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  • Writer's picturecoachmk

2/28/19: I. AM. READY.

Updated: Mar 4, 2019

I'm shy at first, but once I'm comfortable with you, get ready for some CRAZY SHIT!

Hi! This is Coach MK and THIS is The Morning Mantra

*cue intro music*

Hi, my name is MK Fleming. I'm a run coach based in Denver, Colorado. But this isn't a podcast about running, exactly. Don't tell my clients, but *whispers* we're never really talking about the running. When you know a crap-tastic event is coming it helps to have a mantra to keep you centered and focused as you move through it. You don't have to be an athlete to be hashtag #coachedandloved by coach MK. And if you are here, then you are hashtag #winningatlife.

*music fades*

Today's Mantra is, I AM READY.

*reads email from a listener*

Coach MK,

I am struggling mightily tonight.

My 7-year-old son and I both have celiac disease. This week we have a meeting with his teacher to discuss the results of behavioral scales we completed during the holiday break. The scales are to quantify behavioral issues in a way that would allow for a written, enforceable accommodation plan to help my son succeed in class. He is exceptionally bright (teachers' words), but he lags behind socially and lacks self control other children have.

That same day, we have a doctors appointment to see how he's been doing based on a "failure to thrive" description after his last birthday appointment. He was in the 95th percentile as a newborn and up until he was 3 years old, and has steadily fallen down the growth chart since.

I am struggling under the weight of not knowing what we are going to learn, and realizing at the same time, that once we learn what there is to know there may still be a lot of unknowns.

I'd love a mantra for the times I find myself so uncertain. FYI I’ve been your client since 2017.


First, let me say YAY OMG YOU HAVE DIAGNOSES!!!! That’s awesome! The scariest place we can be is a place where the experts don’t know what “it’ is and pass you on to some other specialist. If we have a diagnosis, we can make a blueprint.

Anyone who has trained with me before knows I’m all about blueprints. Blueprints are stable images created in a complex multi-step process with historical recordings of all changes made included in the same sheet. WHAT?!? I know, right? Blueprints are forward-looking and backwards-acknowledging all at once. They are AWESOME. I will put an example of one on Instagram for you, @morningmantrapod. We train and we train and we change as a result of that training. Our race blueprint needs to reflect all of those changes. We can’t predict the future but we can outline a clear point past which good choices just aren’t happening and move that line over time as we train and change.

Which is one way of saying: nearly 20 years of training and racing and thinking THIS WAY has prepared me to raise a neurodivergent kid. Even if you don’t feel it yet, I’ve spent the last two years preparing you to do the same. And you’re more prepared for this than you realize. Especially since we’ve spoken on the phone no less than 4 times. Yes, I remember!

But that doesn’t tell you how to manage the fear and anxiety that often accompanies uncertainty. Let’s talk about that.

Pema Chodron says "The central question of a warrior’s training is not how we avoid uncertainty and fear but how we relate to discomfort. "

I’m going out on a limb here- I’m guessing a lot of your discomfort is from not having a clear path forward. You want a road map, you want something static, something unchanging, that draws a line between “here” and “next”. This discomfort is compounded by your involvement in the blueprint creation process, it’s one we aren’t qualified for...we won’t know if we got it ‘right’ until we fail.

Failure. What a scary word. We don’t want to fail our kids. I promise, as long as you are self-aware enough to ask the question, “is THIS in his best interest or does it just make me feel better,” then you are not failing even if your choice leads to bad results. Failing means you are trying, it means you are not only recognizing in ineffacy of something it means you are pivoting away from that thing that isn’t working and towards something else that may. It means you are working on the blueprint. And blueprints weren’t meant to be static.

This is where the warrior stops worrying about the battle and remembers that she has been training. She acknowledges her work and her skill; She knows what she is doing. She is ready for battle, if it comes to that. It doesn’t matter what’s coming next, you have everything you need to face it right now and have been building it for two years, if not longer. In those moments when you catch yourself worrying about others, find confidence in yourself, in your preparation, in knowing that at the end of the day your son has all he will ever need in you- a mother willing to ask tough questions and push for answers until she has a blueprint that defines clear boundaries and an alert in place to let her know when a re-assessment is necessary.

Most of all, you have a coach to support you and this community to carry you every step of the way. When you doubt it, look at your blueprint and repeat today’s mantra: I AM READY. You might be shy at first, but once you’ll get comfortable you won’t hesitate to show anyone who messes with your child all the crazy shit. And I'm positive that you got this because I GOT YOU and YOU ARE READY.

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