Mary Eggers


Where does this lead?

I have been a competitive athlete for as long as I can remember. Much of my life has been spent in “training mode” under someone else’s program and guidance, which has shaped so much of my life in positive ways. And some negative. That’s part of the journey. Over the years I have ranged from super focused to waxing and waning. I have committed completely and committed half assedly. As I look back on everything … I have done it all. Regrets? Zero.

The journey I have been on this season is one that is truly incredible and completely fulfilling. For once I can let go of the need to be doing X Y and Z to prepare for whatever race. I can actually take the time now….. to really focus on the beauty of being an athlete.

I am spending 5 days a week in the gym weight training, 5 days running, and 2 days doing some easy cycling. I am not in the pool yet despite having the luxury of swimming outside in Rochester NY. This remains the longest swimming break I have ever taken, yet so necessary (I did swim once). I need to let that come back to me as it does. When it does…. and truthfully…. IF it does.

I have been working with my most favorite strength coach in the WORLD (Steve at Midtown), and he’s assembled a really solid program for my strength. Midtown has a ridiculous weight training area complete with turf that allows room for running drills, sled work. They have TRX and all that stuff. Right now he has me doing a session with the Kinesis tower and some formal weights, and alternating that with the sled, boxes, bosu, gliders, balls, VIPR…. the list goes on. Previously I would only strength train 3 times a week for 30 minutes….. because well triathlon takes time and I had another workout to get to. But these days I am spending thoughtful and purposeful time in the gym (45-60 minutes a day!) and in a short amount of time I see and feel the difference. It’s GREAT to actually take the time to work on my weakest links.

As we were plotting out my running progression I immediately felt a sense of…. man that’s not happening fast enough…. only to be answered by “fast enough for what?”. Right…. no events in the immediate future to prepare for (except next week). So again…. I get to be thoughtful and purposeful in how it all happens.

It feels awesome to slow down and take the time. Both literally and figuratively. The beautiful thing about all of it is…. I feel so content and in love with my athletic accomplishments and journey thus far, I have been able to do so many things…. the future feels like my oyster. I wake up each day wondering…. what’s next?

What’s next in the immediate future is to continue working on this path as I have some fall related running goals (no marathon) I am working towards. Today…. yes today…. I am taking out the SUP. I am excited to build on last year’s SUP struggles and successes as I enter into a level of actual SUP racing. I get my new race board on May 1st!!!!! The struggles I went through last summer with my board were so worth it and I knew it at the time. I know those difficult days make you better in time.

My health has quickly rebounded. Like real quick. I don’t think I am quite “there” yet but compared to how I felt just a month ago…. I feel terrific. I didn’t go crazy in one direction, I just continue to eat healthy, stay well hydrated and sleep a lot. I take no big expensive supplements. No way.

All in all…..  I am feeling hungry more than anything. Hungry to master new skills and have new adventures. Do you know I have never hiked ANY of the 46 Adirondack Peaks? I have never skied or snowboarded anywhere outside of Rochester or Buffalo? I have gone surfing and cliff jumping…. but only in Hawaii and Florida?

I have never seen the Grand Canyon. I have never been to Yellowstone.

I have been to Germany but never to Paris where my sister lives. I have not learned how to rock climb. I have never SUP’d in the actual ocean.

I have this eclectic mix of experience and inexperience when it comes to experiencing the world. We are going cross country this summer (To Omaha for Nationals to be specific…. Curt is racing) and I have begun to map out adventures along the way. When I took my eyes off the road that I have only seen between my aerobars an entire universe has opened up.

Does it mean I am done with triathlon for good as an athlete? I don’t know that. I really don’t. I don’t even worry about it.

Lake 2

What I do know is that I refuse to get to an age where I ever look back and say “I wish I would have …..”. I haven’t done that so far and I am planning on never allowing it.

There is a huge adventure side of me that’s matched with a certain 15 year old kid who is also interested. I need to show him these things. I need to experience these things with him. Years from now I want him to tell his children that we had some epic adventures.

I am not the only one who arrives at this point in their athletic career, even though I don’t know exactly what “point” this is. I know I am seeking new adventures and I take a lot of paths to try to scratch that itch. Nothing is more exciting than trying new things for the first time. Nothing is as educational as falling and struggling in those new skills. I know that right now I crave experiences over competition. That’s something that’s been rumbling for the better part of a year now. That’s still a new feeling for me, one that I am not quite sure what to do with except…… learn new things.

While I search and explore…. I am continuing to take the time. At the gym. With the weights. Building running with a nice and slow progression. I am running on beautiful trails, next to beautiful lakes, and even down beautiful roads. I am on a path, one that I am not sure of the direction its taking….. but I don’t necessarily need to know that right this minute. Right now I am going with it.

And it’s awesome. Stay tuned.

Lake 1


Are you willing?

Beethoven’s 9th symphony is what I listen to while on the trainer most days… at least  once or twice a week. My second favorite is the 6th symphony. I don’t know if it is because of my dance (ballet) background… or that the meaning behind some of the greatest compositions ever known is so beautiful…. but this type of music touches my soul. Around minute 48 of Beethoven’s 9th is what I eagerly await for, every time (I think it’s the 3rd movement…. I am still learning the movements)  It’s often apparent in my heart rate because no matter what type of ride I do…. I get excited.

If you are not familiar with the story of the 9th symphony, google it. It’s fascinating. The 9th is said to have been his longest and most complex, requiring a larger orchestra and even using vocals towards the end. The fascination I have with this story is that Beethoven was deaf. Some say he was completely deaf, others say he was partially deaf. Regardless…. when the 9th symphony was completed it is said that Beethoven had his back to the audience and one of the musicians had to signal him to turn around…. because he could not hear and did not know there was an explosion of applause behind him. In fact…. he sat in front of the person who was actually conducting the orchestra. To be clear…. Beethoven was not always deaf, he was able to hear in his earlier years. But still…. I can’t write a symphony and I can hear. How do you do that when you can’t, regardless if you ever could hear?

I can only imagine that throughout his life people doubted him, at some point at least. It’s written that people thought he was a complete madman. In his defense… most of the greatest artists and most brilliant people on this earth have a big degree of what we would call “madness”. I call it genius. They don’t live inside the box, they smash it.

I often think about how on earth this man created such magnificent compositions if he could not hear the music? I ask that in a fascinated tone, not a skeptical one. How do you compose something so intricate and complicated without knowing how it all sounds when it flows together?

Absolute…. undying…. and completely relentless self belief is how. Trust in himself despite what anyone thought, anyone said or anyone predicted.

If you know his life story… you know it was anything but a magical fairytale rise to the top.

And that is why the symphony is so meaningful to me. In a dark cold basement on my bike. The meaning and beauty behind it is what inspires me to dig, push, step back, rise and fall. That’s what ignites me to dream and smash the box and everything that goes with it.

This week I asked one of my athletes, as part of her race plan: are you willing? I think that is one of the single most important questions we need to ask ourselves before we even take a step towards a dream.

I have about a million “are you willing” questions, but here are some of my favorites… (sorry for the blur):


I can only speculate on what Beethoven was willing to do. I can only guess that somewhere someone told him…. “Dude you can’t even hear. You are going to do what?” But you know what? The guy did it anyways. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t neat. It wasn’t fun most of the time. Through every production of a symphony I imagine he was gutted, frustrated, pulled apart, filled with doubt, fear and through all of that he pushed on regardless.

His story is not unique. There are hundreds of stories like his and those are the ones I grab onto. His happens to have some incredible music attached to it that inspires me on my own journey.

So what are you willing to do? Are you willing to fail before you succeed? To take the lumps before the jumps? To absorb all of those things that would cause someone else to throw in the towel and forget the dream because…. well because it’s too hard?

Be willing. Be willing to stay the course, to absorb the lessons. To have a clear path to a goal but at the same time be willing to adjust. Be willing to go against the grain, to chuck the data. Be willing to get quiet and dig deep and listen to the only voice that has ever mattered when it comes to your dreams.


As insane as it sounds getting back to listening to Beethoven and my favorite classical composers these past few months has done wonders for me. It’s brought me back to the reason why I do what I do, why I reach for the goals I am reaching for…. and to actually define and refine them. It you grew up a dancer, or musician or have an appreciation for it… the real music… you know what I mean. It’s deep. And you have to be willing to get quiet and open yourself up to the lessons that it brings.

If you look at the top dogs in life (sport, business, art… the list goes on) there are so many traits characteristic to them. They are willing. They are willing to believe deeper in themselves than anyone could understand. They are willing to fail. They are willing to learn. They are willing to accept the hate and continue on anyways. They are willing to be patient.

How about you…. what are you willing to do?

If you were a man who could not hear….. would you even consider creating a symphony?