Gearing Up…

So many people want to do more and be more but they can never quite figure out how to get there.

You can be like them, if you want. But I’m guessing you want more. So be more. Work harder, work longer, work smarter, and figure out how to find that extra gear. It’s not going to be easy. So what. Easy got you second (or third or fifth or tenth) place.

You want more then you go get more. Find that gear.

— CrossFit Lisbeth, Find That Gear.

In September, I started coaching Cross Country with the Florence Track Club.

It all started kinda weird- I got an e-mail from a coworker passing along the opportunity, and I thought about it for a couple days. I knew from talking to and running with my company’s Couch-to-5Kers that I liked motivating people, and I figured volunteering with a youth team would be a great way to become active in the community. In my area, volunteer opportunities for young adults are extremely hard to find unless you’re involved in a local church, which I’m not. I was growing tired of running the same 5K races on the weekends, getting the same t-shirts (yes, one local race has given the same t-shirt three years straight), and following some “Advanced 5K Training Plan”, working my bum off to shave half a minute off my finish time.

Oh, and I love running. Never forget that.

I haven’t blogged much about cross country and the Florence Track Club, but trust me, my friends, family, and coworkers hear about it. They hear about how I work with amazing kids who will do amazing things. The best thing? The kids have the most positive attitudes ever. Our practices are relatively drama-free, and the kids are extremely polite and positive. No sportsmanship issues, no breakdowns, no tears- well, a few tears, but when you’re seven years old, a few tears are okay :).

To go along with coaching (and just trying to be a positive person), I started following CrossFith Lisbeth’s blog, which is written by one of the female athletes who participated in the 2011 CrossFit games. I haven’t done CrossFit since our company’s free classes ended (I’ve definitely taken more risks with my workouts though), and the blog is very applicable to any sport and life in general.

CrossFit Lisbeth also has some weird way of knowing exactly what I need to read on any given day. I think this is a special power that comes from completing “Fran” or “Cindy” in the amount of time it takes most of us to tie our shoes. One day last week, I read “Find that Gear”, the post referenced above, and that post, along with that day in practice, touched me like no other.

Although we asked our kids to run on Wednesday, last Tuesday was our final mandatory practice before the state meet. That day, we played a few games, did lots of stretching, and then ran an untimed mile- as fast as you could, but untimed.

We have eight year olds who run 23 minute 5Ks, and some of our kids can beast out a mile in 7 minutes. Others, it takes twice that long- but that’s okay. One mile is one mile. Four laps on the track is four laps. I ran with some of the faster young (7-8 year old) kids, trying to push them and challenge them to keep up with me. When we finished our mile, I kept running, joining some of the other kids who still had a lap or two to go.

I ran beside a little girl, T. T is not one of our fast runners, but still pushes herself each day with a great attitude and a smile on her face. Sometimes we talk, and that day, T wanted to talk about how her friend saw a UFO- an Unidentified Flying Object. We got over halfway around the track while she talked about the UFO, with about 100 meters to go, when I turned to T, wearing a yellow shirt and looking at me with big eyes behind her glasses.

“T, I want to see a URO. Know what that is? An Unidentified Running Object. It’s the Florence Track Club, Cross Country version of a UFO. When you turn this corner, I want to see a blur of yellow. I want you to go so fast, I won’t know what I’m seeing. I want you to go all out- 100%”.

She nodded and took off.

And I mean took off. There was no stopping that girl. Her sprint was something other eight and nine year olds would envy. Her sprint was something many adults would envy.

90% of running is mental. When someone admits mental defeat in running- that’s what others beat them. This can happen when they look behind them, or when someone passes them, and they secretly think “Oh wow, look who I got passed by!”.

Coaching and working with kids is mental too.

Everyone has something different motivating them, and you have to find what that is. You have to find what makes someone tick.

You have to find that gear.

On Tuesday night, T found that gear.

What about you?

This entry was posted in Coaching, Couch to 5K, Cross Country, Florence Track Club, Motivation and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Gearing Up…

  1. Carol B says:

    Love the story about TT. Great spirit!!

  2. Allie says:

    I agree that running is such a mental sport! I loved reading the story about T 🙂 how awesome that you volunteer!!

  3. Ells says:

    Awww, that’s adorable!

    You definitely make me sad that I can’t run!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Have you thought about volunteering at some races? I know that could make you even more sad that you can’t run, but I have a friend who used to run and now she does a lot of volunteering. Obviously it’s not the same experience, but she loves being out there cheering for runners, giving out water, monitoring the courses, etc. A lot of work really goes into putting on races, even the smaller ones, and it’s also a good way to meet people. My friend who does it really likes sharing in others’ achievements and victories when they run :).

  4. lindsay says:

    you are a natural coach/leader! loved the story about T, and pretty jealous of your involvement with your local club!

  5. missymiller says:

    You are gonna be great! I love what you said….

    I actually believe that when we teach others we learn the most. Those girls are gonna show you a lot…about yourself, about life, about determination….

    Hope you write more about this.

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  7. Thanks for all the time you dedicated this fall to the Florence Track Club. It was amazing watching such young kids show so much discipline every week. Alec had a blast everytime he ran, with a perfect ending to the season. He is looking forward to track in the spring!

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