Meet Molly: From Becoming Coachable to Becoming a Coach
Molly Douce, 61, came to Kettlebility a few years after retiring from three-plus decades in the Seattle Fire Department. She signed up for the Transformation Challenge in 2015 and quickly learned the importance of mindset and attitude in training.
“I didn’t come in coachable,” says Molly, who had served in the field as a battalion chief for many years before working in administration training other firefighters. “I came in with a stubbornness. I was used to telling people what to do.” So, what happened? She got hurt (“I probably wasn’t paying close enough attention and was doing my own thing”) and took a month off. That gave her time to assess her attitude.
“I really had to look at myself. For many years, I could not show vulnerability because of my job. You do not show any form of weakness,” Molly says. “I realized I had to peel the layers off to get vulnerable enough to be teachable and be comfortable if I wanted to have success.”
So she did just that. And it all started to click.
Physically, “I was really broken when I first came to the studio.” She remembers being called to help when an elderly neighbor had fallen. She was able to pick him up and put him on a chair. “But I realized that at that time in my life I had trouble getting off the ground. I was hurting.”
That said, Molly was physically active–remodeling her house, dabbling in Crossfit, training for long-distance cycling, but she was in almost constant pain. She felt burdened by old injuries and limited mobility. She felt uncoordinated (which left her fearful of getting new injuries). And she felt ashamed of where she was physically. Thanks to cycling, her cardio was really strong “but I couldn’t really walk or do anything else. And here is this place asking me to squat and do this funny swing with an iron bell between your legs.”
But Molly realized it wasn’t just the physical challenges she had to face—it was the mental challenge. She was used to being a bad-ass. Molly was one of just three women who made the force in her 1977 firefighter class. She had powerlifted weights earlier in life. She was used to doing hard physical work in her job. Coming back to Kettlebility after her less-than-successful initial foray, Molly knew she’d have to deal with her frustration that her prior physical work didn’t translate to immediate fluidity with kettlebell work or healthy pain free movement. In short, she’d have to swallow her pride.
“It was just so different. It’s a whole new set of skills. I didn’t realize the learning curve was going to be there,” Molly says. “I came in thinking, ‘I know this. I don’t need to be ‘taught.’ Well, I was wrong.”
Once she truly embraced the role of student, she was good to go. Initially, her goals included being able to get off the ground gracefully and doing a push-up and pull-up. Today, she’s doing push-up reps and chin-ups, working on a one-hand push-up, and squatting with ease. She’s logged her fourth Challenge (Kettlebility Transformation Challenge) and is down to 27 percent body fat. She rode her bike last summer from Seattle to San Diego. She’s doing a Turkish get-up with a 20kg bell. And as an instructor, she loves helping other women find their strength.
“My journey was really about becoming coachable,” Molly says. “You have to check your ego at the door–and then let the fun begin. It’s been a real journey of exploration for me.”