Athletes: I had some time to think during my run today about something I read and I thought about Team AIIA. I reminisced about the team and thought back on how far we have come in such a short amount of time. To step back and observe all the Athletes from the start. From the runners and ultra runners who were so nervous lining up for their first 5k to the recent Dugway 30k runners and all the softball, basketball, volleyball players and cyclists in between.
I think about what I have seen with more focus on new Athletes and the Team Captains (those who lead the Team by example, commitment and investment). I realized that what I saw unfold over the past few years was the growth process and creation of a true Athlete. In our group there are new people seeking a new path of sobriety and a healthy, more productive journey to healing from addiction starting with a mile walk or run. They aspire to be with those Athletes who are already on the journey racing and participating in life, that next level. Beginning the principles of sobriety while at the same time erasing addiction and replacing it with something of greater value.
So, if they all do the “workouts”, why don’t they end up in the same place? Well we know that many are called and few are chosen – Right? Actually wrong – many are called and few choose. Yes you read it correctly not many choose to excel.
It is clear to me after all these years there are three stages in the growth process into becoming a real Agent of Sobriety and true Athlete.
Stage 1 – You do the workout (Workout: in recovery that is keeping clean, investing in a sober support system and actively working on healing from addiction by sharing yourself and your story with others. At the same time establishing a physical workout, setting goals and participating in your new healthy lifestyle), nothing more, nothing less, you get tired, you are satisfied. At this stage anything you do makes you better, so you see some improvement. (Lots of Athletes stay here).
Stage 2 – You realize you must do something more to continue to improve so now you “work” the workout. You put more into it mentally and physically. You realize just doing it is not enough, you must have good technique and concentrate, you must push yourself.
Stage 3 – This is where the big dogs play – you have to “train” the workout. That is a whole new level of commitment and concentration. You must prepare mentally and physically in advance for the workout. You have be at your best everyday. In my experience this is a select group. They see the results, the fruits of their labor because they consciously choose to train the workout. You invest in others teaching them the methods and ways of becoming a champion. You are not here for personal glory, fastest running time or astronomical miles ran…The player becomes the coach, investing in your team.
In many respects the growth of a coach reflects the same three growth stages. I think we all choose where we want to be. To be the best means being uncomfortable all the time. Making sacrifices and doing things no one else is willing to do. Where do you choose to be? Chances are where you choose to be will be reflected in the Athletes you train along side with in sobriety, on the Field of battle, on a single track trail or on the pavement. Coach