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Coaches Reward

Posted by on August 24th, 2011 with 0 Comments

Ever have one of those athletes?

You know, the one who is oozing with natural talent. The one with unbridled enthusiasm. The one with the mental toughness to persevere. The one that constantly wants to push the envelope. The one that is always wanting to go for longer distance.

We all have that one athlete, that we have to keep a close watch on so they don’t destroy themselves. I have that one athlete now. She is 9 years old! She is also my stepdaughter and her name is Betsy.

This is a typical conversation between us:

Me: “Are there any races that you are interested in this season?”
Betsy: “I am NOT doing kids triathlons this year, they are too easy.”
Me: “Okay, maybe a few of the beginner races.”
Betsy: ” No, I am doing the adult races.”
Me: “Are you sure that you want to do this, there is a lot more distance in the swim, bike and run?”
Betsy: “You know that I don’t run anything less than a 5k, I swim year round, and I can ride 20 miles easy.”
Me: “I can find a few races for you”
Betsy: “Eric?”
Me:”Yes dear” (I call her dear because it cracks her up)
Betsy: “Will you run them with me?”

That last sentence is our special bond. It assures me that no matter how much bravado she tosses around, she is still a little girl that knows she can count on dad.

My time with her is a balancing act. Assuring and encouraging without trying to push. She is the one that wants to turn bike rides into hammer sessions and easy runs into adventures on the trails lasting for hours. She has the innate ability to know when I am wrecked and when she senses this, she pulls me out for her session.

I savor these times while I have them. I look forward to the open water swims with her by my side and the pure joy on her face when she talks about her dreams of competing in Kona. I know that as she matures these dreams of Kona may soon be replaced by dreams of being a movie star. Girls are fickle that way, so I am going to enjoy it while I can.

(please note: Betsy has no training plan, if she doesn’t want to race there is no argument, and all of her “training” is at her whim)

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