Most Obnoxiously Healthy Person You Know?
April 28, 2011 by mollyberries
So I haven’t shared much about my professional life via the blogosphere. To bring you up to speed, I have always worked in a health-related environment since graduating from Muskingum, surprise, surprise.
In my former lives I have been a(an):
- Health Promotions Assistant
- Health Promotions Coordinator
- Exercise Physiologist for Cardiac & Pulmonary Rehab patients
- Exercise Physiologist for Breast Cancer patients
- All-around rock star for a specialty running and walking store
- Public Health Educator
In January I began yet another chapter in my career, I was given the opportunity to work as a Health and Wellness Coach for a health insurance company, and I jumped at the chance. Quite a bit goes into my job, and I will spare you all the boring details. The most amazing thing about my job? I get to help people make changes to their daily behaviors to eventually improve their overall health. I finally feel like I have found my niche. It is the perfect blend of using what I learned in undergrad and grad school, as well as my natural personality. I love to help people. Seeing others make positive changes in their life warms my heart. Knowing that I am having an impact on others helps me sleep at night. For once, I feel 100% comfortable in my professional skin. I feel like I belong with my group of fellow coaches and I have more co-workers that share similar interests, goals, aspirations, lifestyles than not. This has never been the case in my previous endeavors, surprising, eh?
Earlier this week while working with a client, who I have come to build a rather strong rapport, to the point where we can joke around a bit, said something that hurt my feelings. He knows that I love to run, and that I recently ran my dream race. He and his wife started running last year and are hoping to finish their first marathon together this coming fall! But I haven’t really shared much more about my personal life with him, when it comes to coaching, it is all about your client.
Well we were discussing ways he could improve his nutrition habits and he said something along the lines of ‘Oh, well you don’t have to worry about any of these things, you are probably the most obnoxiously healthy person I know’, which he followed with some laughter. I didn’t really know how to respond so I just nervously giggled until he said something else and we could move on.
For some reason his comment has been hanging on my heart for the past few days, and this afternoon on my lunch break run I was able to begin processing this situation.
Over the years I have come to realize that I am a much more sensitive soul than you could ever guess. I tend to internalize all of my feelings, and just deal with them through running, prayer and/or meditation. On really bad days, I call my mom crying. With extra sensitivity, I also am a people pleaser, and to be honest, I just want to be accepted and respected, while keeping things as non-confrontational as possible. Sometimes this corners me into a situation where I don’t speak up for myself or my beliefs.
I always say there is some truth behind every ‘I’m just kidding’. Maybe this truly was my client’s first impression of me, or maybe deep down I truly am obnoxiously healthy to him. But that is so not my intention. I don’t want people to think I’m some sort of health martyr. But I do want people to know that leading a healthy lifestyle is fun and I want to inspire them to be their very best!
For as long as I can remember, I have always loved learning about health, anatomy, exercise, nutrition, etc. Those were the classes I excelled in, the ones I was excited to attend, and where I paid the most attention. To this day, health and wellness topics are the first kind of magazine I grab, or the section of the library or bookstore that I choose to peruse first. I obtained my BA in Health Education and Physical Education and my MS in Exercise Science and Health Promotion. It’s just how I’m wired I guess.
I still haven’t fully come to terms with why I was so rattled by one little comment. But my career isn’t just a paycheck to me. I am mentally and emotionally invested in my job. I care so much about my clients. I want to help them realize their own potential for greatness, and do my part in creating a healthier world. Some may think I’m an extremist, but my health and well-being is my life. Without it, I couldn’t be as good of a wife, daughter, sister, friend, co-worker, employee, etc. as I am. I could never perform at my job to the level that I am currently without practicing what I preach.
While I still have some processing to do, I have come to the following conclusion: I have been an athlete since I could walk. I run, a lot. I am a vegan. I very rarely consume alcohol. I have never smoked a cigarette. I take yoga classes. I’d rather spend extra money on a gym membership or exercise clothing than anything else. My dream is to live in a place where I can walk, run or ride my bike to the majority of my destinations so that I don’t have to rely on a car, just on my own two feet and the power of my heart and lungs. If that makes me obnoxiously healthy, and being obnoxiously healthy is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.