Monday, September 22, 2014

Trusting The Process

Chances are, if you are reading this post, you are a multisport or endurance athlete.  And, if you are like most, you have probably been told on more than one occasion by friends and family that you have a "Type A" personality.  Well, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  It only makes sense, considering the amount of training required for your chosen sport.
The road may be long, but follow it long enough
and your dreams will be realized.

However, if you are like me and have ever had a coach, you have probably heard them say multiple times to "trust the process."  So how are we supposed to trust the process when it is our very nature to question everything?  I'd like to tell you my personal story and how it led me to exactly where I want to be.

My story starts way back in high school (I never said the process was going to be quick and easy!).  I ran cross-country and track all four years in high school and had a coach that I didn't really like very well.  Don't get me wrong, he was an amazing coach who produced multiple state and national champions, but if you were not one of his star athletes, you were pretty much nobody.  And trust me, I was far from being one of his start athletes!  However, at the team banquet my senior year, he said something to me that I will never forget.  He told me that when I finished college, he wanted me to come back and take over his coaching job.  That single sentence was enough to make me want to be a coach someday.

Well, after college, I didn't go back and take over his job.  I accepted a position in the Navy's Officer Candidate School and spent the next four years working on ship's and traveling to places I never imagined I would get to see.  While it was a great experience, I still had this idea in the back of my mind that I was meant to work with athletes.  So I gave up the job security and income that comes with the military, packed up my belongings, and moved to Colorado to study Health and Exercise Science at Colorado State University.

For the next three years, I studied hard and learned everything I could about the human body and how it responds to exercise.  I carefully selected my practicums and internships to work with people who were viewed as experts in their field.  During this time, I also experienced financial difficulties and often questioned whether or not I made the right decision to leave the Navy.

Then, this past January, after discussing the idea of an endurance training center located in Fort Collins with a good friend of mine, every decision I made since high school started making sense.  While earning my first degree, I was a walk-on on the school's cross-country and track teams and had a coach that I had nothing but respect for and leaned a lot from and wanted more than ever to be a coach.  However, at that time, I didn't have the confidence or knowledge to truly be an effective coach.  The confidence came from my time in the Navy and having to learn how to be a leader that people will listen to and trust.  The knowledge came at CSU studying under some of the best in the business.  This past July, I travelled to South Carolina to attend the USA Triathlon's Level I coaching clinic and finally became a certified coach.  Additionally, in just the past week, I have received multiple messages in my inbox from people looking for a coach!  And, as I have already mentioned, plans for an endurance training center, the NoCo Endurance Center, are well underway and it's only a matter of time before the doors are open.

My dream started over 12 years ago.  But it doesn't really matter when you decide you want something.  As long as you work hard at whatever is put in front of you, you will get to where you want to go.  My good friend Steve Mantell once told me that the only thing he thinks about when racing is "Go fast, don't stop."  While that is a great mantra while racing, I have modified it slightly to "Work hard, don't stop."  The process may take days, weeks, months, or in many cases, years to come together.  But if you trust in the process and never lose sight of your goals, you can never fail.  Now go out there and work hard, don't stop!

1 comment:

  1. Great article, Justin and very powerful mantra too. Thanks for continuing to be an inspiration to us!