4 Years and 4 Students Ago…

As the CT3 website launches the next phase of adventures for me and all the athletes I get the honor of working with — I can’t help but reflect on what an amazing four years its been getting here.

Anyone that has ventured into the world of running and triathlon – or any such life adventure beyond the norm – gets called crazy from time to time.  When, in my 30s,  I charged through injury after injury determined to run marathons and reach the holy grail of that distance – the Boston Marathon — people said I was crazy.  I did it anyway.  And succeeded.  So you’re done with this now, right?  Oh. No.  In fact, that victory only encouraged me to test fate even further by adding swimming and biking to the mix as I set on in the world of triathlons in quest of the next holy grail -Ironman World Championships.  Ha, well okay — that will take a bit longer to achieve – but I did celebrate my 40th birthday with my first Ironman and marked it with a tattoo I will never regret no matter how old I am.

In those 8 years, I met a lot of amazing athletes, friends, doctors, coaches, and the like. All of them as crazy as I and encouraging to the quest no matter how crazy it seemed.  Those people are the foundation for what I do now because they didn’t give up on me. And it taught me so much what the value of such support means in quest to any dream or athletic quest you may have.

As I continued my athletic endeavors and conquered more marathons and Ironman races, my life as a marketing and design consultant had its own wave of successes and set backs.  I was making it work but the effort seemed far greater than the reward more often than I could say.  But like anything else, I kept at it as it was as I knew to do.

As my good friend Joey will tell you.  I was about at my limit and shared such sentiment with him as we trotted through a cold winter track workout in the winter of 2010.  Then, just a month later. My mood and my sense of hope changed.  He tells it better than I but the gist is this.  In that month, Cathy Pugsley, shared owner of PRR and one of my track coaches in pairing to Margie Shapiro who was my gold star coach of Ironman triathlon through my three completed 140.6 races at that point, asked me to teach a 101 running class in their DC store location starting in early March.

Hmm, well.  Okay.  Sure.  Not really a coach but I know a lot about running.  And was indeed a beginner – and return beginner after many injury set backs.  Well, why not.

There were six people in the class. 4 of which really came to be the heart of the class as the other two had been sidelined before they even got started.  Michelle, Cindy, Megan, and Michelle.  I could write on an on about that 8 week class and the amazing women that stood with me through it all and the difficult life experiences we shared together as timing would have it and the bond that was created as is so often with those you run and train with.  I could.  But I will just thank them now instead.  As I thank Cathy just about every day as well.  Because it was that class that taught me that being a coach is about knowing and loving your craft to its core.  And about compassion, communication, trust, challenges, pushing beyond them, knowing when to give in to them, and being as authentic to your role as coach as you are to those you work with – and so much more.

Its what started it all.  And what brought light to my face when Joey and I next plodded around the track.  And is what brought me to this place — and my new space.  From that first day and that first class, I began visioning what I could do in offering as a coach.  And how I could pay back all those that shared my passion for crazy early on by paying it forward and giving others that sense of belief that crazy is a bold and powerful and fabulous thing.

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