A change in life coaches will be necessary

Published 10:30 am Thursday, August 29, 2013

Guest Column: by Joel Myhre

After some careful thought, I have decided to hire a life coach.

And it won’t cost me a cent.

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By the way, I’m also firing my current coach.

Joel Myhre

Joel Myhre

I decided to do it in the middle of a golf round on Tuesday. Somewhere on the 14th fairway, after playing yet another round of golf headed for another score much higher than I was used to in previous summers, I decided that I was going to fire the guy in my head who beats me up after anything in my life goes wrong, and hire a good coach instead.

The previous coach? Well, he could be compared to, say, Bobby Knight, only not the Knight who successfully coached the Indiana Hoosiers to a national championship.

I’m talking about the Knight who verbally and physically abused his players.

My previous coach — let’s call him Bobby — said stuff to me like, “If you don’t hit this particular chip well, it will prove that you are indeed a poor chipper,” or “Boy, your choking on that shot shows that you have some sort of mental imbalance,” or “I don’t know why you’re even bothering to play golf if you’re this bad. You should just quit.”

I particularly liked this one that was running through my head. “Your inability to hit a good shot makes you a disgrace as a human being.”

Really Bobby? I hit a bad golf shot, so I shouldn’t bother to engage in life anymore? Honestly.

I’m fairly certain Bobby is far more abusive than any coach, any parent on the planet.

I wish I could say he only bothered to show up on the golf course. Of course, he does not.

He decides to hang around at times at work and at home, too. He relishes it when something does not go quite right in life: Problem at work, issue at home, missed three-foot putt.

He’s always right there, ready to pounce on me, enjoying every minute of it.

He also has an overriding philosophy: Everything that happens that could be perceived as negative is well deserved, anything positive was simply good fortune, and certainly won’t last long.

Anything negative that is said to me is the absolute truth, and anything positive is a lie.

I wish I could say that, like Knight, the purpose of Bobby’s rantings was to make me a better person.

At my age, I don’t think that’s the case anymore. I think anything I have accomplished has been in spite of him, not because of him.

I also wish I could say that Bobby’s rants don’t affect me outwardly.

But if you are told you are a bad person, and you know you’re not, then you tend to get defensive, and at times angry.

For that reason, I’m certain my family, friends and co-workers really hate Bobby.

So for many reasons, I’m asking Bobby to retire. I don’t want him getting a job in anyone else’s head, either, though I’m sure I’m not the only one with such an abusive coach.

So I want to introduce you to my new coach. His personality resembles Chris Powell, the guy on ABC’s “Extreme Weight Loss.”

He has inspired morbidly obese people around the country to lose weight, regain their health and change their lives for the better. Yes, he is the guy I want in my head.

He say things to me like, “You are having a bad round. So what? Just relax. There’s no need to beat yourself up over this. It doesn’t make you a bad person. You are still allowed to enjoy yourself.”

Or, “So some negative things happened at work. So what? You are still good at your job, and you just need to do the best you can.”

Or, “You’re not perfect, but you are a good person. Just relax and everything will be fine.”

After only a couple of days, I’m finding that, like many older workers — Bobby’s been in my head for close to 40 years now — he’s having a hard time easing into retirement. He’s forcing himself into part-time status.

That said, Chris is going to have a serious conversation with Bobby, and soon.


Joel Myhre is the publisher of the Fergus Falls Journal.