I promised my Just Muscles readers interviews with interesting people who are experts in their field, and I am extremely fortunate to work with a delightful woman by the name of Lori Jorgenson (www.lorijorgenson.com), who is a Mental Toughness and Sports Performance Coach at Club Sport with me.
I’ve known her going on 13 years, and we have both been in the wellness field for over 20 years. She is extremely passionate about two things: the brain and paddling. Outrigger canoe-paddling, Dragon boat paddling; anything to do with non-motorized boats and water she loves dearly. If you need a paddling coach, Lori is your girl. (I’m so envious of her shoulders and particularly her shoulder blades. Talk about ultimate functional development! )
However, it was the brain part that I find fascinating and wanted to ask her about. Tons of research has come out about recently about the plasticity of the brain and about the possibility of rewiring the brain well into adulthood. Tons of research in particular has been geared toward a previously unresearched brain: the teenage brain. Teens, tweens, and younger than ever kids are plagued with vast uncertainty, anxiety, depression, low self esteem, low confidence, frustration, and panic in this digital age.
How then to best help yourself, and your children, tap into their inner greatness using their brain? Enter NLP.
Neuro= from the Greek word neuron, linguistic = language, and programming = how components of a system are organized to create patterns of activity or behavior. John Overdurf calls it “the study of human excellence” and how you say your words, adds Diane Ulicsni (www.dianeU.com). That sounds very interesting! Lori uses this technique, and many more, with her mental toughness coaching clients.
I asked Lori a bunch of questions about this extremely interesting topic, and about her upcoming co-authored book with her mental toughness coach Diane Ulicsni for kids.
Here’s what she had to say:
LEC: How did you and your co-author Diane get into this field?
Lori: I grew up with little self esteem and no self confidence. I wanted desperately to fit in.The way I tried to fit in was to make people like me. I felt bigger in size than most of my friends. I compared myself to others all the time, and found myself struggling and unhappy. I decided to get into sports. I learned a lot about myself and what I was capable of through athletics.
Continuing to be athletic through out my life, I found myself involved in outrigger canoeing and dragonboat paddling. It took me to a whole new level of athleticism. I found coaches to help me with paddling and fitness as well as a mental training coach, Diane Ulicsni. In 2004, I won the World Sprint Championships on the single outrigger canoe. The journey to World’s helped me in many areas of my life, especially in becoming a better mother to my son. I have been able to teach him many of the tools I use for self-confidence.
This inspired me to want to help others. Diane and I have been working with teams of adults and children athletes in the areas of mental toughness and confidence.
Diane: My childhood years were full of despair, helplessness, loneliness, and trauma. My mother died when I was very young, and my father abandoned my sister and I. Anxiety and panic were part of my life all the way through school. It was a time when there was a lack of understanding for a child who had been traumatized, or had anxiety or panic.
As you can imagine, school was tough. I look back and wonder how I got through it all. Once I could leave the small town I lived in, I sought out any and all information I could find to get relief from anxiety, and any means I could find to develop some sense of worth. There were limited resources available, but I did find some tools which helped me develop self confidence and self esteem.
This all set me on a path to obtain an education in tools and techniques that would allow me to be a successful professional, and to help others transform their lives. This is my Gold Medal. The great news is that science finally caught up with these ideas, and it is now proven that you can change your own brain and your life!
Lori decided to work with me before she got her Gold. We have developed a great friendship that grew into a passion to help children and adults to overcome anything that stops them from having the life they want. Both Lori and I wish there had been people who were able to help us with our problems when we were children. That is a big reason we are writing this book.
LEC: If I wanted to do some Mental Toughness Coaching with you, what would we do?
Lori: Let’s say you are a 10-year-old volleyball player whose coach is belligerent and talks down to you. You dread going to practice, you get yelled at in games, but you love volleyball and want to keep playing. In the book we talk about meeting a monster. The monster in this particular case is the coach. Monsters exist everywhere for everyone ( i.e. bullies, boss at work, test taking, teachers, friends, negative self-talk, etc) and the question is: how do we take the fear out of the situation when you meet a “monster” so you are not paralyzed, and can move forward in a confident way?
Take heart in knowing that your current biochemical state (aka scared) will only last 90 seconds. To change your state most quickly you need to take a deep breath and do something physical or imagine a happy place bringing in all your senses. With the coach example, you would take a deep breath, and use your imagination – the coaches voice sounds like Donald duck. Now you’ve laughed, breathed some more, and broken the biochemical fear cycle. Or, take a deep breath, and jump in place!
Realize that you have the ability to do whatever you want to do as long as you have confidence in yourself. You are the boss of your thoughts. Know that you have inner tools, you just need to develop them and empower yourself to use them. You are always more than you think you are; you are always a super being! Thats why the website for the book is iamasuperbeing.com 🙂
LEC: Tell us a little bit more about the book and what we will learn.
Lori: It is the story of Molly (who represents molecules ) and Adam (who represents atoms) on a journey through the brain. They hop on a train and are guided by a wizard named Odokah. Along the way they travel to the Limbic Center, and down Memory Lane to meet the Hippo on Camps. (Does that give you any hints on parts of the brain? 🙂
I don’t want to give away the whole story, but our characters encounter many things that children and adults alike face on a daily basis. Reading this book with your child, or on your own, will help them see how good it feels to help somebody else and how to make positive pictures out of negative.
We plan on writing a series of books, actually. We want everyone to know how to trust your heart+your brain+ your gut = intuition or what we call “In YOU-Tuition“.