Thursday, January 2, 2014

Out of the Closet

"If you don't like Daughtry, you can suck it"--Tea


I guess it's time to come clean.

I have a new coach.

The change has been easier (in some ways) and harder (in others) than I expected.

For a little while, I was without a coach. Yes, for awhile, I debated whether or not I should even look for another coach.

Looking for a coach, interviewing them....deciding what was important to me....it was really exhausting.

The first issue I dealt with was that I have a number of friends who are coaches. Do I look to them first?

It was a resounding, "NO".  I wanted a clean slate. I wanted someone that didn't even know me.

Then, it got to the really tough question: Do I look for a woman coach? Do I go with a male coach?

This was a question that I struggled with for several days. Mr. Tea thought I should stick with a dude.

Before I continue, here's my disclaimer: Nothing that I say here should reflect on my previous coach. I have nothing but good things to say about him.

I decided to look for a woman coach. Here's why:

1.) I want to support woman-owned businesses.
2.) From dealing with my male-friends, I've noticed a trend with men. They seem to want to take care of women. I don't want/need to be taken cared of. I don't need protection. As much as I love my men friends, I don't think I could handle those tendencies in a male coach.
3.) I think a woman would be more likely to tell me "NO". Why? Because they know other women don't need to be "handled" carefully. They aren't afraid to tell me if I'm wrong. A guy? Yeah....see #2.

My preference was to look for a woman who was over 50. That's almost impossible. For the past year, I've been really concerned about the impact that changing hormones has had on my training. How do I say this, training needs to be adapted to women who are in their late 40's. We cannot follow the same training that men in their late 40's do. We can't follow the same training that a woman in her mid 30's does.

There are days that we struggle to get out of bed for goodness sakes. And not because we're *emotional* or *depressed* but because when hormones drop below a certain level, we physically cannot move. We want to move. We want to take care of our lives, but we can't do it. There are few things as frustrating as not being able to climb a flight of stairs or get up to get breakfast. There's actually a term for it. It's called Crash Fatigue. Seriously, google it. Nevermind, just click the link if you're interested.

But that's just one issue that we have to deal with.

How in the world do I find someone who can work with me, with those requirements?

Then came the google searches. I can't tell you how many websites I looked at....and none felt right.

Finally, I found a coach. Now, came the hard part. Learning about each other.

There were a couple of things that my Coach did right off the bat that made me realize I made the right decision:

1.) She is unbelievably organized.
2.) She told me, "No." I sent her my race schedule, and she advised against several races. In addition to that, she went through my entire year's worth of training, ask me a gazillion questions (some of which I couldn't even answer), and came up with a plan for this year. A new approach for me.
3.) The first thing she said to me was, "Women in their late 40's need a different approach. It's a subtle difference but a difference nonetheless". (That's not an exact quote, but it is very close). She had me at "women in the late 40's".
4.) She's sent me several articles about dealing with "change" and just a bunch of different things. She's recommended books for me to read. (Which of course, I DID).

It's all been very helpful.

We have a lot of work ahead of us. Of course, I don't mind at all. We have run tests and bike tests to do. Not to mention, I need to learn what to say and how to say it.

Can I drop F-bombs on a regular basis?
Can I scream out: I'M IN IT TO WIN IT!!! (without looking like some ego-maniac compulsive triathlete addict?)
Will she get my sense of humor?

BUT most importantly, will she understand that I take triathlon seriously, but I never take myself seriously? In other words, I'm here to have fun. I have goals, but ultimately, triathlon is a way to work out my every day issues. I have a life outside of triathlon.

So much of this takes time. I can't tell her, "I'll work my ass off". She needs to see it.

We both agreed that this first month will be sort of a "getting to know each other" month.

So far, I like what I see. I think it's the start of something good.

2 comments:

Pamela said...

I wish I'd known you were looking because my coach is awesome - she's my age and she's tough as nails and very demanding.

Glad you found someone you like, though. Will she let you wear bear mittens while training?

Tiffany @ The Chi-Athlete said...

FANTASTIC, Tea! I'm very proud of you for having such strict goals in finding someone that's right for you. Let's be honest: It's a relationship. A two-way, at times brutally honest and possibly harsh, "get comfortable with being uncomfortable" relationship.

I'm also proud of you for being able to be brave enough to let go of previous coaching or advice in finding one. It looks like you had your own formula, and really stuck to your guns in fulfilling your own needs from a coach. I hope everything works out well!