So, How Many Hats Do You Wear?

My photo
Pensacola, Florida, United States
Husband. *Dog Dad.* Instructional Systems Specialist. Runner. (Swim-challenged) Triathlete (on hiatus). USATF LDR Surveyor. USAT (Elite Rules) CRO/2, NTO/1. RRCA Rep., FL (North). Observer Of The Human Condition.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Rehabilitation Is For Quitters

Quitting. Most occasions the word has a negative connotation. Unless the thing we're quitting is destructive or wasteful. Quitting a job leaves a gap for someone to fill; quitting a race (if injured) replaces time training or racing with recovery and rehabilitation.

If you're a big-shot in an organization the announcement is usually tied up in a neat little package with the classic and often overused "...want to spend more time with my family..." alibi.

I'm not a big shot, so I don't have any good alibis. I'm not very good at neat, clean, well-structured goodbyes - the promises of the goodby-er always seemed hollow on the receiving end. Therefore, I've always tried to turn a "hurry out the door" into something which sounded more like a "hiatus"; you never know when you might need that old job, or to communicate with that person again.

When I no longer needed to do a collateral duty after four years, it seemed a good time to take stock of other activities which fill my schedule. Was it necessary? Was it of benefit to others around me? Most importantly, did I derive any sort of satisfaction from it?

There weren't many groups available for runners when I was appointed to coach a run training group. Some six-and-a-half years later, there is a social run or training activity most every day of the week, save for Friday.

I've handed out the occasional business card to runners who expressed interest in training and answered the occasional phone call or e-mail question. Sometimes the inquirer comes out, sometimes not. My wife told her girlfriend once, "...he used to get very excited about the prospect of someone new coming out, but when they didn't show it disappointed him. Now he has a 'wait and see' attitude, which keeps him on a more even keel." If coaching were my only way of making a living, or to get people to bring their money through the door of my running emporium, I might be more aggressive. For me, though, it's three-to-five hours a week.

I am not quitting the act of coaching. I'm not going to be the guy pushing workouts two nights a week to runners who may or may not buy in to what I'm (not) selling. Pushing workouts out that way is like shooting blindfolded at a moving target hoping to hit dead center. I would rather sit down over a cup of coffee, review a training log and take thirty minutes to ask the right questions (the answers won't matter if I ask the wrong ones); that form of coaching is more satisfying. Good coaches blend collaboration and domination. I'd rather be a good coach than a mediocre one. So, I think the focus (ideally) will be toward a one-on-one coach/athlete relationship in the future.

Besides, I need to continue my own rehabilitation. And we all know that rehab is for quitters.

No comments: