The strength to be vulnerable

I’m typing this post to you with one hand, an icepack tied to my right shoulder, and a beautiful dog named Harley on the couch beside me. 

I’m staying with a friend this week to avoid the long commute back and forth to Brunswick.

I hope Harley is allowed on the furniture. :-)

As many of you know, I had extensive shoulder surgery last Friday and I’m going to be less than 100% for much longer than I’d originally hoped. And the hardest part about it? 

Needing other people. 

I can’t tie my shoes, can’t open a bottle of pills, struggle to dress myself and can’t do my hair. That’s right, I can’t do my hair. I said it.

It might not look like much but if I don’t do my hair I look like a baby bird.

So fluffy.

First and foremost on my menu this week is neediness.

And I'm finding it very difficult.

When I was in college I had a wonderful mentor I worked with for two years before he developed cancer. One of the biggest lessons he taught me in the months before he died was how to let other people care for you. Not just that it's okay to need people. But that letting others help you and feel needed is a gift.

And he might have added, very difficult to do. Because feeling vulnerable and calling on others for help takes a lot of strength and courage.

My mentor was keenly aware that students like myself wanted nothing more than to do something for him. We needed to feel useful. We just wanted to help. And he gave us the gift of allowing us to help him. 

I’m sure you’ve been in a position before where you’ve seen a friend or family member go through a difficult time. And all you want to do is help. But if the situation is reversed you might find yourself shrugging everyone off.

Nah, I'm good. I got this.

Or find yourself frustrated.

I'm fine! Stop asking! I'm good!

I'll resist the temptation to make parallels between going to the gym and feeling vulnerable. 

Just know that being new to a gym can make you feel very needy and vulnerable, and it's okay to ask for help and advice. As coaches, that's what we're here for. And we understand that it takes a lot of courage to ask for any kind of help.