“What is freerange coaching?” People keep asking me to explain free range coaching. Let’s start with basic “industrial” coaching. Whether it is life coaching, executive coaching, or even transformational coaching, it usually happens every week. A client will get an hour on the phone, or on a video call with their coach. Lucky clients get to see their coaches face to face. My clients in this type of engagement are seeing the power of long term change, and there is tremendous value in that.
There are a few coaches out there who want to give more to their clients, and we find that an intensive or an immersive experience creates ten times the results!
When I first began to settle into coaching, it was in the alpine, and we were using back country skiing, mountain biking, and ice climbing as the experience to contain the coaching. After percolating with that, it became clear that I was meant to use outdoor activities in a focused on the specific agenda of the client sort of way. In that intentional shift into #freerangecoaching, I thought I would do it all. All of the adventures in all of the countries proved to be a bit much. The commitment to focus in on Sailboat Coaching was the right alignment for me, and still, all forms of freerange coaching hold fascination for me. I am inspired by my friends who are coaching on Canoe trips, in the tree tops, and with medieval swords! People are coaching through forest bathing, with horses, and actual wolves!
In writing, as with many creative pursuits, I am convinced that MORE is MORE. What I am not saying is that more writing always equals better writing. What I am saying is that more writing makes a better writer.
When I was taking classes in grad school, the professor told a story that forever changed how I value the creative process. An pottery teacher split her class down the middle, and graded one half on the quality of their best work for the year. The other half was to be graded based on the …this part is a little hard to believe but stay with me… the weight of what they created. What shocked me about this experiment, and what still rankles my inner perfectionist today, is that MOST of the best work was on what I’ll confess I think of as the sloppy side. The students concerned with volume, were free to experiment, to learn, and to play.
It was disconcerting for me to learn that artistic creativity was not a place where the old expression “LESS is MORE” applies. Old habits die hard, and I am still working to waste less and less of my energy taking refuge in the perfectionist idea that I’ll share it when I am “finished” writing it. Or that I will begin writing when I am “finished” thinking it through.
In her book Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott writes:
Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something—anything—down on paper. What I’ve learned to do when I sit down to work on a shitty first draft is to quiet the voices in my head
This too, is part of my lesson to learn while moving, rather than sitting and waiting for the answers to come. And if I share along the way, I open myself up to all kinds to readers messaging with unique contributions, insightful questions, and helpful suggestions.
Even as I am writing this, I am battling against the idea that I can post this without first learning the name of the pottery teacher. But I have reached out to Loren Wilkninson, who first told me the story, and perhaps HE will remember.
My challenge to myself and to you for this year, is to write everyday, or at least everyday that you can. I am not expecting that all of my work will be award winning, but I am hoping to write more quality on volume than on perfectionism. Let’s find out!
Shantel Thilman is riding her bicycle from Alaska to Mexico. Which is far. Even driving that distance takes a pretty long time! She is doing it to raise money for her Grandpa, who has Alzheimer’s. That’s love.
Who do you love enough to do something big for? What is the biggest thing you’ve ever done for them?
As her bike rolled through Vancouver, we were able to catch up and eat ginormous cinnamon rolls! (Not pictured here, we ate them) We are proud of you and we are behind you. Good luck Shantel, as you roll on down to Mexico!!
Update: Shantel has extended her ride down the Baja in Mexico, adding over 1000 miles!