You’ve probably noticed that a lot of my posts talk about experiences I’ve had while out running the trails around San Diego. Running clears my mind when I need it, but it also brings clarity to certain topics and provides so many teachable moments that I can share with you guys. Most recently, I experienced a situation that led me to think about what it means to place faith in your coach and following the right path.
A few weeks ago, I was out for a run and could see this group of people ahead of me that were obviously lost. They were stopped on the trail and there was a lot of pointing—I could tell by their body language that they didn’t know where they were going. This particular park I was running through has a lot of winding trails, so it’s easy to get lost. I’ve been running in this park for years and know the trails backwards and forwards in the dark, so I stopped my run and asked one of the guys in the group if they needed some help.
At first, he declined my help, but when I asked if he was sure, he relented and told me where they were trying to go and in which direction they thought they needed to go to arrive at their destination. They were trying to get to one of the smaller creeks in the park and I knew immediately which way they should go. I gave them explicit directions about which paths to take and which landmarks to use. The guy I was talking to just looked at me and commented that my directions didn’t make any sense, that the trail I told them to take was in the opposite direction from the creek and it wasn’t the way they thought they should go.
I politely said, I know it sounds like I’m taking you away from where you want to be, and you could go the way you want and cut through all the brush and trees and the small swamp, or you could follow my advice as someone who’s run these trails for years. I explained how winding the trails are and that my way is the best way to get where they want to go. I’m not sure they believed me, but they agreed and offered their thanks for my directions.
At that point, I left them to their hike and continued my run and started thinking about putting our faith in people to help us, specifically coaches. The reason we seek out coaches to help us is for their expertise—they have been in situations just like ours and know what we need to do to get through them and achieve our goals. There are going to be moments when you’re on your path and you think you need to go one way but your coach steps in and offers an alternative path. You look at the path being offered and don’t see how it could get you where you want to go.
A good coach is going to tell you that the path you need to follow is not always straight and it’s seldom easy (and if it is easy, is it really worth doing?), but they’re going to help you get where you want to go if you put your faith in them. If you follow the path your coach offers even though it seems to be taking you away from your goal, you’ll eventually see that the path they offered circles around to your goal and they saved you time and energy by not letting you take what you thought was the best, an easiest path. By following your coach’s path, you’re going to discover things you wouldn’t have otherwise, which is exactly why you sought out a coach in the first place.
If you’re learning from anyone that has more experience or knowledge about something than you do, you’re going to have faith and trust that they know what they’re doing. The direction they’re offering at times may seem like it’s 180 degrees out of the way, but once you start going in that direction, you’ll soon see that you’re slowly making your way back toward your goal. Trust the process and know how good you are—focus on your job and let your coach focus on his. You’ve got to trust your coach and have faith while you keep paving your path to perfection.
I’d love to have the opportunity to serve as your coach and help guide you on your path. When you’re ready, you can join me here.