Some people say I'm a running coach. But, it's really not true. I'm the 'sales guy', I'm the 'marketing/advertising guy', I'm the 'accountant' (cough.....almost never), and I'm the 'strategic planning guy'.
Then there's the actual running stuff which frequently doesn't have much to do with running at all. Sure, I'm a 'coach' when I work with people and I have the knowledge base to teach people to run, but that's so far from the whole story.
What I've found with most people is they are a combination of head and heart. So, what really matters in many respects is getting people in the right head space. People need to 'believe' they can do something....which is not as easy as it sounds. So many people don't...mostly for completely irrational (but deeply personal) reasons.
It's also a matter of getting people in the right 'heart' space....so to speak. Believing you can do something in your head is one thing, connecting with it on a personal level is something different. Some of this involves having a mentor, an advocate, a champion, or a friend backing you all the way. That's where my job becomes interesting.
My job is finding a way to provide the knowledge, head, and heart to a whirling dervish of infinitely complex humanity. I find myself frequently in the midst of a seething mass of potential, doubt, zeal, anxiety, quirks, projection, hope, and inspiration.
I deal with it all. I find myself dealing with things that have ZERO to do with running. I've never been a priest, but sometimes I feel like one. I've never been a counselor, but I've been asked to be one. I've had people look at me in ways I can never understand. I've had people burn me in effigy for not being the person they effectively made up in their head.
Don't misunderstand. I'm not complaining. My 'job' is challenging and inspiring in ways that few can understand or appreciate. I simply never know what I'm going to get and really...that's kind of exciting. It forces me to adapt and to always anticipate the unknown.
So, fundamentally, I run because people are weird..myself included.