Disclaimer: Arya Stark is one of the main characters in the popular hit HBO series Game Of Thrones. If you don’t watch the show, you may feel that this blog post has nothing to do with you. However, I’m going to outline why the story of Arya has many parallels with the average fitness journey. Her story along with the challenges she faces may help to guide you on your own journey to achieving your goals.
The Complementary PT Session
Aryas story starts off simple enough. She’s the youngest daughter of a noble house, a tom boy with a short temper without a worry in the world. Arya experiences a few injustices at a young age and convinces her father that she’s never going to be a ‘Lady’. Instead she’s happy playing with swords and learning how to fight so she can take revenge on those that have wronged her.
Her father arranges for a sword master, Syrio Forel (PT/Coach) to teach her the ways of the sword. Even though Arya has been practicing with her brothers and friends growing up, she soon realises how much of a novice she is. She realises how much she’s yet to learn if she wants to be good enough with a sword to carry out her revenge (Her goal).
The few lessons she has with the sword master are like the complementary personal training sessions that most people will have when they first join a gym. During this time, you begin to realise the value of coaching and how much quicker you’ll progress if you carry on. Unfortunately many people do not carry on. Most due to finances, some due to not seeing the value and others because they feel they can take what they already know along with the few tips to achieve their goals.
Arya Stark goes it alone…
Arya Stark is forced to leave The City after her father is executed and her sister is taken captive. She decides to travel North disguised as a boy hoping to find the rest of her family. Whenever she gets a chance, she practices what she’s learnt (Going it alone), but without any further guidance, she is unable to grow and progress any further toward her goal.
I would love if the people I met during consultations had the knowledge and experience to go it alone. In fact, this is my goal for all of my clients. But of the several hundred consultations I’ve done, I’ve only ever met 2 people that’ve had enough knowledge to not need guidance. Yet funnily enough, these 2 people still hired me as they felt they could still learn more and gain a new perspective on training.
The beauty of working with a coach is the experience we bring to the table. A good coach will know where to start you off and more importantly know how to progress you. Whether they periodise your training, tweak your diet or adjust your activity level, they make sure you keep progressing past plateaus. An even better coach will balance several complex systems within the body. To make sure you reach your aesthetic goal and also make sure you’re working the best on the inside too.
Opportunity presents itself
Arya is taken as a slave and finds out that things have gone from bad to worse with her family. Her only goal now is to escape captivity and find her Eldest brother. On her quest to find her family, Arya meets a man named Jaqen H’ghar. A man whom she saves from almost being burnt alive. Fortunately, he belongs to the Guild of Faceless Men, a group of expert assassins (Super Coach). She’s given the opportunity to go with Jaqen and learn the way of the assassin (Coaching/PT). A skill she desperately needs if wants to achieve her goal, but she refuses in order to carry on searching for her brother. (Life/Social/Distraction).
Arya Stark is desperately seeking revenge and even though the opportunity achieve her goals are presented to her, she’s not ready. This is something that’s common place in the gym. People join with lofty goals, an idea of the perfect summer body. When they realise the sacrifices needed in their social and personal lives, they decide they don’t want it anymore.
Time to seek out an expert
The time will eventually come, when you’ve exhausted all you know and you realise it’s time to find an expert. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that you didn’t quite make it on your own. Just like Arya, she finally get’s to the point where she’s had enough. She’s tried chasing her goals on her own and realises she’s not really getting anywhere. Opportunity presents itself, she makes her way to Bravos, finds Jaquen.
At the House of Black and White, the assassins guild, it’s time for her to being her training (Coaching). She’s tried on her own and has become a lot better with her sword (training). Yet she knows it’s nowhere near enough to achieve her goal (Body Transformation/Fitness).
The journey of Arya Stark is very similar to the journey that most face when they set a fitness goal. Some people start off with more knowledge than others, that’s great. Everyone is in an environment where they can hire an expert or have a consultation when they first start.
I myself have many clients from different fields, whom I consider to be experts in their own rights. When I have questions about anything concerning: advertising, finance, digital, creative, video content, social media and many more. I know who to ask and hire. I’d never assume a quick internet search would give me the expertise gained from experience.
In the same right, a good coach has hopefully spent several years honing their training and nutrition education. Here to help you achieve your goals and make your life easier. So you don’t have to spend months or years trawling through conflicting information to find what works. Find an expert, hire a coach and make your life easier…