So last weekend was one of those weekends that was pretty damned special. It’s funny how sometimes you get so caught up in the minutia of day to day prep that sometimes you miss it. A little background.
I started racing triathlon in 2010. Something I took up on a dare and kept doing because it kept me from being fat, again, and it filled a competitive void I’d been missing. Somewhere along the way I became fascinated with the art and science of putting training plans together. So when my coach approached me about starting a business together I jumped at the chance. What I didn’t consider was how hard it is to start a coaching business from scratch, especially if you’re not the prototype elite athlete because Lord knows I don’t look the part. Add to that I had the least experience of the Sonic owners, I’m not super charismatic, I live in an area with a ton of talented coaches, and boom back up the struggle bus.
Over the past few years a lot of really talented, somewhat misfit athletes have decided to make Sonic their home in triathlon under my guidance. Those athletes who were early comers can probably tell you that my approach to coaching has kind of changed over the time they’ve been with me. Some of that can be contributed to the fact I’ve changed coaches a couple times over the past few years and I think it’s natural to take bits and pieces from each and incorporate it into your repertoire as a coach, and some of that comes with how I look at the sport. Initially I wanted to be an insanely good technical coach and that’s it. I was kind of cold, aloof, and only interested in the data that came into my email from Training Peaks. I always kind of just accepted the fact that triathlon is a lonely sport, and it is, but after a while I started to ask myself why? What can I do as a coach/owner to make this sport less lonely and more like the traditional team sports I grew up playing? Or at least a team locker room type of situation? Luckily there are social media and happy hours amongst other tools to help, and I’ve made a concerted effort to treat my athletes less like someone I want to do well because it moves the brand forward, and more like family. This has resulted, I think, with happier athletes and definitely resulted in a happier coach. Oh and with me being labeled “Dad” or “Coach Grumpy Cat.”
So fast forward to this past weekend. Sonic co-owner Stacey and myself were racing in OKC at ITU Long Distance Worlds, I had two athletes at the Kerrville Triathlon Festival, and another six at Augusta 70.3. Stacey and I had rough days in OKC, hers much worse than mine as she was hit by a car, and normally that would have made the weekend total shit for me. However the pics from the other locations of athletes having dinner together, doing shakeout workouts together, and just having a blast in the days leading up to racing kept rolling in. It made me insanely pleased/content/happy. These awesome people were out there making something I thought was just a pipe dream a reality.
So the beat will go on here at Sonic Endurance South headquarters as what little off season most of us have approaches. We haven’t quite made the mark in town that I’d like, but that’s coming. Zero doubts on that. In the meantime we’ll have dinner together on Saturday, tell stories about our races this past weekend, continue to train our asses off, and have a boatload of fun while doing it. Oh by the way there will be a dozen plus of us racing IMTX 2017. This will serve as a pre-emptive apology to The Woodlands for our shenanigans.