Monday, October 28, 2013

The I Hate Running Club Needs a New President

There's so much that I love about coaching, especially group coaching.  I am very proud of my job and I find it to be incredibly moving.  Through my work, I get to see people transform, not only physically, but mentally as well.

 I have a lot of great coaching stories and some runners that I am really...really...really proud of, and I've only just begun.  I feel blessed to have fallen into this job. 

My first official round of group run coaching was a class of 11.  Most of the people in the class had never run before.  Several of them "hated" running and were only doing it because....they wanted to lose weight...they wanted to join their family of runners...their friends ran.

But there was one who really hated running.

A lot.

No, I mean.  A lot.

Despite coming to run club for a while, and always going out to join the group in the run, she still hated running.

Despite the fact that her daughter is a gifted cross country athlete and future elite runner, she still hated running.

Despite really wanting to do a triathlon, she still hated running.

She hated running so much that she received a special title from me....

"President of the I Hate Running Club" 

Much as she hated running, she still kept up with the program and was faithful in her attendance.  She complained a lot,  never really moved past hating running.

Eight weeks after starting the program, I had the honor of watching her finish her first 5K and it was one of the most moving moments for me as a runner.  She was smiling ear to ear as she ran in and crossed the line.  I knew the smile was a cover up, because deep in there, she still hated running, but she had put that aside for a while and reached her goal of finishing a race.

Much to my surprise, she decided to sign up for my half marathon class.  I was really excited when she made the commitment.  I knew that underneath the thorny I Hate Running Club Crown there was more, there was a runner. 

And in the last few weeks....that runner has come out to play.  No longer is she complaining about having to run 20, 30, 40 straight minutes.  She is sailing through 6, 8 mile runs.  Every run she finishes, there's a smile, and I think this is a genuine smile.  I get texts that make my day, "I did it!  I did 7 miles...!" 

Her ability to put aside her true hatred of running and to keep on coming back for more, is what has been my biggest motivation into trying cycling and swimming.  She held my hand while I went cycle shopping and even took me out on my first bike ride.  Much as she hated running, I hated swimming.  And so she helped me get over that, too!

While her running has been increasingly improving, this morning I got confirmation that her attitude was, also.  As I was preparing for my crazy day of teaching, I got one of the most amazing texts a coach could ask for. 

"Would you believe that I am actually sad about not being able to run today?"

And with that text....she lost her title.

Congratulations, Lisa.  Welcome to the world of being a RUNNER,