Wednesday, January 9, 2008

my WHY

*In response to Jen Harrison's recent post "the WHY"

Jen, I really wanted to take some time… reread this, let it soak in, and think about the WHY. So, earlier today I saved it on my laptop… and now I’m sitting on the couch at 9:45 pm with thoughts floating around in my brain.

Please let me start by saying how much I respect you as a person, a mother, a wife, a friend, an athlete, and a COACH. Personally seeing how invested and passionate you are about your athletes… and now reading this… well, it makes me feel incredibly lucky to have you as my new “athletic mother.”

This is not to inflate your ego (ha, you know you’re loved) – but to tell you a bit more about WHY I called you on Sunday about coaching. The timing of your WHY blog seems right on. The WHY brought me to you.

I have been blessed with athletic genes and a competitive drive. These internal forces have taken me far… in a sport I knew little about 4 years ago. Luckily, my parents encouraged an active lifestyle as I grew up. And at each meet/competition/race, a voice inside me screamed, “be your best - push to your limit.” I learned that to strive for the best, one must realize physical pain… and began to understand how it can talk to you. Sometimes the pain indicates an injury… but the good pain, the hurts-so-good pain… that pain signifies a new level: you're getting stronger, faster, higher.

I embrace pain… and sometimes it’s that pain which gets me through the day/week/month.

So, I come to you. Throughout my tri-career… I’ve thought of you as a mentor. Many amazing athletes have helped me along the way. My journey in the triathlon world was rough at first (who likes being beaten by both their mom and dad?!), but I quickly began to figure things out. I learned things at each race (and still do), soaked up advice like a sponge (and still do), and put plans together for myself.

Some people are able to hire coaches right off the bat. They are fortunate to have that luxury. I however, being young, didn’t have the financial means when I got started… but, again was SO lucky to train with you, Karyn, my parents, Peter, etc… Not only is a coach expensive, it’s a huge commitment (for both athlete and coach). As a 24/25 year old, I was not ready to “marry” triathlon.

But, the time has come. I’m ready to say I DO!

I’ve realized this addiction is not going to go away. My love for training/racing is true through and through. And if I’m going to enter into this marriage, I want to do it the best way I know how.

I’m making the commitment. This was not a quick decision… tri’s and I have been dating for about 4 years. After serious thought, I decided I am ready for a coach. It’s the only way I know to grow as an athlete... and, going "coach-less" for the past couple of seasons - your advice and leadership will not be taken for granted. In thinking about a coach, your name came to mind first. I ran down the list of other options… but, I know you’re the guide I’m looking for. I respect you, I know how dedicated you are, and I know you’ll push me – to my limits and beyond. You'll make me suffer… but, I know I’ll have serious fun along the way.

Jen - I'm ready. Bring on the PAIN!


Anonymous said...

You are going to be AMAZING in 2008ASHLEY! Jen

BreeWee said...

Good post...! I have been in sport 3 years and got my coach last season...Coaches really REALLY do take you to new places and you are so RIGHT, it is a "marriage" of sorts. All that communicating, trusting, support. GOOD luck in 08 with Jen! I think you found a good one!!!! I hope she kicks your butt and makes you hurt too! ha ha

Pedergraham said...

Wow--you seem to have already accomplished so much without a coach that it will be fantastic to see your progression this season!

Alicia Parr said...

Very excited to see what you do in 2008!