Last December I was giving out some unsolicited running advice to a friend. He said, "how do you know so much about running?" I responded quickly, "I had a really great coach." Then a couple months ago I was invited to a Facebook group to honor my long distance running coach from high school. He is retiring. I have very fond memories of him, my team, and our adventures.
Both moments really got me reflecting on the importance of a good coach. I've had a few coaches, and they were all good, but the first one, Coach Young, was by far the best and most influential. He didn't just design workouts and hold us accountable. He fostered a sense of community, he taught us the fundamentals of running technique, performance, and injury prevention/care. He took us to beautiful places, even took us camping once a year; he made running a lifestyle. He pushed us further than we thought we could go, and was supportive through all the ups and downs. I came away from it all not just knowing how to run, but how to live well.
For years I've been contemplating getting the credentials to be a running coach. Now I'm actually doing it! I have some lofty ideas and goals, but my number one hope is to be just a smidgen as good of a coach as Coach Young. If I can do that, then I'll call it success.
I hope you can join me on this journey.