Always. Ever.

My older brother died 8 years ago tonight. He didn’t run. He played baseball. I ran. I understood baseball. He didn’t understand running. But he’d make fun of it. That’s what older brothers do. When they care about you they make fun of you.

And he made fun of my running endlessly. He laughed about the seeming mindlessness of it and the idiocy of doing lap after lap and mile after mile. He would say how utterly boring it was to watch Track meets. Watching dudes just run in a circle? Seriously?

But he showed up. And he stood and cheered like he saw a Grand Slam every time I took a starting line. I always heard him when he came. I always knew he was there. And he always congratulated me and asked me about the other kids in the race and why I made my move when I did. Then he made fun of me.

But I knew he was trying as hard as he could to understand. And I was running as hard as I could hoping he would.

I’m not sure if he ever really understood why I ran – even at the end. But I know he’s still watching. And I’m still running. We’re both still trying. That’s a lesson I learned from my older bother.
Never stop trying. Ever.
I’ll be thinking of that on my run. Tonight.

Coaching Change

One of the things I love about coaching is that every day I am dealing with new athletes. It might be the same person in a literal sense but they are constantly changing as athletes. Yesterday always inspires today. And today will inspire tomorrow. That’s exciting to me.

How will the athlete react to these changes? To the potential they feel? To the glimpse of greatness they saw? To the setback(s)? To the enormity of the future? To the lack of a finish line? Will they overcome? Will they be overcome?

Will I?

If we’re really trying to get better, be better – than we have already agreed that we are trying to change. This change demands adjustments – and flexibility. And it demands us to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Change isn’t easy. It’s far simpler and easier to have your truth be the only one, your schedule to be written in pen instead of pencil, and to allow no second attempts after failure – or worse, no failure in your life at all.

But none of you run (live) expecting it to be easy. You run (live) because you are looking for change.

So I’ll show up at practice. Looking forward to seeing so many familiar faces on so many new athletes.

That’s one thing I hope never changes.

Post inspired by listening to Archers of Loaf. Weird where the spark comes from sometimes. That’s why you always have to be looking.

A New Year Toast

Before the clock strikes midnight and you lose your deposit on the carriage raise a glass to yourself.

Toast that you’re here.
Toast those that are not.
Toast those that still are.
Toast those that push you.
Toast those that pull you.
Toast those that believe in you.

Toast that you believe.

Toast that you can’t truly believe in anything until you believe in yourself.
Toast that you know that.

Toast your success.
Toast your failure.
Toast how high you reached and how hard you fell.
Toast getting back up.

Toast the times you came up short.
Toast how far you have come.
Toast how much you learned.
Toast how little you know.

Toast that you are ready to line up on another starting line.
Toast all those miles left to run.
Toast that there is so much you’ve yet to accomplish.
And toast that you won’t accomplish anything unless you accomplish it yourself.

Like this toast.

And finally, toast that you will toast more this year.

Now I’ll toast to that.

and Happy New Year