Being specific and being able to articulate what you mean is something to aspire to as the person who delivers a communication as well as the person who is listening and wants to find out more. Being able to guide someone so that they are understood is what’s strong with me, in many circumstances. An example is when asking someone how they feel, in a clinical setting as I do with patients who are on the treadmill undergoing an exercise aka ‘stress’ test.

‘Do you have any chest discomfort of difficulty breathing?’ Could be a yes or no answer, ‘no’ needs no further questions. When the answer is, ‘I’m starting to feel something in my chest’, then, is it a pressure, burning, sharp? Next to have them tell you on a scale of 1-10, 10 being an elephant sitting on your chest and 1 being a mouse, what number would you give that pain?

Then to acknowledge and say it back, ‘Ok, so a 5/10, feels like pressure’, then they are understood.

It’s the same with Perceived Exertion PE in exercise and training; does a given level of intensity feel like a 4 or 5 out of 10, or a 6 or 7. Then that can be correlated with both the power and the heart rate. Being able to articulate the level of exertion associated with output, speed, VAM is useful even when you have the numbers in front of you. Indoors, easy to check those numbers and back off or ramp up. Outdoors, when there’s wind direction changes, elevation differences, road surfaces and more, the ability to know how you’re feeling, accurately and specifically is a talent!

Then you can take it to more so, specifically, is it my breathing, my legs, my quads or calf muscles, lower back. The feedback from that process guides you to understand and be able to acknowledge and take an action. To note it and wiggle your elbows, to flatten out your back.

There’s a lot to being specific and that’s what’s strong with me!

Coach Be