Mary Eggers

Date archives December 2014


Have faith, be brave.

I am not inspired by you if your biggest accomplishment is that you stood on the top spot of the podium.

I have stood on that spot.

I am not inspired by you if you are the fastest on that given day.

I have been the fastest on that given day too.

I know what that is like. I know how meaningful it can be. I know how hollow it can feel.

You know who I am inspired by? I am inspired by people who have been to the brink. Not of a 400 meter repeat, not by a to-the-second-win. But someone who knows deep down in their soul, down at the very bottom of their being…. what it is like. I am inspired by them as they fight their way back. Overcoming odds and diagnoses and unbelievable obstacles. Because I know that the true test of one’s self…. one’s entire being…. is to go to that brink.

Some go to the brink through cancer. Others go there through depression or life circumstance. I have been there. I have stood on its edge a few times in my life. I have looked over that edge in fact and I have seen …… it.

When you get there you have two choices…. as the saying goes…. “You have faith that one of two things will happen. You will land on something solid, or you will learn how to fly.” Through my life, I have had both experiences. I have learned that the brink is the place where you fly or you land, and you have to have faith for either to happen.

Without faith….. and you define faith not I….. without faith nothing can happen.

I once had a coach who always told me variety was for those athletes who were weak minded. I never believed that. I never bought it. I have felt in my heart that a lack of variety was for the afraid.

Variety is for the brave.

In life we can not predict what is going to happen. Nothing remains the same …. not truly. Even if you take the same route to work, have the same schedule. There is always something to vary it. Always something to roll with. It has to be, because if not… the moment something did change you’d lose your footing. You’d fall and not know how to handle it.

Athletically…… every race is different. Swimming the same workout 34 weeks in a row isn’t going to properly prepare me for a mass swim start of 3,000 people. Every soccer game is a different experience and part of being successful is knowing how to react and change on a dime.

Part of that variety, part of being brave, part of all of that is having faith. Having “faith that one of two things will happen. You will land on something solid or you will learn how to fly.” It’s believing beyond yourself. It’s not knowing that there are 500 more yards of pulling left in this set. It’s not knowing what is left and having the ability to handle whatever comes at you.

That ability comes with practice. In training it comes with changing up sesisons. In life it comes with drawing off of experiences that help you develop the ability to react, change, and dodge things. If you practice that development in sport…. you will be able to live that ability in day to day life.

Sport bleeds into life. And life bleeds into sport.

It works both ways. But it’s never the same and it never should be. Life doesn’t happen in excel spreadsheets.

I am inspired by those who have that ability. For me those people might be in sport. They might not be. But they inspire me. Their ability to change on a dime, their ability to roll with the punches…… because they have been to the brink and they have either flown or landed. They draw on that and bring them home and it creates an entirely new being within them.

You tell me you hope you never go to the brink, and I feel sad for you. No, it’s not a fun place. It’s a terrible place in fact. But a place that left me grateful beyond grateful. I feel bad for those who have never been there, because it’s provided me a perspective I can’t really truly share. You have to go there to understand. You have to experience it to relate.

I am inspired by those who have both landed and flown. Who have fallen flat on their ass. And got back up. Who have stood at the brink…. on the very edge of it…. and they have turned back to look … thrown back their head…. and laughed.

They have faith. Faith inspires me. They have faith in themselves, not a spreadsheet. They have faith in the unknown, not the schedule. They know how to handle variety, adversity…. because they are used to standing in the middle of the storm. It’s commonplace.

As we begin this New Year…… let go of the standard. Let go of  the same old same old. Instead…. “If you feel good run a little harder, if you feel bad, run a little longer...” (I think Dean Karnazes said that). Learn to trust yourself over anyone or anything else. Listen to that little voice inside of you. Let it be a loud voice. Let it urge you to take the chance. Take the leap. Have faith. Be brave enough to do it.

Just remember “One of two things will happen. You will land on something solid, or you will learn how to fly.”

I promise you will.

Happy New Year.


A different beat

Thank you to the amazing Alex Tong for our new design! Alex is one of my friends and athletes and he has an eye for sport and art. I am so honored he redid the look around here. If you are from Rochester you’ve seen his photography at the #TrailsRoc events, and now many of the GTRC events as well. If you need design work, Alex is your man.

Thank you so very much Alex!!!!!!!!

Mary Eggers marches to the beat of a different drum.” My friend said to me over the phone. He works in the bike industry… a life involving units sold versus units made, travel here, there and everywhere, spending more nights in hotels than I understand is even possible. “It must be nice!”

I smiled. It’s true. I am proud of that. By accidental design everything I am doing is done to the beat of that drum. It is nice.

I think we all have the opportunity to do that. To create that. It’s easier for some than others. Mine just came because I was tired of playing by the rules. But that’s how I was brought up. My own rules. My own music. I credit my parents. They instilled within me the deep desire to be happy before being rich. They taught me that happiness IS being rich.

“You can be happy living in a cardboard box.” My father always said, “Spend your life doing what you want to be doing.”

A week or so ago my inbox was flooded with suggestions for me to apply for the “Women for Tri” panel that was recently announced. It does seem perfect for someone like me. I have a platform and a voice in this sport. I have been here for 20 years. I have great friendships and sincere networks. Advancing women in this sport is something I am passionate about and of course support.

Then I read the purpose of this panel:

“to research, brainstorm, create and put into action strategies, which will further develop female participation. Ironman and Life Time will also form an Ambassador Team that will mentor and help cultivate new athletes while providing support to first timers throughout their training and competition journey.”

Wait, wait, wait. This is what I do every day with my business. This is what I am involved with to a large degree as I learn the process of writing the accreditation plan for our colleges’ nursing program. I understand firsthand the time, effort and work that goes into a project such as this. It’s not a small project, it’s complicated, layered and takes great time and resources.I just cleared my plate, and I just refilled my cup. I don’t have the energy to volunteer to do this for a large company….. for free. If this were a position that would be contributing to my 401K or health benefits I would be the first one to line up to apply. This kind of work takes time and energy that I just don’t have.

 I wish I did have the time and the energy, I think it’s a great idea for those who have that available. I think it’s a great way to get involved and learn what this process is about. I have nothing but positive feelings towards Ironman, WTC, Competitor Group….. all of them. I have been around this sport since before there were timing chips and I have been part of its evolution. I have seen things come and go….. failures and successes. I love all of it.

I have given myself away before and I am just not willing to give it away again. My energy is for my family, myself, my athletes and our students.

I march to the beat of my own drum after all. I need to be where I need to be for once. I promote women in triathlon through my business, our swim camps, training camps, and at a local level. If you are applying and need my recommendation….. please ask. I am happy to give it to you.

It felt good to not apply, like really good. That old feeling of needing to have my hand in every pot has vanished. We’ve got really good things going on right here. My heart and soul in terms of sport are with our Valor Triathlon Project athletes and coaches. We are small and we will stay small. We are our own bosses and we run the show the way we feel is right.

This drum plays one hell of an awesome song.

Swim Camps and 1-1 sessions:

I am back to doing 1-1 stroke analysis sessions. As you will read below we have some great new software to really improve what we can do and what we can send you home with. Sessions are $100, held at Nazareth College and done whenever you and I find a time that works. During the hour we will video, work on stroke mechanics and we will look at that video, which you will go home with.

Our January 18th and 25th swim camps have sold out. We made a lot of improvements to our camps this year, beginning with the size of them. We cut it down to 8 swimmers. That’s crazy from a business perspective I suppose, but it’s FANTASTIC from an athlete standpoint. 8 swimmers is the number that for this camp…. allows us to get really personal.
We also got some great new software. We will be using FINIS stroke lab and recording via underwater iPhone, which makes the video you take home awesome, accessible forever, and eliminates five steps I need to take to get the video from camera, edited, and to you. During our camps we record your stroke, analyze it, and go through lots of drills to help you improve your swim.

During February we are also offering 2 “next level” swim camps. These will be for the swimmer (of any ability) who wants to work on open water starts, learn how to draft, and take swimming to that next level AND include stroke analysis. I will be announcing those dates later this week.

Ahhhhh… it’s good to be back. New look, new terms, new goals and aspirations. Personally, athletically, business. It’s good to be back.