Previous post from this series
RAAM Team Australia Video - the Day Before The Race
Learning 2: Getting in my own way – you can only teach from what you see
Garrett Kramer (author of Stillpower) was generous enough to have a conversation with me, as I was keen to learn from the experience of a principles practitioner dedicated to the world of sport. And although his focus is not directly on dealing with ultra endurance, his wisdom was valuable. Our conversation enabled me to see how I was in my own way.
I was relating to Garrett how some of the cyclists had asked me how this approach deals with the pain that they would experience during their epic feet e.g muscle fatigue, injuries, joint distress etc etc. As someone who had done a bit of cycling myself, I have had my fair share of screaming thigh muscles and throbbing knee joints. So I agreed with them that this would be something we would need to look at. When I relayed this to Garrett he said something that triggered an insight for me, he said (I paraphrase): Why are you, and they, assuming there will be pain during this event? It had never occurred to me that it would be possible to cycle that far, that fast, without pain.
It enabled me to make a distinction: it is natural that the body will experience physical sensations if you stress it, but pain is just meaning, and meaning is made out of thought (let's park for the moment that you also need thought to experience any sensation). This didn't mean I was going to starting telling the athletes they wouldn't experience any pain, and if they did it was all made up, as I didn't have crystal ball and I think my credibility with them might have decreased if I had! But the insight did enable me to deepen my understanding that I had invisibly made an exception to the principles I live by - that our experience is 100% created by thought. And, as a result of that, the ‘ grounding’ I was coaching from was different.
You can only coach or teach from what you realise. There is a big difference between having your own grounding or realisation about how the human system works and coaching from that, and knowing how it is suppose to look or sound (according to others) and pointing people to that. (Now we are lucky in then 3p understanding that a little goes a long way, and you don't need to know much more than your client to have a massive impact).
The other self-limitation I picked up on, was that part of my curiousity about taking on this project came from wanting to see how the understanding of the principles would help in this endurance context, as opposed to my previous NLP techniques and strategy-based coaching approach. So I was almost banning myself from going anywhere near a technique even if my clarity in the moment pointed me to one ….now whether it will or not, I don't know. We will find out
One day till the race starts. You can follow it here. We are The CEF Team - Australia.