Coaches Wellness: Putting Yourself First and the Power to say No

Coaches Wellness: Putting Yourself First and the Power to say No

By Bob Platt//Director of Operations, Scottsdale Aquatic Club  | Monday, December 16, 2019

In January of 2019, I began to experience occasional difficulty with the vision in my right eye.

It felt as though I was looking underwater. I just attributed to a lack of sleep, something all coaches can understand.

Fast-forward to the second week of March, and I began to have the same problems in both eyes, except this time it wasn’t going away, and I was having difficulty seeing more than 25 yards.

I knew things were bad when on the first night of Sectionals I was asked to read the splits off the board, and I couldn’t make out whether the number was a 3, an 8 or a 5. My boss took notice.

Upon returning home, he had arranged for me to see an ophthalmologist whose kids used to swim on the team. After a lengthy eye exam, the tech informed me I was nearsighted. No big deal, I could wear glasses.

Then the doctor came in and did a quick exam only to tell me that my eyes were actually in great shape, and that he would bet his practice that my difficulty seeing was due to high blood sugar. I would quickly be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I was stunned and an emotional wreck.

How could this happen?

I had an idea something was wrong with my health before being diagnosed but didn’t want to admit it. This time, though, I was scared. Enough was enough. It was truly time to make a change. I immediately changed EVERYTHING about my life.

As coaches, we are programmed to help everyone, always putting others in front of our own needs – and in this case – my own health. This was about to change. For the first time in my life, I was ready to make my well-being a priority.

No more 4-6 Starbucks hot chocolates a week. No more fast food. No more skipping my own workouts because someone needed my time.

The hardest part of changing was realizing that it was a marathon and not a sprint. Realizing that it wasn’t about vanity, but rather a true, permanent lifestyle change.

I began a consistent workout program, lifting three days a week and doing cardio on all other days. I began to record everything I was eating and educating myself about what I was putting into my body. More than anything, I took the time to take care of myself, and that was OK!

There is no way I could have made these changes alone. Just like in swimming, it took a team effort.

Through the support of those I chose to surround myself with, I’ve been able to make the necessary, permanent changes to positively improve my health. I have gone from 261 pounds in March to 200 pounds as of the writing of this article.

Change isn’t always fun. It’s hard work and moves us out of our comfort zone. If you can simply implement small, gradual changes to your daily routine, I believe you’ll see the desired results and meet your health goals.

Don’t’ be afraid to ask for help. So many are willing to lend a hand and assist you along your journey. If I can make these changes, you most certainly can as well.

Bob Platt

Director of Operations

Scottsdale Aquatic Club



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