The Wonder of Cold Weather Coaching

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I offer personal coaching held outside on trails, working with clients who are in search of career fulfillment. Nature makes for a powerful setting for this work. Outside in nature, we’re more relaxed, more creative, and find that the space puts our own lives in proper perspective.

The most frequent question that I receive about my coaching model is “What do you do in the winter?” In two words: I coach.

I once heard another nature-based coach say that there’s beauty in all things natural. This includes winter. In fact, our coldest season can be downright lovely. Imagine walking alongside an iced-over river or leaving fresh tracks in Frick Park after a snowfall. Or walking among old growth hemlocks in the Laurel Highlands.

Not only can winter be peaceful and picturesque, but it can sometimes be really cold. Some people say that there’s no bad weather, just bad clothing. It can be invigorating to coach through the chill. I personally feel more ALIVE so long as I’m dressed for the weather.

All of this said, here are the precautions I take relevant to cold-weather coaching:

  • Any coach will tell you that if a client doesn’t feel comfortable, the client’s not going to be in a place of learning or discovery. It’s my job to monitor the weather – everything from temperatures to trail conditions. If there’s ice on the trail, we won’t be using it. If the wind chill is below 20 degrees, we’ll stay inside or reschedule.
  • In all seasons, I manage our route as well as frame the discussion in service of my clients. It’s not their job to watch the clock or think about turns and timing. I select routes that fit our time allotment (usually an hour), and don’t bother my clients with the details of the “where.” Their focus instead is on what brought them to coaching.
  • My model also includes taking time to enjoy nature. While we’re generally in movement, we stop and enjoy the scenery – whether that be a stream, a bird’s nest, a White-tailed deer, or a frolicking puppy. Also, to warm the body, I bring along a Thermos of tea or cocoa in the winter months.

I’ll close with a sweet and sage unattributed quote: “To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake, it is necessary to stand out in the cold.” How true this is. If you want to give winter coaching a try, contact me at amy@cycleforward.org or (412) 918-6563, or visit my coaching page for more info.

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