Conversations With My Coach
My Coach: Are you feeling okay? Is there something I need to know about?
Me: I’m feeling GREAT! Why do you ask?
My Coach: Going over your data from your hour ride on the trainer this week and I see you didn’t maintain your heart rate in aerobic zone as I’d outlined. Looks like the majority of the hour-long ride your heart rate was in the lower recovery zone.
Me: Oh yeah…that…well, I didn’t really want to do my ride tonight, so I compromised and just got on Statham and started pedaling. And between being engrossed in my stories on the Netflix and taking/sending video clips of myself to my friends, the hour went by quickly and I guess I didn’t work as hard as I ‘thought’ I did.
My Coach: (silently rolls eyes, looks down slowly shaking his head left to right to left to right in a show of disgust).
THESE are the conversations I have in my head with my coach. When I don’t wanna do stuff or when I’m slacking off. I wanna holler at him: I PAY YOU TO GET ME FROM POINT A TO POINT B WITH AS MUCH IMPROVEMENT AND AS LITTLE FUSSY CRAP AS POSSIBLE, I DO NOT PAY YOU TO TAKE UP RESIDENCE IN MY ALREADY JACKED UP PSYCHE! But I know his voice would respond with “yes you do.”
There have been times when I’m swimming and I know what splits I’m supposed to hit every time I touch the wall, but I’ll intentionally pull back during the first 25 meters knowing I can make it up in the last 25 meters. And once again, there’s his voice:
“ummm, I’m goin’ta make a suggestion here, don’t shut me down, just hear me out…how about we tryyyyy…oh, I don’t know…pushing through the WHOLE set as written?”
And never lacking a snarky response, I snap back:
“how ‘bout you get the hell out my head and go sit down somewheres…preferably far enough away that I can’t hear your voice.”
Or, when I do speed work on the treadmill at a tick faster than what I believe myself capable of maintaining through multiple intervals, I fight through every interval with deadly certainty I’m gonna be the first person ever carried out of Lifetime Fitness-Plano in a body bag. When the clock finally musters up 60-minutes worth of compassion for me and says my workout has come to an end, I take a moment to stretch my legs and lower back, associating no shame with the thought of rolling down the stairs to the locker room because my jello legs and abused lungs can handle nary an additional stressor. And his voice, always there, always providing input…ruins my moment of sheer joy that the war is over and I have emerged battered yet still alive;
”yeah, but did you die.”
My response: a glacial thousand mile stare.
To be fair, that same voice cheers for every milestone reached, every obstacle overcome, every improvement recorded, every race completed. However, while I live for the approval of my coach, that approval never comes in funny sound bites in my head. And it’s those funny sound bites that (despite my sarcastic rebuttals) lend stamina when I’m weary, courage when I’m apprehensive, and certainity when I possess no confidence in my abilities.
Even now, at this late hour, that voice, his voice, in my head: “wrap up all this chitter chatter, good sleep is part of the training process. How do you expect your body to rest when you’re digitizing your mind up until you fall asleep. Turn off that laptop and go to sleep”
Will do…good night coach