Thursday, May 19, 2011

Blessed With Support

My move back to Colorado is right around the corner. As always, my arrival there marks the true start of my triathlon season. Although this move may be the most difficult one I have ever done without having a definite plan for the fall, I feel I have all the support in the world. My family has done all they can to come watch me race and support me in spite of how far away I have been. The team I have been coaching is excited for my future and sad that I will not be their coach next fall, instead of being mad that I am leaving. They threw me a fantastic going away party with all the parents and runners coming together and even writing me individual cards with their favorite memories. In addition to all of that, I have a friend named Miranda who has been there for me as I stressed about this move and my future. She has reminded me to go to God with my worries and has also helped me put things into perspective. Finally, even with all the support in the world, I have Brooks and Kompetitive Edge looking out for me. Thank you guys for all the gear and making racing possible.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Step of Faith

Once again, I reach a crossroads in my life. I have an opportunity to stay on as an assistant coach at Baker University but with low pay and no chance of real advancement. Two years ago I thought I would be ready to leave this place and start as a head coach; I never imagined it would be so hard to leave. The bond between a coach and an athlete is in my opinion the leading factor for success in running. If a runner trusts their coach, they are willing to give all they have and truly buy into what the coach is telling them to do. Only giving half of yourself to training is like giving half of yourself to God. That makes you lukewarm, and while you may think you are winning or doing well, you are not reaching your potential. As God would say, you are lukewarm. In Revelations 3:16, being lukewarm means God wants to spit you out because you are disgusting, and an athlete that does not commit to my training ideas is also lukewarm and wasting both of our times. However, I am blessed to have such an amazing group of athletes who are not just lukewarm, but instead are burning with desire to train and to praise the Lord. We have a team prayer that one of my athletes put together that the entire distance team does before a meet. This is the reason it is so hard to take this next step. To leave this group of young individuals is like leaving a piece of my family. I will miss them, but after much prayer I know it is best for me and what God is calling me to do. While I have been driving athletes to church, praying with athletes, and truly caring about them, I want to build an entire team under this philosophy, not just the distance program. This is not to say that I have not grown close to many of the sprinters, jumpers, or throwers because I have. They all know they can trust me, and they do come to me quite often about real life problems not just coaching advice.
With this new step, I am uncertain and yet still a believer. I do not know where I will be coaching next year, but I do know that I trust God to lead me, and while the first step is always one in the dark, I am not scared. A song lyric that really drove this home while I was deliberating over my decision was this “And there are places I’ve wished I could be, Battles I’ve wanted to win, Dreams that have slipped through my hands, I may never be back again, But I’m still a dreamer, A believer, Oh, I lost my faith in so many things, But I still believe in You, Cuz You can make anything new.” So many things are not how I planned them, but that is alright with me because I am a believer and God is leading me. So here I go, into the unknown, a career in coaching. I pray God will lead me through this time, I am truly submitting and giving my future to God. Nothing in life is worth having unless it is given from God, so sacrifices must be made and I am making them.
I will miss each and every one of my runners, my beaufitul route up Signal Oak that I love to run, Chipotle on Mass St., grilling with Sara, and the good old Baldwin City water tower. Less then a month now but I am excited for the impact I can have with my own program, and how many young souls I can try to being to the Lord.