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Campbell Gerrish Coaching

“Talk. Plan. Create. Execute.”

What do you think of when you hear the phrase “life coach”? Maybe a therapist comes to mind. Maybe you envision a mentor, spiritual advisor, consultant, or teacher. Defined by Merriam-Webster as “an advisor who helps people make decisions, set and reach goals, or deal with problems,” life coaching has grown from a 1980s-era practice that focused on general life planning into a vast field encompassing relationships, finances, careers, health, and overall well-being.

Meet Campbell Gerrish, one of Bozeman’s only male life coaches. Gerrish started as a certified men’s fitness trainer in Bozeman in 2013. His programs evolved into a combination fitness/philosophical plan with a personal growth aspect, and Gerrish soon became a certified life coach. He established Campbell Gerrish Coaching, providing programs that encompass mental, physical, and emotional guidance for men and women.

Visitors to Gerrish’s website are greeted by the words “Talk. Plan. Create. Execute.” which is a succinct description of his process. “I’m often the first person a man is speaking to openly in a long time,” Gerrish explains. “My work includes deep and open conversations, because my experience is that it’s easier for we men to go into lone warrior mode, rather than open up to vulnerability.  However, the solo approach doesn’t serve anyone. Conscious cultivation of close, deep relationships is a key for us to thrive.”

While Gerrish serves both men and women, most of his current clients are men. He often sees individuals who have reached a powerful stage in their careers and are ready to evolve to the next level. This may involve upgrading who they are being in relationships, their level of commitment to their personal health and well-being, or finding a deeper level of purpose and passion in their work. “Sometimes you need something real and raw that wakes you up,” says Gerrish. “We don’t have many built-in processes to create meaning in our lives in our modern culture. So we need to explore, discover, and form a pathway that helps us interpret our lives and locate a sense of purpose.”

To that end, he works to create more space in clients’ lives for being, rather than doing. This includes the practices of meditation, eating well, studying, fitness, and surrounding oneself with good influences. Gerrish constructs an experiential breakthrough process in which clients feel more clear-headed, healthy, and dedicated to owning their physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Gerrish didn’t set out to help others improve their lives. Growing up in Rye, New York, he attended college at Bucknell University and taught English in Beijing, China, for two years. In his mid-twenties he went to work in finance in New York, following the path of his father. Although genuinely drawn to this way of life, he felt something was missing and began exploring meditation, seminars, personal growth, and men’s work. He spent time as a wilderness guide and joined a Rights-of-Passage program, during which he spent four days and nights alone fasting in the wilderness of California.  “This was a significant experience for me – it opened up a new world of healing and spiritual insight,” he says. “When I came back to New York it was challenging to integrate my experience into the daily life I had created.”

Hence Gerrish’s relocation to a place that for him integrates a sense of wildness and discipline, in which fitness has become an important component. “Rigorous physical training has offered me a pathway to discover authentic power in my life,” he explains. “I believe it’s important for us as men to be able access our warrior archetype and also our softer, more tender sides.  My male role models start with my dad, and a host of others have helped me find this balance for myself. Getting married and becoming a father while growing a business has been an invaluable training ground, where I practice growing internally while relying on my close relationships.”     

In a culture relatively short on vulnerability, it’s refreshing to know that services like Gerrish’s exist in Bozeman. By taking his journey of self-exploration, he began to want to help others do the same. “When I was 36, I felt I had come back to myself in a powerful way.  If we experience a level of disconnection in our lives, I believe it’s truly possible to find our way back – if we tend the garden of our own health and self-expression, we can re-discover authentic joy and enthusiasm we may have lost along the way.”

Katie Lineberger Thomas was born and raised in Bozeman, Montana, and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. Her work has appeared in Edible Bozeman, Explore Big Sky, Montana Parent, and others. When not writing, Katie can be found hiking with her husband and black Lab, skiing, cooking, and critiquing restaurants with her friends.