I do it, and I do it big. Here's to not forgetting about it.

Posts tagged ‘triathlon coach’

Shoutout Series: Coachie!

I had to be in the right place to write appropriately for my triathlon coach. If I had tried to write this as my “A” race approached, the post probably would have been filled with hate-filled language regarding her plan for me. That being said, there aren’t too many people in the world who inspire me to have a t-shirt made just for them:

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Because of Coachie, I was able to roll up on the Athlete Village at my first half-ironman with confidence. Let me tell y’all – that is no small feat.

You see, I knew of Coachie’s existence long before she knew me. I actually was getting some swimming help from a friend in summer of 2013 when my friend observed her coaching someone else. We spoke briefly at the time, but that was that. Later that summer, one of the trainers at the gym recommended her to me. Finally, that guy who picked me up in the pool said I should check out her services. Months later, I went to one of her evil spin classes. She’s just so charming about it that you almost forget about the pain in your legs. Almost. In the nine months that I’ve trained with her, I have gone from surviving sprint races to feeling great at the half-iron distance. As impossible as whatever is on my training plan may seem, Coachie helps me not just to physically accomplish it but also to mentally wrap my brain around it.

Here’s the thing: Coachie is a great athlete. But that’s not a really big deal. Anyone can put time in and become proficient at something, given her level of dedication. It is her ability – and willingness – to share her knowledge with others in the style of delivery they need in order to thrive that make Coachie amazing to me. If I am not understanding something, she will show me again and again without ever making me feel small. When I do get it, she will share my excitement. She is one of the few people in the whole world with whom I feel I can be vulnerable, which I believe is incredibly difficult for adults to do with one another.

When she is not doing the nearly impossible job of coaching me (or other more capable but less witty clients), she is kicking ass at being a teacher, mother, and wife. She is going to roll her eyes when she reads this, but one time in one of her emails she wrote “my friend” and I geeked out. “Ahhhh! She called me friend! She must think I’m cool!” It’s easy for me to put Coachie on a pedestal because she never puts herself on one. I look up to her because while she walks with the confidence of an Ironman, she also knows she has room to grow. That balance is freaking incredible.

To Coachie – I’m embarrassed you make me gush like this! Thank you for helping Lady J do it.

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Breath of Life

You heard it here first: I’m a big punk. I am prone to worry. It often manifests itself physically with headaches, stomach pains, twitching. Even though I know and believe the following:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (‭Philippians‬ ‭4‬:‭6-7‬ NKJV)

I remind myself of this, see it work, and forget EVERY TIME I need to apply it. Within moments, even.

Flashback – January 12, 2014. My second triathlon. HITS Naples, baby. I had heard the half and full athletes had a gorgeous swim on Saturday. The sprint and Olympic distance races were on Sunday. I had had a few swim lessons with Coachie and was excited to take my new knowledge for a spin. Hahahahaha OR NOT! The water was so choppy that I ended up having to take a break. That was after I had decided not to return to shore in a panic after the race had started. So. Much. Water. Everywhere. I breaststroked that bad boy, man. I was bargaining with God – “just get me through this and I’ll change!” Yeahhhh I’m still working on that too, hah. 🙂 When I made it to the shore, I was like Sweet Brown, y’all. I RAN FOR MY LIFE.

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Heh. I suppose the both of us were craving what we thought to be safe air. Quite frankly, I think bronchitis is less paralyzing than the fear I dealt with that day. In my panic, I forgot that indeed, I had plenty of air. Not only did I have air, but I had time to breathe it. My next triathlon swim went much more smoothly, thankfully. All I can do in the water is breathe and move forward as efficiently as I can without compromising my breath.

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Ah. If only if I had been able to internalize the business about breathing sooner. No worries, Coachie. In terms of words of wisdom, I’ve been ignoring (usually unintentionally) people a long time.
You’re in fantastic company with my piano teachers. They’ve been trying to remind me to breathe my whole life. What has happened to me in the water plagued me first at the keyboard. Instead of “OMG so much water! So many people,” it’s “OMG so many notes! So many people!” I question whether I really know what I’m doing, regardless of my preparation. “Should I really be here? Have I earned this?” At least triathlons have lifeguards! If I have a memory slip during a performance I am SOL, man.

But when I remember to breathe…

It fills my lungs and my music with life. I start to enjoy what I’m doing. I’m able to focus on the present. There may be a big ass wave in the B section, but there’s nothing I can do about it until I complete the A section. Why not try make the most of every moment?

My triathlon swims since January have been FAR from perfect. That didn’t stop me from having a great time and crossing each finish line with a huge smile on my face! I want my recital to be don’t expect my recital to be perfect, but I pray that The Lord will help me fill my music with life.

Tee hee. I screamed “I’M NOT DEAD!” at the end of St. Anthony’s. You better believe I’ll be thinking it when my recital is over!

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