Thursday, May 10, 2012
I am sure that other triathlon coaches would shake their heads at me. I know El Esposo thinks that I should blow this "job" off for one that pays better. But I don't do this for the money. I do this because I can empower people. I can give them something that they thought was out of their reach. Call it self respect, pride, courage, bliss....whatever the hell you want to call it...they find in in the last mile to half mile of their "A" Race.
I may be a bit of a drill Sergent throughout the training season and my charges may think that I sit and try to come up with the craziest workouts that I can to give them. They may think that I am a kill-joy when I give the raised left eyebrow at them when they tell me that they are going to go off and do something way outside of the training plan or they start playing Mr. Potato Head with the workouts. I know some of them dread those Thursday emails from me.
When they are scared the night before the race, I give the pep talk and the reassuring hug. When they are about ready to jump out of their skin on race morning, I help them focus and fix any problems that might arise. When they are crawling out of the swim or running into T2, I am there with my cowbells pissing off the old ladies running the aid station with all of my extra energy to get a smile out of some tired athletes. When they want to call it quits on the run, I am there to assess their status, give them information that they can use, and even to get them to focus on something else to take their mind off of the discomfort. Sometimes, I even get to run with them.
And that last mile to half mile is where the magic takes place.
Those are tears of relief, tears of determination, and tears of joy. As the race announcer said on Sunday, "What does it take to finish a Half Ironman? It takes two friends to make sure you get there." We look out for each other. The first finisher of our little TEAM made sure to go back out and stay with our last finisher. I made sure that I kept someone's focus sharp on the goal and that nothing (pouring rain) or no one (the gentleman she had to pass in the last 250 meters to not be last) got in the way.
It is more than just crossing the Finish Line. It is about the journey that took place to get there. With those last few strides, they truly believe that "Anything Is Possible".
I am very proud of my 13 who finished Ironman Galveston 70.3 and my 9 who finished Ironman St. Croix 70.3. It took guts to ask people for money for blood cancer research and to fit in training between job travel, family commitments, illness, relocation to another city, new relationships, and moving into new homes that needed renovations.
In the end, this is why they did it....
You can assist the 16 doctors in the Texas Medical Center that we directly fund to help them continue their research by following this link: http://pages.teamintraining.org/txg/rnr12/coachliz70
Posted by CoachLiz at 11:05 PM