I’m waiting for my coffee at a local bakery - they are known for their butter tarts, and their coffee is just ok, but it’s that time of day when I don’t care. “Hey, Kate! I meant to ask you…” “Yes?” “Where do you get your haircuts?” The barista wants to know, before handing me my coffee. She is the third person to ask me that question in the last few months. I know why she’s asking. She has short hair herself. My hair is short, and well cut, and well shaped, AND funky. It LOOKS expensive. I shake my head ruefully. “Nowhere close to here”. The truth is… my hair is a project every time it’s cut, precisely because I love my hairstylist so much. I drive an hour to Toronto, and an hour or more back, depending on traffic. It’s worth it. The commute and the cost were both factors in me going back to dark hair - I couldn’t justify spending an entire Saturday at a hair salon, AND paying two weeks’ worth of groceries for the outcome - even though the outcome WAS bangin’.
Fellow mom on the soccer field, as we are watching our precious darlings roll around on the field with toddler-sized soccer balls. “Where do you get your hair done?”. “Toronto”, I sigh. She sighs back. “Yeah, I figured it wasn’t anywhere in town.” I walk out of the store, as the car pulls up and an older gentleman rolls down his window. “That’s a cool haircut!”, he calls out. “Looks great on you!” All of this very-welcome-attention leaves me with two thoughts: 1. I should leave my stylist a bigger tip next time, and… 2. What is the coaching equivalent of this? My hairstylist’s work is visible and tangible. I wear her work on my head every day. If you see me, you see her work. It’s that visible. Landscapers can claim the same thing. “Wow, your garden is beautiful. Who did it? Can I get their number?” Some strength coaches and personal trainers go as far as lean into that as a marketing angle. “Body by Minnie”, or “Butt by Brian”, or whatever. A little self-aggrandizing, if you ask me, but ok. What about MY work? The results of my work are rarely commented on by the outside eye. How do you take before and after pictures of “thank you so much for helping me reframe this super unhelpful narrative”? Your neighbor is probably not going to say: “My goodness, you seem especially well regulated lately. Have you been working with a coach?” And often, that’s a good thing. I don’t really care if my work is VISIBLE. I care that my work is FELT. And with some things… no difference at all is the biggest progress you can ask for. Imagine being JUST AS strong as ten years ago. Imagine sleeping JUST AS well as you were before you had children. This winter, what if you didn’t notice ANY difference (for once)? In how you feel, in how you act, in how you ARE? If you are not that impacted by the seasons, this is unimpressive (and unnecessary). But if you, like me, turn into a pathetic couch puddle once October arrives, then this IS the incredible transformation you are after. You just want to continue being YOU, not shift into mere existence until the snow melts. STAY you, instead of turning into couch Gollum clutching onto cookies. Stay active, keep eating the way that makes you feel your best, keep seeing people, and doing things.
I don't do anything half way, y'all. ;)