After growing up in California's central valley, I went to college in the East Bay, then moved to Pennsylvania to study creative writing.
Through my twenties, I had plenty going for me--school, teaching, writing, running. But I had no idea who I was. What were my dreams? What did I want my life to look like? What made me tick? I wasn't brave or self-aware enough, so I let circumstances choose for me. I fell into graduate school, into a relationship, into a decent job. I woke up every day, ate the same breakfast, saw the same faces, had the same conversations, while yearning for something more, but not knowing how to get it. Even though I wasn't sure, I knew I was going to try.
To begin transforming my life, I had to take little leaps in areas where I thought, "What do I have to lose?" I've always loved to bake, so I took a short baking course, emailed a local baker, apprenticed for two months, then worked there for over two years. I fell back in love with running, then coached myself to complete my first half-marathon, which took place right on my birthday. I wrote more and more poetry, publishing and getting recognized. But I was still having a hard time aligning my creative spirit, my relationships, and my work in a way that brought me fulfillment and joy.
I learned that I needed to take bigger leaps where something was at stake. I broke off a very long relationship that was comfortable but was stifling me. I moved to a new area and met people I wanted to spend time with rather than just those who crossed my path. I brought my creativity to my job in higher education even when it wasn't called for because if I wasn't my full self, I wasn't going to manage being myself at all. I branched out into professional areas that I was more passionate about, leaving behind what may have been tolerable but ultimately unsatisfying. I trained for more and longer races, gently pushing myself to try things I hadn't before because What if I could actually do it?
I wanted sustainable changes, and I knew I couldn't go it alone. So I sought out a running coach to guide me in my athletic pursuits. I found a life coach to help me uncover my passions and my hang-ups so I could build a more fulfilling life both personally and professionally. And I turned to intuitive coaches in my own pursuit of better relationships.
It's my own story of pulling together creativity, self-reflection, a drive to improve my performance, and building connections with others that brought me to coaching in the first place.
Mottos I try to live by
No Risk, No Magic
In life, work, and relationships, I have found that taking risks and being vulnerable is the best way to make magic happen. I try to tell people how I'm feeling and what I think, even--or especially--if it's scary. More times than not, doing the scary thing has led me to fulfillment, success, and connection in ways I never experienced when I stayed complacent.
It is your life, and you must live It
I'm not on this earth to live someone else's life or to live up to someone else's dream. My vision for my life is the one that matters, and if I don't intentionally work to create the life I want, it will pass me by as a life not fully lived.
If you don't like it, you can get the f*ck out
The "you" here is me! Whether it's a relationship, a job, a creative project, or even just a night out, I might feel stuck in a situation, but that doesn't mean that I can't choose to leave. I have never felt as free as when I've walked away from something or someone that wasn't bringing me joy or helping me live my best life.
I'm not here to be right, I'm here to get it right
I don't have all the answers, and I don't pretend to. I try to be as generous of a listener as possible, remaining curious about friends, family, and clients. Upon entering into any kind of relation, I strive to understand people as they are, making mistakes and working through them along the way.
Most people, most of the time, aren't thinking about you
As a kid, adolescent, and even much of my adulthood, I spent far too much time worrying about what others were thinking of me. It takes effort and purpose, but making my decisions and living my life according to my values and not someone else's has allowed me to gain much more fulfillment.
I received my MFA in Writing from the University of Pittsburgh in 2008, and have been teaching English Composition and Disability Studies at the same university since then. I have been coaching adults and teens in both private and university settings since 2013.
I began running as a freshman in high school, took a break in college, and laced back up in graduate school. Since then, I've run race distances from 1 mile to full marathon, finding my personal passion in the half marathon. I began coaching runners and other athletes privately in 2016, and received my RRCA Running Coach Certification in 2021.
Sam Pittman Coaching
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