In my experience, a good Wellness support team needs 2 types of expertise … those with more formal education in science-based protocols that have broad audience success (e.g., doctors, physical therapists, nutritionists, strength coaches, etc.), and another group I call Wellness Creatives…people who combine a methodical way of thinking with never-ending ideas to tackle health and fitness problems. Both are essential, but if I’m itching to find a small hinge to open a big door to achieving my Strong Body potential, I seek advice from my group of Wellness Creatives. Here’s why.
- #1 – They’re Possibility Thinkers. When you’re around a Wellness Creative, you’re immediately inspired by their passion, and you feel as though they’re operating at a much faster frequency than everybody else. That’s because they have an insatiable desire to innovate, create and leave things better than they found it. They’re not just intellectually capable. They’re extremely well-read, well-practiced and disciplined in driving health and fitness problems to ground. If you’ve even been around someone who seems to do things you’ve never heard of…like using stem cell therapy to treat a back injury or tryptophan to heal the digestive track, for example, you’re likely talking to one.
- Trait #2 – They Practice “Learning Loops” – Many health and fitness practitioners have a template or toolkit they use and adapt to a client’s specific needs. Wellness Creatives, on the other hand, have a general sense of what they want to accomplish with their body, and they use “learning loops” to get there. It doesn’t matter that they’re not the expert or that they don’t know how to get from A to Z. Instead, they ask themselves, “What’s the very smallest thing I can do…to get from A to B? They figure that out and go do it.” Then, they start the learning process again and figure out how to get from B to C, from C to D, and so on.
- Trait #3 – They Use Data to Their Advantage – There is so much information about health and fitness out there, it’s freaking overwhelming. And let’s face it. It’s rare that your hormone doctor, nutritionist and strength coach will get on a conference call to talk about what’s not working for you, let alone tell you how to fix it. The Wellness Creative, however, isn’t deterred by academic boundaries or by the sheer volume of information. In fact, they’re incredibly adept at data mining, are comfortable with data in all its forms and know how to use it to figure out what their body needs more or less of to be healthy, lean and strong.
- Trait #4 – They Build Bridges – Some people, when they get a good idea, don’t want to share, or they protect their ideas because they want all of the glory. Wellness Creatives don’t pay attention to those roadblocks. They’re constantly talking to people, ready and willing to share their ideas with anyone…and anywhere they think they can be of use. They recognize the inter-connectedness of others’ contributions, and they instinctively look for how methods in one area can help solve a problem in another area. This is why they frequently associate in groups…because they like to engage with others who think and behave the way they do.
- Trait #5 – They’re About Results – Wellness Creatives aren’t the sort of people who wait for someone else to fix things. They roll up their sleeves, and they get busy. No lazy thoughts; no waiting on others…just moving forward until the job is done. And that’s how they like it. In fact, if someone else helps them figure out which foods are irritating their body before them, they’ll celebrate it. Or if a particular strength program leaves them feeling tired and unmotivated, they’ll find a way to change it and unknowingly turn it into the thing that enabled new personal records (PRs). For them, the thrill is in the experimentation. Results are their trophies.
In short, the Wellness Creatives didn’t just help, they opened new doors for me. My mom was the first to show me how to improve nutrient absorption through raw food smoothies, and a 20-something stranger showed me how to use barbell complexes to increase my work capacity without turning me into a wet, imploded carcass on the floor. These may seem like small changes, and they are. But in the end, they created a beneficial cycle of events, each having a positive effect on the next which ultimately enabled me to transform my body. Like I said, small hinges that opened big doors.
Now, while you may not find these sorts of experts listed in the yellow pages, they’re actually quite easy to spot. Whenever you find yourself in the presence of someone whom you feel has some innate talent or genius that inspires you, or you have an overwhelming desire to integrate their knowledge with your own, you’re in the presence of a Wellness Creative. And because these people want to help, all you have to do is ask. So, next time you meet one, try the simple phrase, “Will you help or teach me?” Let that drive where your health and strength journey goes next.
Until next time, seek strength!