Kickoff

On Saturday, January 30th, the summer season kicked off.  Pulling into a high school in the city of Santa Ana I was instantly reminded of my first kickoff – the anxiety, the frayed nerves but today I was a different woman.  I had a few years of experience under my belt, a few notches by ways of races I had run, and I was entering a new role as assistant coach.  I was confident, not the shy girl from 2007 who could barely set foot and move forward.

It still amazes me how an experience can change you.  When I first signed up for Team in Training, I didn’t realize how badly I needed it.  Things weren’t quite right in my life.  My confidence was shattered.  I was broken.  I felt lost in SoCal and wanted to go home and one day in my mail arrives a flier for Team in Training so I attended an info meeting, ran my first marathon, and never looked back.

I never really thought I would be one to participate in a group and like being part of that group.  Life has always been about solo projects for me but Team in Training and their group of coaches, mentors, and other support staff helped me run my first marathon and I knew that’s where I belonged and wanted to stay.  I have also never been a upbeat person before so it took a lot of effort to find that energy in me everyday but today it’s a normal habit.  I can effortlessly smile and say “Go Team” and it’s a genuine emotion that comes from my heart.

This past Saturday, I watched as several new participants filtered past me in their own nervous states of confusion and first timers paranoia. I wish I could have told them all that it would be OK, that they would survive, and not to be so anxious but I know it’s something they have to experience like I did.  If someone had told me at kickoff that it would alright (which plenty did) I wouldn’t have believed it either.  Reality doesn’t set in until you cross that finish line and you get your first medal.

I can’t wait to start working with the new team of participants and watch them transform and to also be there as they each cross the finish line.  I can’t wait for them to tell me about their experiences.  Our first practice starts this Saturday and I can feel the butterflies again but this time it’s not out of nervousness; it’s out of excitement as we begin this new phase and a new season.

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03338983069210448754 CoachDaveK

    Sukhraj, Best success to you as you lead the Team in Training team. A couple of good running friends help coordinate and lead teams in Lincoln, I pinch in where I can. What a wonderful and meaningful experience as well as introduction for so many people to their first significant fitness challenge (marathon, century ride or triathlon)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03338983069210448754 CoachDaveK

    Sukhraj,
    Best success to you as you lead the Team in Training team. A couple of good running friends help coordinate and lead teams in Lincoln, I pinch in where I can. What a wonderful and meaningful experience as well as introduction for so many people to their first significant fitness challenge (marathon, century ride or triathlon)