Coaching – a client perspective

A client of my coaching business “Running It Softly LLC” wrote the following. I thought about  changing some wording as this client worked very hard which is all a coach could ask, and this gives me more credit than I think is due, but I decided to leave it as-is. I have written my perspective which I have posted here.

In June of 2017, I found myself in need of a running coach for career related reasons.  Admittedly, I have never enjoyed nor been any good at running, so I knew I was already at a disadvantage (or so I thought).  I began my search on and instantly found Coach Neil.  After a quick exchange of messages, we set up a meet so that Neil could assess my gait and posture while he also gauged my beginning run “speed” ( it was slightly above a speed-walk).

At that time, I could barely manage to jog for more than five minutes at a time.  It was uncomfortable, slow, and I felt like I was never going to get to where I needed to be.  Neil set up a shared Google spreadsheet and invited me to be his friend on MapMyRun so that he could monitor my progress and so that I could share my feedback with him.  Each month, Neil managed an online, monthly plan for me with entirely feasible goals and to my surprise, I met them.  There were good days and bad, and Neil reminded me not to focus on the small pitfalls.  Weeks went by and I slowly started getting better.  For the first time in my life, I was able to measure progress and feel good about myself in a running environment.  It was slow-going, but Neil never lost faith in my abilities and because of that, neither did I.

Fast forward to March of 2018, when it came down to me basically running for my job.  I was required to meet a specific standard, and with Neil’s help, I DID IT!   In a matter of months, I went from barely being able to run for five minutes to running 1.5 miles under 14 minutes.  For some people, that might not sound that impressive, but to me, it literally meant everything.

Throughout the entire process, Neil really was (and continues to be) an amazing coach.   He provided sound advice and judgement and remained incredibly cautious to prevent injury.  He was always honest and straightforward about the timing of my progress.  Neil definitely knows what he’s doing and because of that, I have trusted him implicitly.  He has always been in my corner, believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself.

I never really valued the benefit of having a coach, until I needed one.  I attribute my success almost completely to Neil, in that without him, I KNOW I would never be where I am today.  Neil and I always joke about my love of running (or lack thereof) but with his help, I have slowly started to become someone who actually enjoys running.

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