Mary Eggers

General

Live and let live

It was the first big weekend of racing for our Valor Triathlon Project athletes! Hop on over to our FaceBook page to see the results. And have you seen our new website? Designed by the one and only Alex Tong. He’s just amazing.

Throughout the morning I received texts updating me on how things were going. The theme was PR weekend, and one particular group of girls banded together and smoked 13.1 miles like they invented it. I loved the camaraderie between them. I can’t say enough about that. They pushed one another along and they kept to their own performances at the same time. That kind of team is rare. As a coach it makes me so crazy happy to see. THAT is what sport is about.

I haven’t set foot on a starting line since fall. On purpose. I have been waiting. Cultivating. Rekindling. For the right time. And it’s coming. Just a few more weeks.

Having our athletes out there and performing like badasses was amazing. I am so proud of them I could scream. I might have even screamed. Okay… I did.

They embodied what I dream of in a group of athletes to coach. They are it. Too often I see athletes treat one another poorly. We all have personal differences, and it’s my wish that we would not use sport to attack one another. Live and let live… as they say. At the end of the day… even if you are a professional athlete…. this is a sport. Even if you are a professional it does not pay the mortgage. It does not set an example for the youth of this world…. who look up to us when they learn how to act.

Often dramatics surround races and race results. I guide my athletes to never get caught up in that stuff. Let the others get caught up in that. Focus on your race and what you are there to do. Have a clean line with no distractions. Worry not about placings and he said she said but on what YOU do. Some people exist to tear one another down…. don’t get involved in it. We are all in this together. Race what fits you and your life. Be grand in your performances. Embrace each opportunity to toe a starting line and cherish the ability to reach the finish line. Period.

Get involved in raising your bar as high as you can, and doing what it takes to rise up to meet it. Focus on the details of life (wether it is sport or school or career) that help to add to big things. Focus  on what you are willing to do day to day to help you get that degree, get that podium finish, get that PR.

Don’t ever…. EVER…. allow yourself to get distracted by race dramatics. EVER. That pulls you off your own game. “Not your monkey, not your circus.”

Sunday morning we had a group of women come together. In a race. Running side by side. Running fiercely and relentlessly and while they were raising their own bar they were bringing one another along with them. PR’s were had, smiles and hugs were shared. I just wish I had a photo of them all running together. I could not be more proud. Yes I am proud of their performances, but I am more proud of their class. I am proud of who they are as people in this world. I consider it an honor beyond honors to have the opportunity to help them towards their goals.

I often get mocked for my attitude. I will admit I am a lover not a hater. I race on joy not on hate. I don’t get angry or pissed while competing, I get happy. I don’t think many, if any race photos exist without me smiling. I can’t help it. In many regards I am not even supposed to be here much less be racing.

Even on a bad day, this sport is a gift. What is there not to smile about?

A long time ago that was my lesson. That every day is a very true gift. I get mocked for that belief as well. Every day I sit on the side of my bed and I ask myself…. how will I earn this day? How will I make this day count? How will I make someone’s day a little bit better?

Ultimately we are here for one another. Not to judge based on racing. Not to tear apart based on things that don’t matter.

If you stood at my funeral tomorrow, would our last interaction be something you are happy with? That’s how I think. All of the time.

In fact….. just about three years ago that happened. Heather was killed while riding her bike. Our last interaction…. was a hug. How lucky for me. The next morning she was taken from us by two drunk drivers. Then there was Mike, who died a year later. Our last interaction was on a stairway the night before he was killed. A smile, a wave and a good luck.

I carry those two distinct memories with me every single day. Every single day. Time passes but I keep them in the forefront. They make me a better person. They keep me in line. They keep me on the good foot. I take those friendships seriously to this day. I let who they were guide me and I try like hell to live as they did. They were the best of the best.

Truly that’s what we should all strive for.

Trust me I am not perfect. I am far from it. But I am better about letting the little things stay little things. And the big things become big things.

I am inspired by my athletes today. I am continuously inspired by the memories of Mike and Heather and all they gave to my life. I am inspired by the people I get to work with in career and sport. I am inspired by my barista each morning.

Give it a try. I dare you. I challenge you. Give it a try. See how amazing each day can be. And on the days that are not amazing…. because they exist…. see how giving to someone else can help pull you out of yourself.

 

 

 

General

Getting ready

I might be the only Rochesterian that just doesn’t care about snow on the ground today. Doesn’t affect me. Doesn’t change my day, or my mood. I have lived here long enough that I am bulletproof against weather. I just don’t care.

If I wanted sunshine all ay long I would move to San Diego.

I am not worried about water temperature in the early season triathlons come June. I hope it’s cold. I love cold water and I know how to handle it. Freeze me.

When it comes to competition that’s how you have to be. You have to take it by the balls, you have to own it. You can’t create a story upon a story and allow that to dictate how you perform. You have to own your performance.

The secret to training is really quite easy. Apply stress to the body, allow the body to absorb the stress. Change the stress. Allow the body to adapt. It’s not a science but at the same time it is a science. As an athlete it takes turning off your mind and executing. Day in, day out. Through the days you don’t want to, through the days you do want to.

Nothing great ever happens from being comfortable. We’ve said this before and we will say it again. You must get comfortable being uncomfortable. In life and in sport. We can’t control everything and controlling everything never bore winners and those who succeed.

Success comes from reaching beyond logic and reaching beyond what you believe your capabilities to be. Period.

The closer we get to the season and the starting line the more we realize the part the mind plays in all of this. More often than not I see the mind as a detriment. Athletes create stories that they begin to believe. Stories of the cold having an effect on them. Stories about insecurity. Stories about fear of being unprepared. Fear of failing.

Easier said than done but you have to sweep all that crap off the counter. You must take a deep breath and look forward with blinders on. You can’t buy into the bullshit stories that you aren’t ready.

Did you put in the work?

Did you put in the recovery?

Did you take care of the details?

Then you are ready.

Do you look back in your training log and see a bunch of holes? Own those too. Change your expectations. Move on. Aim to be better tomorrow. Don’t attach your self esteem to all of it. Don’t judge yourself because of it. Own it. Accept it. Move on.

We would see a slew of more successful athletes if athletes stopped attaching self worth to race results.

Resist the goals you set for the season. How often do you revisit them? I do this every WEEK. It’s a new habit for me. I look at those goals I set way back then and I ask myself: have I taken he necessary steps to achieve these goals? Most of the time yes. I am aiming for all the time yes. Goals themselves are easy to set. It’s the day in and day out work that’s harder to maintain. That is why….. achievement is not made on goal setting. It’s made on the work we do. It’s made of the details. Those details add up, and those details don’t add up.

Race season is around the corner and I am fired up. Taking a step back from racing through the winter was what I needed. When I think about the starting line I can feel my heart begin to pound with anticipation and excitement. I thrive off being fired up. I don’t get nervous I get hungry. And I am feeling hungry.

As your race season approaches…… look back. What are your goals for the season? Have you taken the steps necessary to hit them? What are the blocks that you face, is it your mind? How will you wipe those blocks off the table. How will you set yourself up for your most successful race season yet?