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The Feather In Your Self Care Hat

Words from Coach Sheppy


The last 8 weeks have been an eye-opening experience.

We all wear several different hats in our lives.  A career hat... A parent hat... An athlete hat...  The list can be endless.

In this pandemic, many of us have had to adjust how and when we wear these hats.  I've had to adjust how I wear my coach hat. You've had to adjust how you wear your athlete hat.  I've definitely grown a cooking and cleaning hat.

I pray we have all done the best we could do... And if you didn't that's ok too.


Every time we don a hat and effectively execute that role its a victory.  That's right VICTORY.  Do not diminish the achievement just because its an everyday task or the role comes easy to you.  Wear that achievement like a medal. 

When I wear my coaching hat part of that role is to get people victories.  It can be the right cue at the right time that gets a client the breakthrough they need on any movement...  It can be getting a client to not eat bread 6 times a day...  When they get a victory, well, so do I.

Make no mistake, every victory counts. When you win you are hopefully enrolled in more of that behaviour in order to win again.  This is momentum and is a victory in itself.


One of the victories I endeavour for is getting clients to develop and maintain a self-care hat.

If you are showing up to work out for your physical and mental well being then you are already wearing this hat...  But is that enough?

On some level yes... What you got is what you got. However, my coaching hat wants your self-care hat to have a feather in it.  All fancy like or even multiple feathers.

I want you to be mobilizing your body and paying attention to the niggles and notches that are specific to you.  It's no surprise that the clients who do take on strong mobility and accessory practice move up their fitness curve in leaps and bounds. 


Did you know your coach can provide this for you? We can and we want to provide this for you.  The onus of this endeavour is mostly on you, the client.  A coach might see their client 1-4 hours a week.  We need your help with the other 166-164 hours that week.  You have to summon the initiative and consistency to build this practice. You can roll and stretch while watching The National in the evening.  You can do ankle CARs while sitting at your desk. There are endless opportunities to integrate an effective practice into your life and each one of them is a victory and feather in your self-care hat.


I have a client that has been with us for a year and half. He showed up with multiple years of CrossFit under his belt.  He did his large motor recruitment patterns ok but his body was in rough shape.  Old, unattended to injuries and tightness were preventing him from access to better positions and force production.  To put it bluntly, he was walking around his life with various pains. 

Lately, we've been working on his lower legs, ankle stability and intrinsic foot strengthening.  We do PT sessions online and I have prescribed him "homework" to do on his own.  Sure it's not as sexy as 500lb deadlift but its what he has to do in order to get a 500 lb deadlift.  I consider this client's improved foot strength, ankle stability and access to his calves a huge victory and so does he.

The other day he told me that when he came to Madlab he had no idea he had access to this kind of coaching. He came from a gym model that didn't put an emphasis on individualized programming and 1-on-1 personal training. This type of coaching is at the heart of our values at Madlab School of Fitness. 


The work I do with my clients in our 1-on-1 sessions is crucially important to their development.  There just isn't enough time and focus to achieve this kind of personalized attention and direction in group fitness classes. 

It's in these 1-on-1 sessions that I can really help my clients and put that mobility and accessory feather in their self-care hat.


We all have those little niggles, weaknesses and tight spots so help us help you.  Make them a priority.  Book at PT with your coach and let's pick some feathers for you.  :-)