Mary Eggers

General

Amazing

The past several mornings I have literally BOUNCED out of bed. I will never use a phone app sleep tracker… because I can tell the moment my feet hit the floor if I slept well. I am sleeping like a damn teenager these days. For the past 4 weeks I am averaging 8-10 hours a night of good, solid, awesome sleep. I am feeling absolutely amazing in a shorter period of time than we originally anticipated, and I am training a bit more than we initially thought I should (all with permission!!!). As I said I have a small case of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Small case of the symptoms. I don’t believe in being defined by syndromes, sets of symptoms or diagnoses. I am defined by what I choose to be defined as.

I have made great progress…. I am absolutely amazed at what the human body can do given the right support. It took me 20+ years to wear this body down and it’s rebounding in days. Tell me this: if you are told that you can repair something with sleep, water and great nutrition… wouldn’t you feel like you just stole something? I don’t deserve such a lucky path… so I sure as hell won’t be not following directions.

Here are a few things that are cheap and / or free that have been making a giant difference in my health:

1. Alarm clock. I used to use my phone as an alarm clock. Not anymore. The phone is aside (more on the phone next) and I use an actual clock with an alarm to help me rise each day. I am a natural super early morning person so I often don’t even need it.

2. Connectivity: I no longer live by the mercy of beeps, dings, vibrations, or notifications from my phone of anywhere else. I get a LOT of email and many texts daily, it’s easy for me to be a slave to my technology. I have my phone set up so I get no notifications that anything has come in. For me to see something I need to turn on, dial the passcode, and go to messages. That allows me to be in control of when I am notified of things, and helps me stay focused on my tasks at hand. Click here to learn how to configure your technology so that you are in control of it, instead of it being in control of you.

3. Nutrition: I have some very simple rules regarding nutrition. I am taking a multivitamin, B6, magnesium, and vitamin D. I do not consume any powders, supplements, potions or weird things. I want my nutrients from whole food. All of the time. I eat normally and include:

  • 5 fruits per day
  • 5 veggies per day
  • lean protein at all or two meals (you would be VERy surprised to know how much protein you can gain from fruits and veggies by the way! Not all of this must come from animal products!)
  • 80 ounces of water flavored with lemon coconut water daily. I use lemon coconut water because of what it provides and because of the taste. 80 because it’s a number I can hit and it’s 1.2 ml/kg for me. Normal fluid recommendations are 1ml/kg from most sources. 1.2 because I need more fluid. I can not believe the difference this has made for me.

4. Move every day. Initially we set some limits on hours per day and per week, but with good communication and tracking, and following all the rules we have relaxed on those numbers. ALREADY! Yeah! I am back to swimming and cycling…. 30-45 minutes at a time…. and continuing on my running focus. Strength has been a lot of fun and a big focus area that I will expand upon later. At first we thought 8-10 hours a week would be good for all activity, so we are sticking to 10-11 this week to see how I feel! YES!

5. Meditate: I need to slow the hell down, so I meditate, twice a day for ten minutes. I use the Headspace app and LOVE it. I use the sleep series to fall asleep each night. I can not even begin to express how much this app has made a difference in my entire life. Try it.

6. Sleep. Oh beautiful sleep. I am in bed by 8 and up by 4. If I go to bed at 9… I sleep until 5. Sundays I can sleep as much as I would like. Sometimes I live on the wild side and sleep until 7am! I know!!! I am not as rigid as I used to be regarding my wake up time. I have been able to structure the day so I ensure I get enough. I have always been a pretty good sleeper…. and I really thought my quality was good. Then I got rid of the phone as an alarm clock and I began using Headspace to start my sleep…. and I realized I didn’t know that I didn’t have good quality!!!! I feel like a million bucks. Literally.

Overall…. things have improved in a very short amount of time. The old me would have been ridiculous and jumped right back in to where I was and what got me into trouble in the first place.

Again I emphasize the human body is a magnificent thing. I think about friends I have who are battling something. One is battling cancer, another infertility. Another has diabetes. I could go on. I feel it’s my duty and privilege to take the best possible care of myself, because they would ‘treat’ themselves with all of my above any day of the week. Any of them would LOVE to have my problem. Oh what… you trained too much for too long…. worked yourself into exhaustion? What a first world problem, right? I owe it to myself and to them to grab onto this like the big huge chance and dodged bullet that it is.

How lucky could I be right now.The luckiest.

So I ask you…… however you are feeling, what you are doing…. are you taking the best possible care of yourself right now? I get it… I am busy too…. but I will never allow myself to be too busy for me. EVER AGAIN. My family depends on it. Look at the above list again. How easy is it?

Take the nutrition. I don’t care if you eat cake for breakfast, lunch and dinner… that’s your right. Add in the list, see how it makes you feel in a week. If you honestly incorporate those things into your daily menu in addition to the way you normally eat…. and tell me you feel like shit…. then I will admit I am wrong.

Move every day? You needn’t be an athlete to do that. Walk. Alarm clock? Sleep better? These are such easy and simple things that can make a major difference in how you feel today and your long term health.

So what do you say? Grab one of the above, implement it…. and get back to me.

General

The journey

I love this time of the year when it comes to triathlon. Things begin to come together in different ways for athletes as the new season takes shape. As I begin to write race plans for our crew I can’t help but get reigned in, and fall deeper in love with the sport I am personally stepping back from for a season. My race plans are not quite data centric but emotion centric….. I like to try to tap into what makes each person tick and see if I can help them bring the best out of themselves.

Emotions come with racing, both good and bad. I think we are conditioned to think we must only have positive and good emotions during each race, and afterwards. Society frowns on frustration and disappointment. I treasure it. As long as you are not defining who you are by a race result, as long as your self worth is not linked to it…. I think that frustration and disappointment can be just as powerful as success. If not more powerful.

ECC KatsIt really and truly depends on what you do with those emotions, but first it is imperative that again, your self worth and self esteem are not tied to numbers on a clock or podium placements.

As the coaches…. we are just the guides. We give support, some framework and trust me we believe in our athletes. This season … and I do say this every season….. we have been fortunate to work with a group of incredible people. A few are rebuilding their fitness from scratch. Others are making their waves on the pro circuit. Still many are in between.

I recently heard a male coach say “I don’t know how to handle all of these female emotions”, and it disappointed me. This is what coaching is. Handling many emotions of both genders. In 12 years of coaching I won’t say that females then to be _____ and males tend to be _____. I think people run a big range in general.

As coaches we have to be careful that we support and guide and not try to fix people. Sometimes we have the answers, other times we don’t and we need to recognize both. A lot gets tossed at us and we become experts at handling one person’s frustrations at the same time we handle another person’s greatest achievement. It’s something I have done both well and not so well over the years. I can say one thing regardless…. I care. Sometimes we have to care enough to step back and let go….. and that’s a difficult part of this whole thing. Stepping back can bring about it’s own range of reactions in ourselves and in athletes.

curtdunkirk

There is so much of coaching that you don’t learn in CEC’s and certifications. You learn from years of working with athletes, remotely, in person, wherever. You learn that no two athletes are the same and no two fit neatly into a protocol. Protocols are helpful as a framework…. but every athlete is so different. I learn so much from our athletes in terms of how they physiologically react and how they emotionally react, and in 12 years no two have ever reacted to anything the same.

Gosh I love what I get to do. It feels like an amazing honor to work with each of the athletes we get to work with. I get to experience people on so many different levels and I get to learn about them and their lives and I get to take a ride on their journey. I hope they know that I feel this way so very deeply. Looking at their training logs is a lot more than connecting data points. I read comments, stories and think about how we can use what they feel to guide race day, or every day. I hope they know that each workout they do is … this will sound cheesy…. cherished by us (I know, I need a better word).

Being able to do this whole Valor Triathlon Project gig is a real family affair as it’s Curt’s first full time year coaching with me. It’s been amazing to watch him morph and share his passion for this and to be able to do that together. Even Luc gets in on the action. He knows which athletes are prepping for which races and… he’s really got an eye on the team.

musselgirls

We are so grateful for every athlete we have ever gotten to work with in the past, in the present and in the future. This is a journey for us as well as those we get to coach. It’s amazing to stand back and just give a nudge here, an ear there, and believe in someone as they believe in themselves. We get to see so many great stories unfold on those race courses…. at all levels and abilities.

It’s been 12 amazing years, and I am psyched for the next 12.