Spend 21 hours in what felt like a plastic child-sized chair in a 55 degree cold box with 30 other triathlete-soon-to-coaches and try to mix with about 8 hours of Ironman training in 3 days = one very exciting weekend away.
Next to my wedding day – and any day of the week at work – Friday was possibly the longest day of my life. It started with a wake up call around 4 am, a trip to Memphis, a trip to Springfield, sitting at the clinic for 6 ½ hours, then setting off to find a pool, then swimming 4500 yards in a pool that made the workout feel like the longest warm bath of my life. But it was all made better because I had Leslie in tow. When we started the mainset I said, “Leslie, I’m not going to go fast” and Leslie said “that’s ok, because I don’t go fast.” I would have believed that except for the fact that she was right on my feet the whole time. She tried to bail after the 800 but I told her no way, we were going all the way back down bribing her with a ride down the kiddie slide afterwards. The kiddie slide was one of the most frightening things I have ever done. Fearful, Leslie made me go first and once in the slide it got completely dark and I was flying down a giant plastic tube at mach speed until I was spewed out at like 108 mph into the water below.
The next day was long. 10 hours at the clinic, with a 45 minute run in what felt like a hot box at high noon. Poor Leslie. I told her it wouldn’t be a hard run but really when you run at 1 pm, on long hills, when it’s 90 degrees with 90 percent humidity anything becomes hard. After the clinic we still had to do a 2 ½ hour ride. We asked a local for some directions to a bike route but when she gave us a hand written page long of directions that included an intersection that might kill you, a hill where you’ll probably drop your chain, a bridge you have to walk over, and a pit bull we decided to ride indoors instead. Great choice – especially in a hotel room – especially without a fan – especially when you’re doing muscle tension intervals. I completely sweat through two towels and have never wanted to get off my bike so much in my life. But if I say anything about Kona being hot, you all have the right to slap me.
Sunday. Yes, all of that and it was still only Sunday. Again, clinic for about 4 hours then off to find a trail for a 1 hour run. Per the suggestion of a local, we head to an old landfill. He tells us there are great trails. Sure, if you’re a mountain bike. But we were on foot, again in the blazing sun and stifling humidity of 1 pm. Imagine single track, imagine rocks, roots, grass, a trail about 6 inches wide. I have no idea how we found our way in or out of this trail. We just kept running and leaping and crossing river beds and jumping logs. After nearly sending myself head first down the trail, we headed back to where we thought we came from, found some mountain bikers who assured us we were going the right way and miraculously ended up by the car. With some more time to add, we found another perimeter trail that was the hottest part of a run I have ever done, up a long hill, again on a trail 6 inches wide.
Needless to say, if you are training for Kona, you should probably take a trip to Springfield, Missouri because it was hotter than holy hell.
Anyways, back at the airport, I make my way to Detroit. Little did I know everyone in the world would be in the Detroit airport on Sunday night. And little did I know my flight home would be 2 hours delayed. Back home at midnight. Ouch.
Back at work. And back to wondering what I am doing at work. Because what I realized this weekend is that if you surround yourself by people with a passion for what you do and with people that are teaching you to become more passionate about it – you really enjoy yourself. I mean, the weekend was busy, it was hard, it was hot but I had a great time. For the first time in a long time, I wanted to sit at a desk. I wanted to learn. And I learned so much.
Not only that, but being with Leah, Leslie, and Nancy was such a good time. They get it. They were ok with eating dinner at 10:15 pm. They were ok with trips to the store for “good food”. Instead of going drinking on a Saturday night, they were interested in going back to the hotel to get in a good ride. They were willing to do what it takes to get in a workout. They were fit, fun, healthy, happy. I thought to myself – this is what it is like to be around people with the same passion as you, with the same fire.
Pending the passing of my certification exam, I will be a certified coach by the end of August. And that is where I need your help. Nothing is more powerful than word of mouth. Since late May over 5,500 of you have visited my website, and I know that you know someone that might be looking for a multisport coach or training help. So if you do, send them my way! (my e-mail is on this page)