a 12 year old daughter( I actually got blindsided and let go the same day at the gym that day), or losing a grandparent, or a dad.
I didn’t want to be there and I wasn’t going to tell a soul but dang, I wish someone would have asked.
Note: This holiday season, for the people closest to you but even the ones you don’t know as well, just ask. It might relieve that pressure valve they’ve been holding in all day or week, or month. I’ve always had a great support system and healthy coping so these interactions haven’t always been as important as they could be to someone else.
Lead with love! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
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