About 18 months ago, I started coaching a small group training session because some very special women in my life asked me to. Seriously, this is how it started. They were moms to brand new babies and they needed a place to get a wicked work out where nobody would care if the babies were fussy. And boy were those babies fussy at times! Sometimes it was completely silent, but other times, Mother of Pearl whyyyyyy? But we just turned the music up (just a tiny bit) or more often I held two crying babies at once while the mamas finished just one last set of squats because damnit, everything is going to be just fine if this brand new mama can just get 30 seconds without a nuclear meltdown! 

Phew. So we did it. I got a workout space and insurance and reached into the archives of my training brain and we lifted all the heavy things. It wasn’t perfect but it was awesome. Then some of the babies started growing, so we moved our twice-a-week sessions to once a week. Then, the rest of the babies started growing, so some of those babies stayed home while the mamas continued to come. And sometimes all the kids came and we were outnumbered kids:mamas by 2:1. But still, the women kept coming. And I kept coaching. It was a magical space that from the outside, looked like any other small group fitness class. People over here jumping, others over there pulling, and everyone complaining and cursing in unison. But it wasn’t average – it was filled with a group of women that were competitive not comparative. It was my favorite hour of every week. (And I do some pretty fun stuff!) 

And throughout all of this, my body silently screamed at me to stop stop stop. My Achilles tendonosis was ever-present. But I’m particularly stubborn so I kept coaching because it felt so good in every other way! I loved seeing some of my favorite people come together every week and for 45 minutes, push themselves in a way that was all about themselves, not their families or their jobs. Plus it helped anchor me to the fitness community in Seattle and coaching brought me full circle to a part of my identity that got put on pause while I had my own anchors kiddos. It was all the good things. Except for that one bad thing that hurt so much. I tried to keep going while solving my Achilles problem. I even spent 6 weeks coaching while sitting on a kettlebell in the corner. That worked for a hot minute. But I’ve got ants in my pants so I couldn’t keep that up forever.

So, after a minor existential crisis, and an orthopedic consult + MRI, I decided I should listen to my body screaming at me to stop, and actually stop*. And it was harder than I thought. Let’s just say there were tears. (From me. I cried.) I knew it was the right thing to do even though it was hard. We can do hard things. But I am still keeping my private clients because I can’t bear the thought of never coaching again. Also because I’m stubborn. Stubborn but also relieved and looking forward to being pain-free.




1 comment

  1. Angie, I’m sure it was really hard to stop doing the training sessions so your Achilles tendon could heal. I hope you’re feeling much better now. I just want to take my hat off to you and all the coaches who look for creative ways to break down the barriers so Moms can exercise. When the kids were small it was so great to go to an exercise class – leg warmers and sweat headbands (80’s and 90’s get up) – and have time for myself. You are one of the hidden heroes in your neighbourhood and much loved and appreciated by the Moms and their families xxx

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