Wednesday, June 8, 2016

New beginnings and new adventures

I was always apprehensive to go through the licensure process because  I didn't want to be the typical Ironman that crosses the line and before you know it we become experts in the subject. I was and still am far from that. There is so much to learn about the human body and what we put it through during a triathlon or an endurance event that I don't think there is anyone that could comprehend in a lifetime. I didn't want to take away from our coach or from so many great coaches out there famous and non famous that dedicate their lives to doing this. To me, it is a little different. It is more because I have a passion for the sport and want to help others. To me, it is a way to give back to the triathlon community.

As we grew into the sport we started learning more and more about it. In my case (Puli speaking) I was somewhat obsessed by the process, metrics, and in general learning. Not that I would question the process (maybe I did on more that one occasion) but in general I simply wanted to know the why and the how. It's the engineer in me that wants to always know how things work in general. I can follow a plan and I can see the route to get from point A to point B but I have to understand the process to get there. Over the last couple of years I started learning more and more, bought a few books to teach myself why workouts or phases (cycles) were the way they were. It wasn't until last year when we moved that I found the need to probably get more and more information about it. We were training virtually and doing all the workouts on our own which led me to continue my exploration so I could explain to Res why or how we were doing things. Before we would just see our coach in person at least 3 times a week so it took that thinking pressure off our training. It was different last year, we were kind of our own and while we had access to our coach it was different, we didn't want to become a burden to him since we knew he had plenty of other people training for IM Cozumel including himself so we figured we shouldn't bother as much and also it wasn't our first rodeo sort of speaking.

From the beginning of this crazy world called triathlon, we have had the great luck to work with a very experienced coach. It wasn't easy finding him, we went and met probably 3-4 groups and coaches and we never felt like we had found what we were looking for. We were looking for a coach that had the patience to show us the ropes and guide us through our new found hobby, pushed our limits and most importantly out of our comfort zone. We were in a way blessed to find our Coach Mike and our Irontex Family 4 years ago on a cold February morning in Texas. We were such rookies.... And have come long ways from then.

Then I realized a few months ago, that every time I talked to people I often ended up giving advice to others and more often than not I sent them to our coach, or maybe provided some guiding points, but wasn't sure if I was giving the right advice. I was talking to others and giving my thought, but I was simply talking from my experience and what we have learned through our many mistakes. I then thought to myself and talked to Res about what if I got certified as a coach. Going through the process of getting my USA Triathlon Coach I License  and seeing where that would take me. I also talked to my coach,  I look up to him and definitely wanted to get his thoughts and in a way approval for it. It isn't like I wanted to open up my own team or anything, I don't have the time for that, I wanted to do it so I could be in part more knowledgeable while helping others and at the same time having some credentials, other than all our medals and finish lines. My coach agreed that I would be a great candidate to be a coach, at the end of the day, a coach is much more than someone that writes you a plan. For that you can simply use google and you get plans for all prices and flavors. I wanted to use my leadership skills, my analytical mentality and also my willingness to teach and be able to teach others through the process. I didn't do it for the money or the glory... I know this isn't my ticket to retirement any time soon.

Long and behold, I submitted my application to USA Triathlon and I got notified of my acceptance to the clinic which is a weekend of classes. I think the clinic was great. I learned a bunch and a lot of things made a lot of sense. The clinic more than anything is a guideline to future coaches on how to put things together. It's not like I got a secret recipe to write plans or to make athletes faster. It is more to change the mentality from a competitor to a coach where now you have to be someone's advisor, psychologist, friend, plan writer, parent, and so many other things that come with the connotation of the word C-O-A-C-H. They do talk a lot about the psychology aspect of the sport and helped to see things a little different. In any case I'm excited about that new beginning and what will come after that. I'm starting to help a few people and I'm looking forward to helping them with their journeys.

I got notified last week that I had passed all my exams (yes there are multiple) and that I has fulfilled
all the requirements to be a Certified USA Triathlon Coach I. This is really exciting, I'm looking forward to learning a lot and helping others with their dreams and goals. This will be interesting to see where it goes. I don't really have a plan right now on what I want to do with it. I've gotten more questions about it and probably will start "coaching" officially now a few friends. Part of the clinic has to do with the business side of things, I definitely don't know yet if I want to go that route,  that wasn't the reason I did all this. Would I charge? who knows, Would I create a team? maybe not, Would I maybe try to lead some groups around home? maybe... a lot up in the air, hoping the real life work cuts me a break and I can think about all these things. Definitely couldn't have done all of this with the support of my badass wifey who supported me 100% on this crazy idea, I think she likes to call me coach now more.. :) and last but not least, my coach and mentor Mike Blankenship who helped us both achieve so many goals and was an integral part of this whole crazy triathlon ride, without his mentorship and patience through the process and his recommendation I don't think I wouldn't have been able to make it to the clinic.

So if you come across this, and think that maybe you have some questions or simply want to have some guidance on where to start... feel free to reach out to me here. I'll be more than happy to chat with you and offer any info I might have.