Monday, June 20, 2016

Journey to IRONMAN: 5 Months: A Coach in My Corner

When I think of coaching I simply cannot help but picture Rocky Balboa.  I know it seems a bit left field for me, but there is something about the image of a boxing ring that comes to mind when I ponder coaching, especially individual coaching.  The image of an athlete, ready to fight, tired and worn but ready to take on another round.  A fearless and driven coach standing in the corner, refocusing, re-energizing, reminding that athlete what he's there for.  That boxer steps into the ring as a single person, trained, focused and not deterred by set backs or a knock out.  Why?  Because he has a coach in his corner.

Up until December of last year, had you asked me, I would not have given a high value on personalized coaching when it comes to triathlon.  After all, its just a distance game right?  Go out and make sure you can do the distance.  Its a long day when it comes to IRONMAN.  If the goal is to finish, isn't it just about training your body to be able to just go the distance?  Boy, how glad I am to have met this woman.

This month I want to introduce you to the amazing coach who is in my corner, Dawn Brooks.  I met Dawn last year right after signing up for IRONMAN.  I will admit, when I met her I was right in the middle of trying to figure out what my "plan" was to get me to IRONMAN.  How was I going to do this?  Where do I even start?  I truly was lost (and drowning) in the overwhelming ocean that is IM training.

After a long bike ride together, talking with her about Racelab coaching, hearing her story, and listening to her wisdom, I decided to take a leap and jump full force into this amazing coaching relationship with her.  Oh how glad I am that I did.  Remember when I crushed that marathon a couple months ago?  When I took 13 minutes off my best ever marathon PR?  Yeah, Dawn coached me there.  She taught me how to work the track and benefit from tempo work.  She taught me about going easy long and hard short. I let everything that I thought I knew go about training and allowed myself to be completely coached by her and BAM.  I became an athlete!

Dawn inspires me.  She is one of the strongest, kindest, most driven women that I know.  She teaches Tabata, Body Pump and a wicked Spin class.  This woman is a monster on the bike.  My life goal right now? Ride a bike like Dawn.  She is an IRONMAN, and a fierce one at that, but she is a real woman who has made helping and coaching others a life goal.  Her coaching style is empowering and life giving.  I feel motivated by her and supported.  That is the Racelab way. Dawn has a way of getting the absolute best out of her athletes, and she is not afraid to tell you when you need to jump off your high horse and remember what your goals are.  She keeps me humble and focused while making me feel like I can and WILL move mountains.  She doesn't frustrate easily ( I will one day also swim with my arms at "10 and 2!")  and she works tirelessly to coach me inside the constraints of my life.  When I completely freaked out over the results of my VO2 Max test, Dawn was on the phone with me teaching, explaining and stopping the crazy train I jumped on.  She coached me through an entire diet and lifestyle change.  Remember that girl who needed rest days?  Not anymore.  Dawn showed me how to do it.  She has coached me every step of the way.

I am surrounded by amazing people.  Whether its my amazing AZ TRI Club and all of the incredible athletes I get to share my journey with, the Las Sendas Run Bike Tri group or the Racelab coaches and friends I have made along the way, the camaraderie and friendship has been indescribable and I am grateful for it. 

Dawn is one of those people who will forever have a mark on my life.  As a coach, a fellow athlete and a friend.  She makes me want to be great and do great things.  She reaffirms the belief in myself on those days when it wanes.  Her determined and joyful spirit radiates through her and I am unbelievably blessed that she is the coach in my corner.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

My Unsung Hero

12 years ago I met you
 And I fell in love so fast.
It didn't take too long for me
To know our love would last.

I fell in love with all your charm
Adventure, strength and boldness.
Your heart for Christ, Your love for others
Your self defining witness.

I had no real understanding
 Of all that you would show me.
I didn't know that marrying you
Would uncover wings inside me.

There really is no greater gift 
Than a spouse who lifts you high.
Who gives you voice and strength beyond.
Who lives to see you fly.

The woman that I am today,
I credit most to you.
I never would have found her
Unless you insisted that I do.

You are my unsung hero
In this season chasing glory.
I'm humbled by the way you've taken
A backseat to my story.

It hasn't gone unnoticed, 
Not by me and not by others.
How selflessly you give your time
Its one of your greatest wonders.

IRONMAN takes everything
And you've graciously let me go.
You have taken on the homefront
Kept the team going to and fro.

You are my unsung hero
And I really should tell you more
How thankful I am to have a friend
Who lives to see me soar.

You're always patient, never angry,
And gracious through and through.
You amaze me.....completely
You are my dream come true.

Thank you Bob for choosing to
Lay down your life for me.
Thanks for being Mom and Dad 
For our two Mini Me's.

You are my unsung hero
I am grateful you have chosen me
To walk with hand in hand.

To the best Father and Husband......Happy Fathers Day and Happy Anniversary my Love.