Goosebumps

We’ve all experienced “goosebumps.” The subtle response is stimulated by strong emotions, fear, euphoria, inspiring music, nails on a chalkboard and sometimes temperature changes which cause the hair follicles on your skin to contract and stand up.

Have you ever stopped to reflect on what exactly initiates those “goosebump” moments and how to deliberately (and repeatedly) re-create that feeling? Is it possible to obtain that type of elevated emotion consistently?

Unexpectedly, I’ve found myself on the receiving end of “goosebumps” on a daily basis—for the past 20 years. And it’s primarily from coaching. I’ve been acutely aware of it the entire time, but have never shared or expressed this. It happens in observation: watching people grab a nugget of information about a lift and seeing it click, or noticing an athlete who doubts their performance and then suddenly exceeds all expectations. Sometimes, it’s the “ah-ha” moment during a team meeting, or simply walking down the gym hallway and watching two joyful teammates reunite to train together during a 7p class. And the goosebumps don’t stop there. These are just the ones that happened yesterday.

I consider myself to be incredibly blessed in this regard. Everyday, I get to experience this. And it’s not always about the lifts, the big weights, the workout times or a monster-sized squat. Instead, it’s the more subtle occurrences that prove most remarkable.

To elaborate, writer, Dan Heath, argues that we can understand these goosebump-like feelings as defining moments: moments of elevation (inspiring emotions), moments of insight (epiphanies), moments of pride (achievement) and moments of connection (relationships). Coincidently, these four points are the exact things that create remarkable moments for both the athletes and myself.

So, I ask you to reflect: take a moment to, first, consider what gives you goosebumps. Then, dream-up the ways you might begin re-creating those moments: one at a time, until they repeat themselves enough to become habit.

Coach David