In the fitness industry, a job that can be SO rewarding, makes it easy to forget your life outside of it.
Your family time, your friends, your relationships, your health, your old hobbies, your fun time…everything.
I’m about to get personal AF, which is not meant for you to feel sorry for me, it’s to remind YOU to get a life outside of your work and learn from my mistakes because things got extremely dark for me, and if one coach reaches out to an old friend because of this post, my struggle was worth sharing.
I’m lucky you’re reading about Lucy Hendricks right now, by Lucy Hendricks, because I’m alive and you’re not seeing pictures of me on social media spreading with captions of “I had no idea, she seemed so happy when I saw her at seminars. May she RIP”.
I was recently on a podcast where I was asked What is the hardest thing I’ve had to overcome? Which I answered with “Losing everything”.
A few years ago, I didn’t have a life outside my work. But it wasn’t like I was sitting at a desk 60 hours a week getting super unhealthy being glued to a chair and a computer.
Being consumed by my work was a healthy thing for me. Especially with all the research showing how important connection and community are.
My coaching hours kept me moving throughout the day hitting 15-20k steps. I was constantly learning new things and applying them with all my clients. I got to come into a community with people that I would consider family and interact with them 2-3 times a week year after year.
I had found my purpose.
I was learning what it took to thrive, and I had a community to learn along with me.
I got to express my creativity and purpose through workshops, building a gym library, posting on the social media community page, sending out emails, writing articles, coming up with protocols, 5 minute health rants before group class, 20-40 minute conversations after training sessions, community potlucks…etc. I was living the dream.
I had found my tribe, I was fulfilling my purpose, and I felt like I didn’t need anything else.
I ignored all my friends outside of work, I didn’t take any time meeting new people, I couldn’t have a relationship with someone outside of the industry because that’s all I could talk about, but I never saw it as a problem because I was truly happy.
Until it got taken away.
I’m sure you know what it’s like to lose a friendship/relationship. It sucks.
I lost over 100 in one night and I had no one to turn to.
I grieved on my own. No one checked on me to see if I was okay and there was no one to see that I was climbing into a deep hole of depression which ended up changing my life.
One month went by….two…three…four…and it just kept going.
The only thing that kept me from staying in bed all day were my current clients, the students I started working with, and seminars I was helping with or teaching.
Things got way worse before they got better.
Last year I developed some intense persistent back pain that lead me to beg my business partner to constantly cover for me. I was taking over the recommended daily dose of Advil and developed horrible gut issues from that. I had waves of intense fatigue that were so strong I could barely talk or get out of bed…which lead to even more begging for my shift to get covered.
On top of all of that, I couldn’t train, and I couldn’t stand touching my muscle-less (is that a word?) body, and hearing people say things like “Lucy must not like to train”.
When I went into work, clients would jokingly ask me if I even worked there anymore, and I just had to laugh it off, because they had no clue how bad things were. No one knew. The only reason they could sometimes tell something was off was due to me constantly getting sick, which lead to more covered shifts.
It got to the point where I was going to bed hoping I wouldn’t wake up in the morning. I started isolating myself from everyone because it was easier than feeling pressured to satisfy their needs.
I had loved ones asking me to be different, telling me to change my perspective and attitude, demanding my love and time, constantly requesting for my attention and presence.
I felt all this pressure to service other’s need, but I had nothing to give. I felt like I was drowning, spiraling down a deep hole I couldn’t get myself out.
Losing my community, losing everything I had, was the catalyst of the hardest two years of my life.
But here I am. Happy to be alive. Slowly climbing my way out of the hole I got myself into. Constantly reminding myself to take care of myself no matter how much I love my job or how pressured I feel to service others.
And I’m here to tell you to do the same.
The two things you should take away from this short story are:
1) Get a life outside of work and take care of YOURSELF.
Build connections throughout the industry that don’t involve your job. Go out with your local friends even if it means too many drinks and dancing your ass off until 3 am. Hire professionals (therapist, trauma experts) to help you cope with whatever you’re dealing with because no one can do it alone and your loved ones sure as hell can’t be the ones who help you.
2) People are suffering all around you, just because they don’t share about it on the internet doesn’t mean it’s not happening.
If you’re reading this, you probably follow my work, or you might have seen me at seminars. It looks like I have it all figured out and I’m doing great, but the reality is, I’m an amazing fucking speaker and I’m an amazing coach, but everything else needs a whole lot of work.
If you need help with coaching and developing a training model, I’m your girl! But there’s a reason why I don’t teach people how to manage their time, how to cope with life stressors and trauma, or successfully manage their employees and business.