Mary Eggers

Date archives January 2016

General

Evolution

My 20 year tenure in multisport has afforded me the opportunity to watch things change before my eyes. Back when I began (I raced in the Subaru triathlon series for years!) timing was done with velcro wrist straps. I remember the day Marc Roy showed me the championship for the first time and he personally told me it would change the sport forever.

I remember the day Curt and I watched live internet coverage of the Hawaii Ironman for the first time…. Lori Bowden and Nina Kraft battling it out on the Queen K. Before that coverage was non existent. You waited for friends to come home and Triathlete Magazine to publish results. You waited for the NBC Kona coverage, and it was actually good back then.

I remember the first use of heart rate monitors and the first GPS watches. I still have one of the first powemeters…. the Ergomo. It was WIRED if you can believe that. I have watched training go from something that was between the athlete and the athlete’s reflection in the mirror to a daily display on social media of how much you have swam, bikes and ran. It has all so literally unfolded before my eyes.

We still own a 1995 Computrainer model.

The pornification of our sport has grown. The technological dictation os every session has exploded and I myself have gotten caught up in both. For several years my watch…. rather than my heart dictated everything I did.

It’s taken me a long time to evolve from that.

As a coach I see athletes deal with technology seamlessly to frustrated. I don’t like when a misreading heart rate monitor dictates a mood.

Until a world champion stands on top of the podium and states this “I’d like to thank my gps watch and my FTP and my instagram selfies” I won’t allow technology to be at the forefront of any athlete I coach or that I coach myself. No way. In fact…. even if a world champion did that…. I would still not allow it to happen.

Disclaimer: technology is an important piece of training. I consider it more important for myself than the athlete. It gives me incredible feedback and allows me to plan training accordingly. I don’t need an athlete’s data to be 100% right all of the time.

One neat thing technology is allowing me to do is coach real time. When we download our bike data I am looking at the session after the fact. With two of my athletes who use Zwift … I now have the ability (when we can coordinate schedules) to coach them real time, on the bike, AS they are riding.

It’s pretty awesome.

Technology is great, but I am saddened when I see athletes avoid something fun because they have to hit X,Y, and Z per their coach, or get angry because their HRM is just not reading right today. Go outside. Look up. Breathe deep.

Does it matter? At the end of the day you get to be an athlete. You know your paces and zones without all that. Run anyway.

My big focus of 2016 personally is to get back to the basics. The basics are what build performances and as I said last week, are the glue that knits this all together. My goals aren’t to win national titles or world championships. My goals are really personal this time around. My races are all local. Mostly short course. I have found new love for what I do and in what I do when it comes to this sport. That is what drew me to it in the first place.

That is what counts for me. Not having the most likes, not having the best “trying to look like I am in a magazine” selfie. Maybe it’s because I have a long list of accomplsihments behind my name and a collection of plaques and medals…. that sit in a bag in a back room. Those don’t create my value. I create my value.  I have loved collecting them along the way, each of them tell a story not just about paces…. but about people. I have had the greatest race experiences because of who I have shared courses with. That’s another blog post.

If I were still living in the world where social media didn’t exist, where timing was done with velcro straps and results printed on paper…… I would still do this. I love where our sport has come. I love what all this has allowed me to do as a coach…. but these days I approach with caution.

I am grounded in the why of it all, not the appearance of it all.

See what happens if you look inward today. If you put down the camera… or what if…. you turned the camera around? Man it’s an awesome view.

Don’t forget to view the world that way. Too often these days…..  we do.

General

Today I am 42!!!!

I spent my thirties dreading being 40. I think we are all taught that 40 is this magical age where you are deemed “over the hill” and it’s literally all downhill from there.

That… couldn’t be further from the truth, and I am here to tell you and tell you loudly that 40…. is where it’s AT.

I turn 42 today and I am not one of those women who will claim to be 29 on every birthday. I am forty two and while ten years ago that used to sound oh so old…. man that sounds young and man that feels young. Dara Torres taught me long ago that “age is just a number”. Because it truly is.

I don’t know if I feel this way because I  accomplished a lot in my 20’s and 30’s. I became a nurse, got married, had our son and continued a great athletic career before I was 30. I spent much of my 30’s chasing degrees and athletic goals and raising a child who is unique… and navigating all of that without an instruction manual. I didn’t have good fortune fall upon me, I worked my ass off for all of it, and it didn’t come without incredible pain, loss, heartache and lessons to learn.

But from all of that I grew. I appreciated the privilege of what it means to be alive in the first place. I have taken care of children who will never see the ages I get to see, and those experiences have shaped me forever.

You will never hear me gripe about my age because as the saying goes “growing old is a privilege denied to many.

I remember when our son was born thinking… holy cats… when this baby is 15 years old I will be forty two. It seemed to far away, almost in a world that I had no idea about. We don’t know what tomorrow will be about, we just have to allow it to come and be psyched for every tomorrow that does come.

Turning 40 honestly felt like a rite of passage. A pathway into the world of no longer giving a f*ck (read the manifesto that changed my life here). The right to live the way that I truly want to live. When you really start living this way…. I promise you it gets so so much better. I promise you that.

I have worked hard to be good to people. I have owned and learned from the times I haven’t been good to people. It’s really important to me that I surround myself with the best people I can, because they are the ones that help me be better in everything I do. From the athletes we coach, to the faculty I am surrounded with, to the nurses I get to call teammates…. everyone is so much more amazing than I and that’s something I soak up every chance I get.

In my thirties I felt the need to prove myself. In my forties I feel the need to learn. I want to learn about your life. I want to know what makes you tick. I want to learn from you, about you. Every day in some fashion I am a student of everyone in my life. It’s a great great place to view life from. Every day I ask: what can I learn today? And when I go to bed…. I try to answer that question.

Athletically…. my forties have been great. I recovered from over training and over distance in my thirties. I have had to rebuild myself out of illness, injury, burnout and even a minor surgery. Today I can honestly say I feel stronger and fitter than I did for any race I have ever won. I almost didn’t physically make it to 40 with the overtraining path I was on. But with patience and smart work…. I am excited.

I am very very uncomfortable receiving gifts. I don’t know why, not because I am some sort of martyr….. but because I really have everything I need. So this year I have flipped the switch. I treated my family to a Sabres game. I am bringing the cupcakes to work. It’s MY birthday wish to TREAT, it just feels better. Because you get to do what you want on your birthday…. no one gets to argue that. It’s my way of thanking those in my life.

If I could give advice to young women in their thirties… it would honestly be… relax. The world promises you that life as you know it is over when you are 40. A few women assured me that life begins at 40, and I didn’t know what they meant. I don’t even know how to articulate it…. but it’s better. SO. MUCH. BETTER.

So don’t worry. I can’t tell you why… I can’t tell you how…… but life is just fine on this side of the dreaded numbers. It’s better.

I would also tell my thirty something audience….. always be true to yourself. Always do the right thing…. even if the right thing is hard to do, and is painful. Find your true compass in life and never ever compromise that. It won’t always be rainbows…. but you will sleep at night knowing you stuck to your ethics and morals.

I am psyched to be 42. I appreciate the privilege and I appreciate the opportunity to learn from everyone I get to share this earth with today.

CUPCAKES FOR ALL!!!!

(This is my awesome family….. 6 are missing because we live all over the place!)

IMG_3208.JPG