Plant the seeds. Watch them grow.

Let me start out by saying, I’m no gardening expert. 

See, I’m married to a farmer, so since day 1, I’ve conceded all botanical expertise to him. He’s a self-proclaimed expert; you’ll understand when you meet him (love you, Jase!). Our first backyard garden was really his pet project, and I saw him take great pride in the bounty from that tiny rectangle of green.

Fast forward a few years, and we found ourselves in a larger house with a larger backyard garden. We now had our first child, Sloane, and we wanted to show her the joy of watching something you’ve worked for blossom into something amazing.

It was the same feeling I had the moment I became a mommy. That seed we planted had grown into this amazing creature before me, and I wanted her to feel that same feeling. The backyard garden was now hers. 

I employ this notion in my full-time job as a physician. Just a few weeks ago, I had a discussion with a patient about eating better. We didn’t make any specific goals; rather, we just identified a few items in her current diet that could change. I recently saw her again, and she was proud to tell me she hadn’t had one soda since our chat. Better yet, she didn’t even miss it! 

We planted a seed, and she allowed it to grow into one healthy habit. With proper guidance and care, it will continue to grow into more and more, until those habits create a healthier, stronger being

This is my approach to coaching. A sunflower doesn’t grow to full height overnight, and we don’t either. It takes time. Progress is hard to see on a daily basis. If only we had time-lapse videos of our day-to-day! Our specific goals vary, but deep down, I think we all share the vision of creating better versions of ourselves. That process is really never done. And neither is our garden. 

Through the years, our garden has faded. We are now in our third house and have yet to build our raised bed garden that we used to really look forward to cultivating. However, we find every opportunity to plant seeds in other ways. Heck, we’re even trying to grow a carrot in a little windowsill planter. 

I’m pretty sure it’s not working, but the kids don’t know that yet. 

Our goal for this spring is to finally build that raised bed and create a garden that our children can be proud of. Each garden has improved, house by house, seed by seed. We have a better idea of what types of soil we need to make the juiciest tomatoes, and how much water the peppers need to make them crisp and sweet. It’s taken all this time for me to consider myself a gardener, but now it’s a title I wear proudly. I look forward to helping my kids find the ripe, red tomatoes, and teaching them to not hurt their fingers on the prickly cucumbers. I’m excited to take those healthy foods into our kitchen and show them how wonderful they taste when enjoyed the day of harvest. And maybe, just maybe, those seeds we plant together will lead to planting other seeds of healthy living that they will cultivate forever. 

–Coach Casey


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