“I work, till I am dead; then I do it all again.” rob bailey.
We don’t say it enough: “I am proud of you.” We should. It not only is an amazing thing to say; it’s an amazing thing to be told. Mostly because it carries with it the risk of failure. You earn that. You struggle for it. You fight and claw and suffer to do something worth being proud of; worth someone else being proud of you for. Pride both rewards and inspires.
The ironman lake placid weekend was amazing for me. One of my athletes who historically struggled in the run was second over all in an ultra! A race I would have been proud of her for just finishing. I know how many hours she ran in winter through horrific conditions. How she faced a cultural shock of doing strength work staring down muscle heads as her slight frame added muscle for the first time. I know how brutal the course and conditions are.
Another finished IMLP 2 hours ahead of his best hopes and PR. He wanted to see a finishing photo of him in day light and I opened a email to him in the most beautiful Lake Placid sunshine! I know the countless hours he spend to prepare for this. The days he got up at 5am to travel across the city to swim with me. The way he listened to my race plan and discipline it took to execute it.
Another athlete I just started with crushed the swim which we worked on and then fought to finish, under prepared but unstoppable. He completed the Ironman and emailed me asking for a swim workout the day after because he wants to get back to work to improve for next time. He is already back to work to build on the day.
Another athlete faced not setting. A PR because of an injury and lined up with the very real fear that she wouldn’t finish. Her back is jacked and she lined up with the real possibility that this would be a total failure. I know how much bravery it takes to stair down massive failure in a public way and try anyways. She suffered the whole way but refused to give up and finished ironman lake placid. She is reg’ed for 2016.
An elite athlete of mine had just gone through a break up. As an elite just a small fraction less then everything means getting crushed by other elites. It’s a horrible proposition. But this weekend she found herself on a start line in the insanely competitive NYC road running scene, and found the strength to heal herself and commit to being the athlete she is. She found her inner passion and strength and way on to the over all podium and is ready to kill it from here. She has elite talent but at that level so does everyone else. But she had the ability to over come. I know the 100 mile weeks she has done. The endless workouts. And racing with everything you got. This was her first step back and it was more of a stomp.
Another athlete sat on the sidelines. Weeks before his ironman he got hot by a car. Surgery, casts, slings. We talked at length and we are focusing on what he can do, not what he can’t as he stares down 6 months of healing and rehab. After watching his friends and teammate do IMLP the race he should have been in, he emailed me with “great news” he got an ok from the Doctor to do what I suggested: strength machines, indoor riding can do machines and elliptical workouts. He was 100% focused in 2016 in his email. Zero Pity party.
Another athlete finished IMLP after failing to do so in his first attempt before working with me.
Today I am proud as hell of my athletes and want to tell them that because they EARNED it and they earned it the only way possible; with brutal relentless effort.
Photo: lots of daylight in this photo!