Creating a Team

9 09 2011


I am getting my cholesterol blood test results back today, so I took a look at some of my records on weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol I had recently filed.

I know meds help a lot of folks, but I was able to see that when I was properly training, my cholesterol levels were nicely balanced. When I was dealing with injury, insane & unresolved stress, and then over a year of stress-related health complications, my training was spotty, I felt crummy, and second guessed everything.

It has been a road back littered with the need to look at how to lower the background stresses and deciding what lifestyle changes need to be made in order to be healthy.

A lot of folks can be motivated by family & kids, but I am like thousands of folks who are single. I don’t have that “my kids-spouse-family need me to be alive” motivation. I do have friends, however.

I have always been behind my friends’ fitness activities. I know they are behind me, but I have actually had people say “you should stop racewalking because it is making you sick.” Not really. My life was making me sick.

Coming back, I have stared down what I can and cleared it. That is half the problem, the other half is getting my training on track.

It is hard by yourself. It is also hard when you question if you are a viable athlete. The mental issue I started to attack with a required Stress Management class. Coach Christopher Tetro was my weights 1 coach over the summer, and has been terrific. He reminded me to learn the lessons of being under oxygen in Sacramento. Maybe he knew part of me was really close to quitting.

Coach was also surprised when I decided to drop weights 2 with Coach Brian Cooper. I was going to use the time to muddle through the weights program I had scribbled. First day of class, Alena-Kidlet said I would love working with Coach Coop.

Coach Cooper is a hoot! I realized having him on one side and Coach Tetro on the other, I was surrounded by a couple cool coaches, but I didn’t realize how much until I got a post Virginia Beach email.

Before Labor Day weekend, I talked with Coop (sorry Dude, I type on the phone!) who said he had some direct ideas for me, he just had to talk to the swimming coach. Hu? In class, I ask questions and more often than not he said “for them yes. Not for you. For you …” I am learning for not only myself (endurance athletes) but for as many flavors of fitness seekers.

The email didn’t make me nervous. I have had kind of lip service help given, but realized there was a whole different animal when I got to Tetro’s class who said “welcome back. Oh we were talking about you and have ideas. “

I can see these two laughing and cackling over notebooks, rolling their hands “ah-ha … can we get her to do this?  BWAHAHHAHAAAA!!” Both know if they explain it, I can be directed into great times and finishes.  Neither knew me when I was healthy. They just know me now. And that rocks because they are working with what I am knowing some of my past potential.

Coach Cooper + Coach Tetro + Coach Lippek + Good Friends + My Attitude = AWESOME TEAM!!

I write alphabetical order, not importance.

Coop reminded me, as he gave me my assignment which is different from my class, every athlete needs a team.  The strength of my team depends not only on the quality of the advice I seek & questions I ask, but on the dedication and determination I bring to the table.

Look – there are reasons why programs like Team in Training, Team Challenge, Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, DetermiNation, and other endurance programs work is that you get a team. You get out of it what you put in to it.

I always put a lot into things for others, and now fully ready to turn that dedication internally – with the help & faith in me of my awesome team – and their resources.