Welcome to a special edition of Two-Brain Radio featuring Tiffy Thompson. Tiffy’s a journalist and graphic designer you might have seen in Vice, the Globe and Mail, and she does thecity.com. We connected Tiffy to Rebecca Boskovic of The Fittest Me. Rebecca is an inspirational entrepreneur and mother who gives her hot takes on women in business. If you enjoy this special episode, be sure to subscribe to Two-Brain Radio for more great shows posted four times a week. And now Tiffy Thompson with Rebecca Boskovic on Two-Brain Radio.
Welcome to Two-Brain Radio. I’m your host Chris Cooper, here every week with the best of the fitness industry. Got a sec? We would love to hear from you. I write emails to my mailing list every day and it’s a highlight when somebody takes the time to respond. If you’ve got feedback on my show or a guest you’d like to hear on Two-Brain Radio, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to subscribe to Two-Brain Radio wherever you get your podcasts.
Hi everyone. Thanks for tuning in. You’re listening to Two-Brain Radio. I’m Tiffy Thompson. On this week’s episode I’m going to be speaking with Rebecca Boskovic, an entrepreneur and mother of four, Rebecca’s experienced firsthand the specific pressures that many women in business face, but she’s also figured out how to work through these situations and use them to her advantage. Rebecca is the owner and head coach at The Fittest Me in Suwanee, Georgia. She also produces the Strength for Life podcast, which aims to help women nix their self-doubt. Rebecca is on a mission to help more women make lasting changes in their lives and to truly love the skin they’re in. Today we’re going to be talking about her life, her battle with depression, the book that changed everything for her and when she realized that the fitness industry in particular can benefit from a woman’s perspective. Rebecca, welcome to the show.
Thank you, Tiffy. It’s my pleasure to be here.
So you described yourself as a pretty active kid growing up. You had a couple of older brothers and you were involved in a lot of sports and then when you hit your teens, you experienced major depression. Take me back to that point in your life. What was happening?
That was a particularly stressful time in our family. It was coming off of a divorce for my family, for my parents. And in addition to that, there was some internal strife going on in a family business. That was the beginnings of a lawsuit. My mom was also getting sick. She had lupus and she was also starting to battle cancer. So there was a lot of parts of my life that were becoming unraveled and I think that kind of pushed some buttons. Now, depression actually runs in my family. So my mom had major depressive symptoms all of my life. I could see it in her and it wasn’t just her, you know, her father had been bipolar, her brother was what’s called affective schizoid disorder. Her mom probably has some kind of personality disorder and so there are definitely a lot of threads there, some genes towards depression.
And it seemed to be that age when all of those buttons got pushed. And that’s, you know, it’s kind of one of those things where the depression was what it was. And in some households that depression could have probably spun even worse. But because my mom had already been dealing with depression for a long time and she had had success with cognitive behavioral therapy because of that, she quickly saw the symptoms and got me help. So I saw a psychiatrist from when I was 14 and that I think really helped make it so that instead of growing up in a household where depression was stigmatized, it really was seen as, you know, really part of the genetic makeup and predisposition. Not like you’re guaranteed to have it, but odds are high and she saw it and there were no hesitations like, Oh, you need to get over it. You need to just buck up. What’s wrong with you? There was never that message for me. So instead it was really something that I just had to overcome. Just like somebody who has a hard time reading or somebody who maybe struggles in math. You know, for me it was just struggling with managing the intensity of these emotions and the thoughts that would go through my head so that I could still function in life. And so I feel very fortunate actually to have been brought up in a household where at least I never felt like my depression was something wrong with me. It was just something that I had to deal with.
Right. When you went through your life and you continued to be active, fast forward to 2006 when you came across Carol Dweck’s book “Mindset,” what was going on in your life at that time and how did that book sort of shape your focus?
I was trying to think when I came across that book or why I picked it up. I think it’s at the time when I was really hungry for finding information on raising my children. My daughter, my oldest at that point was two years old, so I was scouring books for brain development essentially. So I had read like one book called “Magic Trees of the Mind” that talk about, you know, just the importance of having our children be exposed to a variety of environments to, you know, really develop thriving, flourishing minds. And Carol Dweck’s book “Mindset” was one of the ones I came across. And cause I really wanted to raise my children in an environment that fostered creativity and also really just honored who they are. And that’s something that’s, it’s actually really hard to do in our culture I find where there’s so much pressure to perform and to get them into sports and to get them into this.
And I could already see, even though my daughter was only two, my internal pressures to like, Oh, I want to sign her up for classes at the park district. I want to get her into this. I wanted to get her into that. And I could already see that the challenge in raising my kids would be to help create the structure that would support them, but also not overwhelm them. So I think that’s what I was searching for at the time when I came across the book. But of course the book ended up having greater impact than just in raising my kids. It has totally impacted how I manage my own life as well as being a parent. So for people who are unfamiliar with “Mindset,” the book, really the premise of the book is that you either have a growth mindset or you have a fixed mindset and not that it’s either or and it is forever, but in any decision that you’re making or any situation that goes on in life, you have an opportunity to have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset. And the difference is a growth mindset is setting you up to believe that any failings or any challenges that you come up against are really opportunities for growth. And they’re opportunities to become better at something and to learn whereas the fixed mindset is all about either you have it or you don’t. And it’s that very black and white. And the problem with a fixed mindset is it sets us up for cheating, lying, and creating these lives that are really limited because all we know is the structure we’re in. And we say, OK, I’m either smart or I’m dumb, I’m strong or a weak. I’m a good mom, or I’m a bad mom. And everything becomes so polarized that our ego wants to support our belief that we’re good, right?
So we end up doing just enough to make us look good and feel good and we never grow. So the growth mindset, however, sets us up for success because we see it’s not so much about the outcome, whether we do well at a test or not. It’s more about the process of learning that becomes the distinction.
How did the sort of growth mindset, the introduction of this concept, how did it affect how you perceived your own life? Like you realized that you could impart that to your children, but how did that sort of change how you viewed your own career and your own path?
Once I read that book, having that growth mindset has become my ultimate goal in every decision. And the most distinctive thing that it has benefited me on is a willingness to fail. I grew up in a household that was fairly, even though it wasn’t overt, like the overall idea was you succeed, you get the A’s. It was very performance based. So it has taken me time to learn that it’s not so much about did you do it right, do it wrong, how’s it come across and performing, instead it becomes about the experience. And so that has informed not only how I parent, so for example, with my kids, I have a child who’s a perfectionist. So a lot of times we’re talking about her mindset because she’ll go into a task and she’s really anxious about it because she’s afraid she’s not going to do well. And in her case, I have to encourage her in a sense, to be OK with failing. In fact, we went out for tea the other day and she was talking to me about how some of her classmates will tell her that they got a B on a test and then they go home and tell their parents and their parents take away their phone or their apps and all this stuff because they got a B, and she and I were laughing because she said, do you remember last spring when I failed that test?
And I came home and you gave me a high five. Yeah, I remember that because here’s somebody who wants to get 100% on everything. And for her, there’s so much wrapped up into being perfect that I really, more than anything, my goal for her was to find some opportunity for her to fail while she was in my house. Because when you become an adult, it’s so much harder to fail. It’s, you know, it’s harder to save face, all that, so I’m always telling her, look, you’re going to do as well as you can. And what happens if you don’t get 100%? OK. And so we talk a lot about that mindset of it’s OK to fail and if you do, then learned from it. And that sounds kind of simplistic, but at the same time it’s so hard for her because she’s perfectionistic, she wants it right all the time.
But life is so filled with opportunities for failure that if you’re just going to play it safe and just get the A, you’re always gonna find yourself flying under the radar, right? Because you just want to get it right. So my goal with her is to encourage her to put herself out there a little bit more, challenge herself and maybe she’ll fail, but as a result, she’ll end up growing from it. So I high-fived her, not of course because the F, but I high-fived her because she lived through it. Right. And that gave us an opportunity to talk about it. So that’s as a parent. But like in my business for example, I moved here from Illinois to Georgia and I had plans, right? And I knew that some of the plans were almost like trying to catch lightning in a bottle.
It was almost too perfect, but I also still wanted to go for it. And over the course of the last 10 months, I have failed probably 10 times for every one success. And that’s hard to do, right? Every time we fail it hurts. And if my goals were to execute A, B, and C and I had to do A, B, and C, no matter what, at all costs, then you end up putting yourself in this box that makes it so that you stop thinking and you’re not really going to make the best decisions. So instead, by coming down here knowing these are my objectives, I don’t know exactly what form they’ll take, but this is what I’m going to go for. And then finding that, OK, that didn’t work. OK, that didn’t work. That didn’t work.
But what ends up happening is that if you’re willing to go through the pain of failure, if you’re willing to deal with not succeeding, what ends up happening is when you do succeed, you know it’s real, right? So I’ve waded through the stuff that I thought was going to work and now I’m like, OK, well that didn’t work and that didn’t work and that didn’t work. And so it has put me in a position now where I have a really clear sense of what my purpose is and what systems work, what systems don’t work. And so it makes for a much more efficient day because now I’m really spot on. It’s not like I’m guessing all the time or just doing just enough. So the whole growth mindset for me makes it so that when I fail it’s not a reflection of my ego, or it doesn’t reflect on who I am.
It’s not like, Oh, I failed, I’m a failure. Instead it’s OK, what can I learn from that? And let’s move from there. And, and that’s a really hard thing to do. And I think the reason why it’s hard for people to do it, and it gets so in their fixed mindset about something where either they’re right or they’re wrong, or they’re good or the bad, or I’m a good business person. Oh no, I’m a bad business person. I think part of it is that you have to allow for the fact that there will be another time, you know, like even doing a podcast for example, right? So you come onto a podcast and there could be all this pressure on you to do it perfectly, and you could put all this pressure yourself to do it just right. And when we put that kind of pressure on ourself, usually what ends up happening is just too much.
Right? So we don’t do anything at all. Whereas I just published my 20th podcast, which was exciting just because it’s exciting because I’ve done 20, that’s it. It’s exciting because I got through a lot of really bad ones to get to a 20th one, right? And that’s only possible if you’re willing to handle the fact that not everything’s going to be great, but I’ve gotten better and I’ve gotten better at keeping my head on while I’m talking and thinking in the present mode, staying authentic. And so I’ve grown as a result. But if I had had a fixed mindset of like, I don’t do podcasts, or if I had a mindset of I’m not going to do business ownership, then these avenues would just be shut off. Whereas if you have a growth mindset, it really stimulates your brain to be open to opportunities and you’re looking for them instead of like, I am this, I’m not that.
It’s like, Oh, this is my life. Let’s see what happens. And then as we go through it, we improve and then that starts building. So it just allows for you to build scaffolding in your life, to build other skills on that in a fixed world, you really rob yourself of the opportunity of ever really getting better at stuff and developing skills. And, yeah, it just kinda keeps you in a constant state of stuckness and I like the growth mindset cause it informs everything I do and allows me to fail and to still get up the next day and go forward again.
And it must bring something special to your clients as well if they are contending with a fixed mindset themselves. Have you noticed it’s enhanced your ability to kind of open up their minds to what they’re capable of and what sort of results they can achieve?
Well, that’s a great question largely because that is really where my passion lies with my clients. You know, my background in fitness, really my twenties and thirties were really just going to the gym, working out. For me, fitness has always been just a way to manage my moods. So my twenties and thirties, the only reason I really exercised was because my psychiatrist made me, he said, you know, you should be working out six days a week and that’s going to help you manage your moods. And he was right. So I didn’t really have any major goals when it came to fitness. It was really just more maintenance. But what ended up happening when I got into CrossFit is I ended up shifting. CrossFit in and of itself was transformative because it shifted my mindset from just doing just enough to a mindset where I could actually have goals and achieve things.
And all of a sudden I’m doing things that I didn’t know I would ever be able to do in my forties, you know, that kind of thing. So that got me into the CrossFit world, which is great, but as far as having a passion for helping women specifically was when I started coaching classes. So I got my Level 1, I got some other certifications through CrossFit, but when I started coaching women, specifically women who didn’t see themselves as athletes, so there’s that fixed mindset, right? I’m not an athlete. I am an athlete. And so you go into a box and there is the women who could do all these movements and they are the athletes and everybody else is kind of on the outside. Right? Yeah. And so, you know, I applaud anybody for walking through the door period. You know, that alone is huge.
But to get them to stay, they have to start to see that it’s not so much whether they are or aren’t athletes, really the goal is just to show up. But I could see how that fixed mindset of like, Oh, that’s not me, could start getting in the way. So absolutely like with clients, whether it’s in talking about like their eating habits or in terms of fitness for them to see that it’s more of a focus on the effort and not a focus on the outcome. You know, because we get so focused on success being how we look, you know, what the physique we get. And ultimately that becomes sort of the, I guess you could say the prize at the end of all of it. We ended up like really liking, physically we transform.
And that’s a great feeling. But the successes early on have to be founded simply in showing up. Right? So that growth mindset is, I showed up, I showed up, I showed up. That’s the success right there. And that’s the great thing about the growth mindset is it’s like, it allows you to focus on the area where you can actually find that success so that when you do have little failures, like, Oh, I couldn’t finish that workout. I thought I could and I couldn’t, or I couldn’t lift as heavy as I wanted to, in a fixed mindset, and I could see this in the gym I was in, a lot of people with a fixed mindset and what would end up happening, and even though they had achieved a certain athletic level, so these are people who fixed mindset had achieved something, is that they wouldn’t show up on days when the movement wasn’t something that they could do well or they could do a movement, but they don’t do it well.
And so it ends up kind of putting their own caps on themselves. So whether you’re a new person who doesn’t see themselves as an athlete and needing to have that growth mindset just to get through the door or somebody who’s an experience athlete but who’s going to limit themselves because they only show up on days that have nothing to do with muscle-ups or something like that, you know, whereas when I see a muscle-up day I’m thinking, wow, I am so far from a muscle-up and I still can’t do one, by the way, but you know, I’m so far from that I need to show up on that day cause that’s the only way I’m going to get better.
You mentioned your ideal client is a woman between 42 to 58 who’s 50 to 150 pounds overweight. That’s a pretty specific window. What is it about that sort of demographic that really appeals to you in terms of helping them?
I like the age groups specifically because when people get to around the age of 42 that usually is a point in life when they’re going to no longer think that they can do everything themselves. So before that, you know, our egos do support us believing that, you know what, I can do it, I can do it, and if somebody can do it, great, that’s awesome. But if somebody can’t do it and they haven’t been able to do it yet on their own by the age of 42 then they’re starting to look like, wait, I’m in my forties, my health is going to start declining. I’m not losing weight as easily as I used to. I better get some help now. So I work best with people who have really reached that level of like, I’ve tried everything and nothing’s working.
It just sets them up for a greater opportunity of success in terms of that growth mindset because they’re like, I’ve been beaten down by life and nothing I’m doing is working. Please help me. And they’re open at that point to taking in the training from somebody else. So that’s one of the reasons that age group is really a good age group. And also a lot of times in that age group, we’re talking about women who’ve been moms and women who have sacrificed so much of their life for their children. So you know, in that age group also we’re talking about women whose children are either out of the house or they’re a little bit older than say your children are very young, right? Very demanding. But the people I’m working with, you know, it’s like they’ve given, they’ve given, they poured out so much of their time, their energy to their children and now they need something for themselves.
And so it works well for me because I can give that to them and they’re so grateful. Right. I personally appreciate gratitude. Like I like seeing an impact and you know you’re having an impact on someone when they’re writing you texts and saying, thank you so much. I didn’t think I could do that. Right. So that gives me good feedback. And so I like that. And so yeah, I think that that age group is, they’re ready. They’ve sacrificed enough. It’s time for them to give to themselves. And probably on a psychological level is that’s pretty much the age group my mom was in when, my mom was 40 when she had me. And since the age of very young, I just remember my mom being in bed, you know, she was in bed, depressed, in bed, depressed.
And it wasn’t until I was probably around the age of 14 or 13 or 12 that right around the time when my parents got divorced, that’s when she was starting to like get on her feet. And so that’s the age group to me where I really wanted to help my mom. And you know, as a kid you only have so much impact on your own parents, but I could see how her not taking care of herself had impacted how she viewed herself. And it also impacted how I had to deal with seeing myself. And so moms of that age still have impact on their families. And that’s really important to me, is to be able to help them feel good about their bodies so that they can then demonstrate and show the uh, model for their children who are still looking to them.
And to see this as an example of an adult who knows how to take care of themselves. And then hopefully that will trickle down to their children. And the other thing is when we take care of ourselves, it also—women specifically, when we take care of ourselves, it enhances every relationship we’re in. It enhances our friendships, our relationships with our children. It also makes our relationships with our spouses better. And so by helping women, in my mind, I’m also helping men because I think it’s really hard for men to be in marriages with women who don’t care about themselves. And you know, it all feeds on it. It’s a big system. But by helping the women where I feel like I can have the most impact, ultimately my goal is to also help the men and the children in their lives.
The ripple effect extends outwards.
How did you come upon Two-Brain and how has that element of mentorship assisted in kind of reinforcing this growth mindset that you’d started out developing. How did that sort of build out your business model?
Well, number one, I adore Chris Cooper and I adore him because of the fact that he is so true to what he stands for. So he has principles and he has values and he abides by them. So I really like that about him. Now I learned about Chris Cooper through a interview he was on in one of the CrossFit Kids Facebook groups. And so that’s where—because I was the CrossFit Kids coach at the gym I was at. So I was learning about that. I learned about him. So I started following him and reached out to him and we had some back and forth emails and it was right around that time when I left the gym and I went to open up my own garage studio that I reached out to him and was asking him about what I was planning to do.
And, you know, he gave me good feedback, you know, it was like, well, tell me about this and how’s that working then? And then he even referred me to a podcast he had done with another gym owner, a couple who had started in their garage. So it was very practical advice. And so I started with Two-Brain very close to the beginning of my garage gym up in Illinois. And that was definitely something I wouldn’t change. You know, as far as like, when people look back, what would I have done differently or not done differently, to me, having a mentor from the beginning was critical. I don’t think I’d still be doing this if I didn’t have a mentor. I’m sure I would have given up a long time ago or not given up in that sort of fixed mindset.
But it was sort of like just without a path, without a sense of like where I’m going or it would still be a hobby, let’s put it that way. If I were still doing it, it would just be like hobby mode and it wouldn’t be actually generating income to support my family. So, having Two-Brain in my world has multiple levels of benefits. It’s that benefit of having the accountability to my mentor, it’s the benefit of having a model of someone like Chris and then all of the people who are impacted by his life, his mentors, who ended up having the same message and the same systems to support the growth of all these gyms. And when you see other people succeeding who are in similar situations to you, there’s enough examples in our group that you say, Hey, if they can do it, so can I. And so on all these multiple levels, the Two-Brain mentorship group and then the group of gym owners themselves. And the way we support each other, it’s invaluable.
It helped you to make a pretty big leap. You moved from Illinois to Georgia and your husband’s a stay-at-home dad, you’re the breadwinner. What’s that change been like for you and how has that sort of played itself out?
So we decided to move down here after my husband’s family business decided to close. So he and his dad and brother after Sears when they, and that was their major client, they decided to close the doors, which was fine by me because I hadn’t seen him in years with the family business and just being chained to his tasks. So we talked about it and I said, you know, what would you think about you staying home with the kids and me going out on this venture?
And we kind of did some numbers and figured things out and how much savings we had. And then, you know, with our house selling, you know, like we know the practical aspect is it takes time to build relationships and it takes time to build a business. So we were prepared for this to take a while and we decided to make it happen. And it has been—so from the level of him being a stay-at-home dad and me working, it is absolute perfection for our family. You know, I’d been a stay-at-home mom for pretty much 15 years, so it was time for me. I was ready for the switch and he was ready to be out of the grind of day-to-day business. So having that switch has been great. I moved ahead of them six months down here to Georgia and so in terms of all of that, even though things haven’t played out the way that I originally intended, I get into the Two-Brain, mentorship aspect of things.
There are things that my mentor said to me back in February like, Hey Rebecca, why don’t you do this? And I wasn’t ready. You know, the fact is if I had listened to him then and if I was ready to do what he was telling me, you know, like, what do you think of this? If I was ready, I’d probably be farther along now. You hear people say, you know, if there’s any advice I’d give it’s listen to your mentor. But I wasn’t ready and so it is what it is. But, you know, I was still chasing what in my mind I thought I wanted to happen. And so what’s ended up happening over the nine to 10 months I’ve been here is that I had all these ideas in my mind, I’m going to do this, this and this and this. But they really weren’t connected to my heart.
They were all just ideas, right? So I’m kind of an idea person, so it’s really easy for me to get caught up and to believe that my ideas are good. Right? And that’s one of the roles of a mentor is to kind of ask you questions, so it kind of bounces, puts it in the back of your mind like, Oh yeah, maybe I should be doing that. Ultimately I found success in specifically what my mentor, Jeff Burlingame had said back then that I’m finally doing now. I have been doing it for about four months, which is just to stick with the garage gym format as opposed to what I was trying to do when I came down was to have, I had enough money still reserve-wise to get a lease in a building and to hire coaches and to essentially ramp up to having a gym, right.
A full-blown gym with classes and this kind of thing. And none of that happened. And largely because I couldn’t find the right lease, and the right deal and all of that stuff. And I can’t tell you how grateful I am that that did not happen because the burden that I think that would have put on me in terms of hitting that monthly rent and sometimes there’s positive stresses like that that kind of spur you on, but because there were so many other transitions going on in my life with the move, getting the kids down here, getting them into school, acclimating them to making new friends and selling our house, there’s so many other things going on. I think it would have been too much for me. Now that might still be a part of my future. But having the simplicity of just working out of a garage where I’m literally renting it from my apartment complex that we’re in for $150 a month.
So my overhead on a space sense is only $150. More of my overhead is actually in like mentorship and you know, my systems and that kind of thing. But my overhead is so low so that by having, you know, right now I’m at nine clients. If I have nine clients paying me $80 an hour, you know, it’s a very doable business model that makes it so that I can help people, which is what I’m here to do, is to serve people. So it allows me to satisfy my purpose, is to help people and in a very concrete way as opposed to like hands-off right away. So I feel fulfilled and the overhead doesn’t crush me. And I can still weave this into being connected to my family and not feeling like I’m chained to, you know, a five-year lease or something that’s gonna, you know, put a lot of stress on me. So I’m very grateful for the mentorship, even if when I’m not willing to listen to it, having it there, knowing that when I am ready and I come back and say, you know, that idea you had Jeff, where you know, stick with the simplicity of the garage gym model? That’s where I’m heading and that’s where I’m finding success.
And you were talking earlier about how when you’re making the transition from being like a stay-at-home mom back into the working life, the fitness industry is really, it can be really beneficial for women in that they can make their own hours and that it doesn’t take a lot of overhead to start out initially. Has that been your experience?
That’s exactly, you hit the nail on the head. That’s what I would say too, is the barrier to entry is fairly low. And and the garage gym model can work just about anywhere. And a lot of times what women want is they want that work-life balance. So if there’s someone out there listening who’s thinking about it, my advice for you would be just to start, you know, get started because it takes time to build any business, no matter what. And it takes time partly because you have to get the word out there. There’s that sort of the trickle effect of social media, it might take 12 months before people start following you and then another 12 months before they come in the door. So get started now so that in two years’ time you’re making some money. And I also think it’s a great opportunity for women because of that work-life balance so that they can set their own hours.
They know who’s showing up, you know, they have appointments. It’s not like you have to open up at 5:00 AM and you close at 9:00 PM and you’re on the floor all day. You can have down time. You get to establish the schedule. So there’s so many benefits. Oh, and I think the other thing I was going to say is not only from that social media standpoint and building, but we personally as humans, it takes us time to process, chew on, integrate what we’re learning. So like through Two-Brain, if you choose to hire Two-Brain as your mentor, and get a mentor through that group, you are going to be transformed. That’s all there is to it. You know, I don’t remember where I’d read it once, but when we open a business, what we’re really doing is asking to be transformed because there’s no other way to do it because you are going to be pushed up against discomforts.
But the benefit is that you are forged into a more beautiful form of yourself. And you know, when we play it safe in life, you know, things might feel safe and there’s obviously comfort to that. But what you end up missing out on is the opportunity to actually become more truly yourself and to find out what your strengths are and to learn where you can lean on other people to help you with areas that you are not as adept at. And that’s a pretty beautiful thing.
Yeah. Fitness has traditionally been seen as pretty male dominated. But like yourself, more and more women seem to be getting into the game. How do you think that the inclusion of more women in head coaching roles, in owner/founder roles, how do you think that changes the fitness industry for the better?
That’s a great question. I would say that what I think women often have, not always, but what women more often than men, let’s say percentage wise, a greater percentage of women are going to have an empathetic view. And I think it’s just literally hormonal. I think that’s all it is. I think because the men have more testosterone, there tends to be more of the drive and I think that drive and stop overriding sometimes more of like the empathetic parts of our brain. It’s not that men are less good or anything like that. Whereas the women, I think because there’s maybe more of the estrogen or less of the testosterone, there’s more pause. And that pause I think allows for more empathy, or more opportunities for empathy, let’s put it that way. And then the other thing that I think women distinctly have an advantage over men when it comes to fitness, especially women who have had children, is that they’re in, unless you have gone through the process of being pregnant, unless you have gone through childbirth or had to have a C-section or you’ve gone through that kind of bodily trauma that comes from childbirth it’s really hard, I think, to be empathetic or to relate to what is going on in somebody else’s body. And so like when I first started coaching, and actually even before I was coaching, when I was working out, what I found, what was happening is that I was surrounded by people who had never had kids. And so we’d be doing a workout and they’d be like, Rebecca, why aren’t you doing heavier? Like, you should be doing heavier on this. And after four kids, I’m saying to myself, no way. Like, and that’s one strength I have that I’ve, and I don’t know if it’s from the growth mindset, I think I had that even beforehand, is like the internal dialogue that says yes or no. And when I hear people say push it, I say, are you kidding? Like, do you know what it feels like to live in my body?
You do not. You have no clue. And that’s one thing that unless you’ve actually been through some kind of physical trauma or in this, you know, the fact is that not all childbirth is trauma, but it certainly is a reckoning. You know, there, there’s a transformation that happens with our bodies that happens at such an internal level that from the outside I might look strong. I might look capable, but I know internally things have shifted. And that’s a perspective that I think only a woman specifically who has had children can offer to somebody. So that’s something that I would say is the one difference between men and women in terms of perspective. And so a female trainer I think is more often than not going to be able to listen to the other person and say, yes, but how’s this feel at this level?
Now, of course now I’ve got all this male, female thing, so I don’t want to like ostracize. I know a lot of really amazing men who are great coaches and they’re great coaches partly because they’re looking at the form and they can see the form’s breaking down and so that they know this person is lifting too much. So I think that there’s different ways of getting at the same thing. But so whether you’re looking at the form and you see it breaking down and then you know that something internally is not working quite right or you can just know and relate and say, you know what, this looks like too much because, and I know that you’ve had four kids, so let’s back off on the weight and let’s just work on building your strength from the inside out.
Final question. I kind of want to talk about what your vision is that has come out of this whole experience of kind of uprooting your life and making it on your own and honing this vision of working with women. Can you tell me a little bit more about that?
My vision is to help 5 million women love the person they see in the mirror and that has a lot of layers to it. You know, it sounds like a lofty vision when I say it. I actually only recently have even started verbalizing this because I was a little embarrassed to be saying, and Rebecca, how are you going to get 5 million? How are you going to impact them exactly? And you know, the fact is I don’t a hundred percent know how it’s all going to play out.
That’s one of the benefits of the growth mindset though, is I don’t have to have all the answers. And even, you know, for me it’s like this is my vision, how I’m going to accomplish it, I’m not 100% sure, but I feel like there’s no better time in history to be able to impact that many people through social media. And you know, whether it’s YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, getting out there on the circuit of doing public speaking. You know, there are so many opportunities, TED talks, TEDx talks, you name it. I feel like if I can’t impact 5 million women, I have only myself to blame. It’s not like the opportunities aren’t there. Right. So as far as why and why that’s important to me, you know, I think that from the age of, basically the adolescent years, I think that girls, the level of self-consciousness that they undergo, that we undergo, and not that men don’t, but I can’t speak to men.
I guess that’s the thing is like I can’t say what men have gone through. So I can only speak from my experience and that is to know that the experience of being self-conscious in our body is an extremely painful and uncomfortable one. And I have learned multiple, there’s like a handful, literally five things that I think of when, steps I even to today will have to go through when I find myself feeling self-conscious that helped me get out of that place so that I can actually engage in the world. Because when we become self-conscious, our world closes in, it just becomes, so opportunities are small, relationships are small, our decisions are small. We’ve become very, overly simplistic and it makes for a very static, flat life. And yet the flip side of that is when we can transform ourselves from sort of looking at ourselves from the outside in, instead we look at the world through the inside out, we can look in the mirror and feel beautiful and it’s that simple. If we can look at the world from inside out, our anxieties diminish, if not vanish, we stop worrying about what the world thinks of us. We start to put presence and importance on our own values, not other people’s values. And as we learn to build strength through fitness and eating well and making positive decisions that protect our boundaries, then we build this confidence that makes it so that when we look in the mirror, even if our body hasn’t completely transformed to where we want it to be, doesn’t matter at that point. We look in the mirror and we like the person we see and that’s my vision. Fitness is one step. Eating well is another, but there’s also just this whole layer of how we perceive ourselves in this world because I think one of the biggest limiters that women place on themselves and what prevents them from succeeding in their fitness goals is simply the behavior and habit of comparing themselves to other people.
And when we drop off that comparison and we stop worrying about the expectations of others, we give ourselves permission to be truly ourselves and we actually like who we are. And that is transformative.
Rebecca, I really appreciate you taking the time out of your day to chat with me.
It’s been my pleasure to be, I’m so glad that we got to talk.
Thank you for listening to Two-Brain Radio. I’m Chris Cooper and I’m here every Thursday. Every Wednesday. Sean Woodland brings you the best stories from the fitness community. Every Monday we’ll bring you marketing tips and success stories from our clients. Please subscribe to Two-Brain Radio and share this show with any friends we can help.
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