I have been coaching for sometime now. Once in a while, I receive an email from a client which chokes me up with pride. Today, I received one of those letters, so instead of sharing it via a Facebook post, I decided to copy it here.
The Letter to the Coach
To reflect for a moment – It’s been about a year that you’ve been my coach. I have learned so much more than I ever would from a book, hanging out with colleagues, or trying to figure it out by myself. When I met you, I had been trying for years to run past 3 miles and frequently injured myself — I could never get past 3 miles was super frustrated, hated running, and I was very slow. In fact, none of my times in any of the sports were improving. After a couple of months working with you on form and technique, I tripled the number of miles I could easily run, I increased my speed, and had absolutely no injuries. You have inspired me to try things I would never consider trying, regularly pushing me out of my comfort zone and helping me accomplish things I didn’t think were possible or I would ever have the guts to do (e.g., swim in cold water– you have no idea what a big deal that is– running a 10K, and riding in bike groups).
I felt like I couldn’t find anyone that would be interested in coaching me as an age grouper and being new to triathlon. Finding you was such a blessing because I feel like you treat me like a pro– you respect me for where I am, what I am trying to accomplish, and my repetitive silly questions (e.g. What is “PR?”). Your positive attitude is contagious and inspiring.
Everything you have taught me has been instrumental to reaching my triathlon goals and even helping me win the FD3 Series in my age group! That’s pretty cool! You’ve also worked around my schedule and needs to perfectly tailor the perfect program for me as an individual and because of that, I’ve gained improvement in running, swimming, and biking. I’m really grateful you don’t just prescribe a “one size fits all” approach– you related it to my personal needs.
I look so forward to our weekly calls, and knowing that someone is there holding me accountable, there to support me when I’m feeling discouraged, and perhaps more importantly, there to celebrate every success, no matter how big or small! It makes my day when I get random emails commenting on some aspect of my training. I can’t even begin to summarize how much I’ve learned from you. I’m constantly impressed by how well-informed and experienced you are– no matter how random I think my question might be, you always have an answer that is backed up by facts/literature/experience etc.. Even when some random muscle hurts, your solutions have always worked!
I’m also thankful that you include the nutritional elements since that is a critical part of training and performance, as I’m slowly learning and trying to get better at communicating.. I had no idea how important all of this was.
So, in about 8-10 months of working with you, I’ve tripled my running distance, dropped my speed by a couple of minutes, increased my bike speed by several mph (during races) and have become a stronger, more efficient swimmer–completing two Olympics and several Sprints– without any injury! And it’s been a lot of fun, I’m totally hooked! I’m looking forward to the 70.3 journey (just one, I don’t have time to sustain that level of training!), and getting on the podium for an Olympic at some point ; )
I have complete trust in the process you are leading me through, and it is definitely generating results. I’m so grateful for who you are, what you do, and your passion.
So overtime I say thank you– please know there is so much more behind just those two words– it’s hard to express all the gratitude and appreciation that is in my heart and mind. So again, thank you. ~ Laura”
From the Coach
This was written by my client Laura Engleby whom just as she has detailed, took 1st in her age group in 2 of the FD3 Series Sprint Triathlons and 3rd in the last one. These accomplishments gave her 1st place for the series. She also took 4th in her second Olympic distance triathlon. She put in the work, took the prescribed suggestions and followed the plan we made for her.
I cannot even put into words how proud I am of this woman and what she has accomplished in the short amount of time I have been privileged to be coaching her.