I think sometimes in life we all search for our calling or place in this world. Some people are fortunate to know exactly what they want to do and end up really enjoying their chosen career. The reality is many people search their whole life trying to find something that fuels their soul.
Ever since I started giving swim lessons at 13 yrs old I've always really enjoyed teaching and coaching. Over the last 15 yrs. I've had several different jobs teaching and working in Public Health, however I've come the realization that ultimately coaching is what fuels my soul. I feel blessed I was given the gift to share my passion and expertise with others. I can't express how much I enjoy inspiring and helping athletes of all ages and ability levels to reach their goals.
As the 2012 triathlon season kicks off and Team Blaze Spokane Triathlon Club now has over 200 members it's great feeling to know that my wife Tristin and I started the club in 2004 with the idea of providing an opportunity for people that share our passion for endurance sports. We're so fortunate to be surrounding by so many positive people, great sponsors and members that truly support each other.
Again this year I'm coaching 10 athletes for IM CDA, 20+ athletes for Boise 70.3, Boston Marathon and several other races. I truly enjoy being able to share my knowledge, expertise and passion with others. Ultimately I hope to one day coach full time as it's something that fuel my soul and helps give my life direction as I can help people change their lives.
So, why would I hire a coach? I've had a few people ask me this question recently. I obviously realize I don't know everything and most professional athletes have coaches as left to their own judgement they get injured.
Motivation has never been an issues for me and I've always stretched my talents in any sport through consistent hard work. I came to the realization that after 10 yrs in triathlon/running that after I went through heart surgery last year I wanted to hire a coach. I hadn't been coached since I swam in college in 1995 as I thought I could do it all on my own. I reached out to friends over the years for guidance, however I've basically coached myself and set all my own schedules reaching many of my goals with solid results until 2009. At this time I started to notice my cycling was really not improving any more and unfortunately the injury bug struck me several times. So, I figured if I was going to train and try to do my best I would look into hiring a coach.
It was difficult decision to accept and trust the feedback from someone else. I looked into several options and decided to ultimately hire someone I knew that has been an excellent example of working hard to achieve his goals. My coach Aleck Alleckson with Summit PC in 5 years has gone from +80 lbs overweight to multiple Hawaii IM qualifier (9:26!), which is impressive, although it was the fact he's a father and works a full time job too that is really impressive.
It's easy to be drawn to hiring a fast triathlete to coach you, however hiring someone that understands how to balance family, work and training is key. Consistent communication and access to your coach for more than just workouts is critical to effective coaching. If in doubt ask questions about the details of the coaching.
My initial observations have been positive as I started the training with a calf injury and I know left to my own judgement I would probably still have a calf injury. He's provided me with great feedback to be able to get me healthy again and now I'm back to running pain free! I've also realized I wasn't biking nearly enough and my biking intensity was seriously lacking. I've spent the last 2 months doing more quality riding and volume than I would ever do on my own which I feel has also helped my running.
I now more clearly understand the feeling of looking forward to the workouts for the week and accountability associated with having a coach. It's great to have someone to discuss both the highs and lows of training/racing that really understands what it's like to juggle everything to make it happen. I'm looking forward to the season ahead as Boise 70.3 is 16 weeks away!
If you're looking for a reasonably priced coach that truly understands how to balance family, work and training I encourage you to send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and check out my coaching web page for fee structure/testimonials from athletes I've coached.