by coach Jimmie Vaughn
As coaches, we all have that little thing that keeps us running and we hope it infects our runners. For me, I approach many aspects of life in a particular way, and running is no different. I look to keep everything challenging, playful, fun, and most of all, something I can win. Of course, you can’t win everything unless your only competitor is yourself and you set realistic goals. Once you start aiming at targets too far in the distance, the avenue will close for road work.
Last December I was challenged to write one blog per month. May began, and I was out of ideas. Typing words became more difficult than Marc Bergman going on a run without a sweatband. I honestly had no idea what to write about until I received an email from one of my runners. Maybe I just got a “Get out of Jail Free” card.
This particular runner struggled with “new runner” pains for several months, and it almost sank my battleship because no matter what help I offered, she still was struggling. I could tell she had the drive to be a runner; we just had to overcome a few obstacles in order to make running less of a chore. I have to give her credit, because she more than stuck with it and has continued to run when many would have thrown in the towel. I’m always proud of my runners, but the ones who overcome the larger obstacles make me the most proud. And to date, I have not had a runner more determined than this gal. Maybe it’s because she met some great friends in her group, or maybe her coach had her diggin’ deep…let’s go the friend route.
After 19 months of coaching and never having been in these type of waters, this particular runner emailed me and stated, “From the end of March until now, I’ve seen a lot of improvement, and I mean night and day! I was miserable in January and February when I first started but I’m so happy I stuck with it. Now it’s almost like a game, I want to see how much faster I can get every week.”
When I read that she saw running as a “game”, I actually blurted out “Sonufa*&%$@! Someone finally GOT IT!” Finally I got someone to view running as I do. When running becomes a game, all the work becomes effortless. It no longer is a chore, a job, or part of a program that you have to go through the motions with. It has become a realistic target with a realistic bull’s-eye. It becomes something you want to do, and something you miss when you can’t.
Patty, at a time when I questioned my coaching, I THANK YOU.
Treat everything in life as a game that you WILL win, and you will!