Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Building Athletes and Finding Finish Lines

Last year ended extremely well, athletically speaking:  a PR in the 140.6 distance, a third invitation to the best amateur team out there - Big Sexy Racing, a second "c'mon over" by Honey Stinger to bee in the 2016 Hive, and a couple of new opportunities to be a bit more involved with a couple of product lines that I have liked and utilized for several years now.

As 2015 drew to a close and 2016 dawned anew, I submitted an application to CycleOps (owned by the Saris Cycling Group) to become one of their Brand Ambassadors.  I knew the number chosen was going to be small, and I really did not think much more about it.  The first week in February, true to the application information, the Ambassadors were announced, and I was among them.  We are only about a month into the "life" of this group, and the training and communication thus far are exceptional.  I am pleased to say that the three brands (PowerTap, CycleOps, Saris Racks) are all products that I can fully get behind and am proud to say that I currently own and use, or will very shortly.  With that successful addition to the training and coaching arsenal, I thought I would take a chance on applying with my all time favorite compression gear company:  CEP Compression (MEDI USA).  Again, with athletes such as Meb Keflezighi, Michelle Vesterby, and Andy Potts on their roster why oh why would they add a "stay-at-home-mom-turned-legal-assistant-turned-age-group-ironman" to their list?  But, they did.  And, my excitement for 2016 then hit a new all time high.

It was as I was chatting with one of my friends and athletes the other night, a little bit of reality sank back in.  She told me that when she trains her driving force is me.  She said, "I want you to see me at the finish line and think, 'I built that.  I created this athlete.' "  But, that's not the point.  I tried to explain to her that it's not MY finish line she is looking for, it's hers.  It is her life she is reclaiming.  Her inner turmoil she is over-coming.  Her demons she is slaying.  I'm just there as a guide; a voice of reason; a reminder (sometimes not so gentle) of what needs to be done to get to the finish line.

I have no desire to be the reason OR excuse for any one's success or failure.  As a coach, I repeatedly tell athletes that I am merely a guide, resource, tool in their tool belt on THEIR JOURNEY to the finish line.  I remind them that I can offer them all of the necessary tools, but I cannot do the work for them.  If they choose to not do the work, it is on them.  However, in that process I will be their strongest advocate, loudest cheerleader, and most single-minded person for their success they know.  Thus, I am constantly amazed, surprised, and in awe of what hurdles can be leaped on the way to success.

I am excited to reap the benefits of working with some of the absolutely most fabulous products available to endurance athletes world wide.  I am anxious to see what my friends, athletes, and BSR team mates "throw down" this year in training and on the race course.  I greet each sunrise with a renewed sense of hope and anticipation for what the day holds.  

You are only promised today:  grab it with both hands and make it yours.

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Mac's "SwimSTRONG" Foundation

Mac's "SwimSTRONG" Foundation
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