It’s hard to imagine that in a few short weeks, the summer season will come to an end. I’m sure that I’m not alone in this revelation and like most on my team, we are all recalling fond memories of info meetings, kickoff, and that first day at practice when it rained relentlessly.
Summer season was my first journey with Team in Training as a coach. An idea that once left me questioning if I could fulfill my duty now seems as easy as riding a bike. Having been a part of this amazing journey since 2007 teaches you a thing or two and under the guidance of our great head coach, there was no way we could fail as a team. This season has taught me a thing or two about myself. I shouldn’t underestimate my value or worth. I have a lot to give and I should give it freely and with that mindset affirmed, I set out to make it a fabulous season for myself and those that I would get the opportunity to work with.
Our season started off a little rough. The summer season starts in the late winter so the skies decided to be merciless and beat us with torrential downpours for a good 3 weeks. Trying to mingle and meet new team mates was a hard task. I could feel the resistance and their frustration. The first few miles was an arduous task especially with the rain adding another 5 pounds onto their clothes and gear. However I persisted anyway until I finally heard the words, “If I need you, I’ll ask for your help. Other than that, just leave me alone.” Whoa. I know those words all too well. Bite me miles. I shook off the smile that threatened to give away my emotions and continued about my ways. I remember being that participant and not wanting a coach in my face with his/her “rah-rah” attitude. Sometimes you just need time to be part of a team. It’s not for everyone especially if you’re used to living your life solo like I was but eventually we convert them all and she just wasn’t there yet.
Over the six month period, our team overcame several obstacles. They surpassed their limits, challenged themselves, and found something deep inside that allowed them to cross that finish line. And yes, they all warmed up to me to point where I can call them dear friends and hope they will continue their journey and keep that strength with them for whatever else life throws their way.
As a coach, I missed the opportunity to race with my team in San Diego. At first this news saddened me but over time I saw it in a new way, I could play the role as cheerleader vs. an active participant. After all, that’s what I had been doing all along – making sure my core group of people made it to their finish line so being along side them wouldn’t help me but cheering for them would give me an advantage to see them at various points of the race. It was an absolute pleasure to witness them at the finish line with medals around their necks and a major victory accomplished. Also with a smile a mile wide and a sense of “I can’t believe I did it.” Oh, but you did!
Someone once told me that coaching is like having kids. You watch them stumble and fall for the first few miles, get their aches and pains in the longer miles but still keep continue going, and then they grow up, cross the finish line, and leave you for bigger better things and while you want to cry and hold them back; you can’t. You’ve done your part and you have to be proud of it. So here’s hoping that my fabulous team of women continue forward and I just want to thank them all for digging deep and crossing that finish line and for putting up with all my antics this season. You are all amazing and as a testament to our work, San Diego had a sea of 4,000 participants dressed in purple from Team in Training who raised a combined total of 12 million dollars. I’m proud to be a purple person and can’t wait to coach another season in winter, help another group of people cross the finish line, and start all over again.
View more photos from this season here.