Life coach focuses on finding balance
April 23, 2010
As a certified physical trainer, Mary Jo Rehn heard a lot of excuses as to why people aren’t in good shape. She realized that to help clients achieve their full potential she was going to need to help them manage their entire lives.
After all, the things that keep people from exercising or achieving any goal are always time, money and energy. These are our life’s resources, and resource management is needed to optimize ourselves, she said.
Rehn learned these lessons herself after having a tumor removed from the side of her face 25 years ago. She lost her inner ear which seriously impacted her balance. Many activities made her feel "seasick," she said.
Overcoming the illness required changes in her life. She had to evaluate where she was putting her own resources. Rehn said she had to focus hard to achieve balance both literally and figuratively in her step and her life.
As part of this process, she hit a rough patch and a doctor offered her Prozac.
While recognizing there’s a time and place for everything, she also never pictured herself as someone who would ever need it, she said.
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At the same time she kept hearing medical reports on the power of exercise to fight depression. Fitness and wellness was something she had been passionate about her entire life which began as a chore-laden Iowa farm girl. She had university degrees in nutrition and always loved being active. But even more than that, she loved helping other people and making a difference in their lives.
She decided to dedicate herself to helping people discover life-enhancing solutions.
"What I want to do involves more than just fitness," she explained.
Rehn gained another certification to become a life coach and started Maximizing Resources, a business dedicated to empowering people.
"I’m a maximizer," she said. "I love the phrase, ‘Carpe Diem.’"
Part of her business is a special service called "Fanny Pack Fitness" that has its own website at fannypackfitness.com. Rooted in her past as a physical trainer, this endeavor is about getting people to start exercising in ways that work for them. She carries around in a fanny pack several work-out tools that can be done sitting down, hanging out in the backyard, walking down the street or even at work.
"I’m all about customizing," she said. "I focus on what you can do."
Rehn loves acronyms. She uses them as teaching opportunities. For example, when she tells clients to focus on "CAN," she tells them it means "commit to act now."
Something everyone can do is walking, so Rehn has become a specialist in Nordic Walking or Ski Walking. using poles to push oneself along as they walk, a person can engage over 90 percent of the muscles in their body, she said.
To help clients find balance in their lives, she likes to help remove clutter both in schedules and in homes. She likes working with people who say they feel too busy or overcommitted. By clearing out blocks of time as well as physical spaces, a person can recommit themselves to what’s most important.
And for Rehn, that also means having room to accept new things that come along. Her favorite part of hiking is seeing what’s just around the bend, she said.
"The clock is our ‘circle of life,’" she said. "Think: is that really how you want to spend your time?"
Mary Jo Rehn