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.