Break Out Into Nature

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: I’m very excited today to have Anna-Marie with us. She’s going to talk about getting back into our shelves, what’s best for us, our mental, emotional, and physical states through connecting to make nature.

So, I think as we go into 2021, Relly, I feel, I hope our audience feels like we are more prepared. I think for many of us the grief is passing through us quickly, more quickly, we’re letting our feelings resolve themselves more effectively, but we need sustainability. And while we talk about the ideas of grit and toughness in many of our everyday conversations by focusing on what is positive in our lives and energising ourselves I think today we’re going to get a great insight on how to do that effectively by simply being in nature. So, I’m very excited for today’s show.

Dr. Relly Nadler: Great, Cathy. I’m excited too.

Let me just say a few words that we know about Anne-Marie Watson. She and I just chatted a little bit before just about her love of the outdoors. Anne-Marie is a certified performance coach who loves to escape the confines of the four walls and take conversations into nature.

So, we’re going to hear more about that.

She is a former British Army officer. She has worked in challenging environments from the snowy arctic tundra to hot and sandy desert though currently resides within the rolling countryside of Wilshire, England.

She has an insatiable curiosity of the world and is a self-certified, learning junkie. I think, Cathy, you and I could also qualify as that and that’s one of the reasons why we do this show, so we can learn from folks. Anna is a post-graduate, has a postgraduate certificate in applied coaching from the University of Derby and a Master’s in teaching from the University of Sydney among other psychological, psychometric based tools.

So, along with her passion for performance and coaching Anna-Marie has a severe ultra-running habit. She loves racing overseas, and before covid regular achieved podium positions on the international ultra-trail tour series – Marathon des Sables and other crazy long-distance events.

Anna-Marie’s on a mission to encourage a different approach to work, where our natural environment is valued and brought into the business world.

So, I’m really excited to hear from Anna-Marie. Cathy, as you know, my master thesis was really designing curriculum for these outdoor adventure, outward bound, programmes and so how do we make sense of what goes out in the outdoors and how does that change us.

So, Anna-Marie, to the show.

Anna-Marie Watson: Hey, hello, hello, hello and greetings from a wintry Wilshire in England and I am absolutely delighted to be here, this evening. It is 5:00 o’clock now in England and it is great to be able to reach over the Atlantic and join you both, today.

Dr. Relly Nadler: Beautiful.

Cathy, how did you meet Anna-Marie because you had that contact and then we will go from there with the questions we have.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Yeah. Well, it was a serendipitous meeting, at first. So, I’d be online doing my International Coach Federation work and Anna-Marie’s lovely face came up and also in our many, many classes I would you know I would hear her voice. One of the things that I really appreciated was her background. It was no mystery to me that somebody who has a background in the British military or ultra-marathons is going to be somebody that that I want to learn from and speak to. As you know and I’m sure we have friends in common, Anna-Marie, one of our colleagues who is one of our network coaches is a former SAS cultural support attaché and I’m in a relationship with a Navy Special Warfare active duty professional, and dear, dear friend of ours who is in fact featured in our latest video is an ultra-marathoner and trains other ultra-marathoner.

So, I have to speak to this woman, have to meet this woman and engaged with Anna-Marie in email and I’m so excited you’re here. Welcome.

We cannot wait to share all of your wonderful insights which probably starts with your background in leadership and coaching and then how you came to be a leader within the ICF – International Coach Federation – community and now an independent, so, congratulations.

Anna-Marie Watson: Thank you so much for just sharing how I stumbled across and into your work. I always find it fascinating how people are connected and how small the world actually is.

So, yes, I’ll dive on in with my leadership background and present how I’ve got to ultimately where I am now.

So, the leadership and the military go absolutely hand in hand. I served nine years in the British army and going through the leadership training, we have a year at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, whose motto is, ‘Served to lead,’ and I think that always really just places everything in context and gives us a really interesting approach to leadership, which I think is often overlooked and forgotten. It gives us a really useful tool as well within our coaching as well and how we are there to serve our clients.

So, I think it just really brings it together really nicely.

During my tenure in the army, as mentioned during my introduction, I served in the hot and sandy places of Iraq and Afghanistan, I did three operational tours. Which in my twenties, when I look back now at the responsibility that I had and the soldiers that I was leading it just absolutely confounds me, how I kind of work through things at the time. Though I’d had the training and ultimately that I was there to look after my soldiers and now when I look back, I see that is where the foundations of my coaching work was started. Ultimately, it is all about building rapport with your soldiers, getting to know them, asking questions and then really listening.

So, that is in the vehicle parks whether it’s out on patrol it is all about looking after my soldiers and encouraging and leading them.

When I left the army, I’d already got a qualification in expedition leading so during my time in the army as part of downtime, r and r, I’d organised and led Expeditions. I did a couple over the Grand Canyon in America, which I’ve got very fond memories of and had a couple of great nights in Las Vegas as well, but we won’t talk about that now, and in South East Asia and in Europe. This was where the leadership in the outdoors really came to the fore. I basically grown up free range, taking a step backwards so very much I’d be at school, I’d be looking out the windows, I wanted to the outside – that was my natural environment is where I felt safe, that’s where I felt comfortable. And, actually, that is a thread that has continued through my life super.

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