Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Wisdom of a Coach

Tonight I met with the local running group for our weekly 5K training at the local track. At first I thought we might get stormed out...rain doesn't stop us but lightning certainly will! But no such luck....all the clouds did was dump a few gallons of cooling water on us before clearing up so that we could run. This time I was soaking wet to start with...not from sweat, but from rain.

We all chatted for a moment and then our "coach" read off what each of us was to do tonight according to our level of training. I fell somewhere between a beginner and an intermediate so she gave me my goals and I was off. Tonight's goal was to run 6 - "400's" with a short walk in between. As I completed my 5th lap, it occurred to me that I had run faster tonight than I thought possible and because of the short walk breaks I wasn't completely spent. That's when I started thinking about the wisdom of our coach.

I had to marvel that she consistently monitors our progress and can give me just enough of a challenge to push a little further than before, but not so far that I can't see success. It's those little challenges and successes that keep me running. If it were left up to me to set my goals, I'd either shoot so high that I would get discouraged, or I'd fail to push myself to go a little farther than before. Okay, here it comes...the random thought. Coaches aren't just for sports. In other areas of our lives, sometimes we all need those "coaches."

What is a coach? Sometimes it's simply someone who has traveled this road before. They've made mistakes and made it to the other side. These coaches can be moms who have children who are older than yours, husbands and wives who've learned to love through the difficult times, business people who have held on despite hard times....like I said, people who have traveled this road before.

Coaches are encouragers. They see where you are, but they believe you can be more. They know it's tough, but they also know that you are a lot tougher than anything that comes your way. They are also very practical. While they see your desire to conquer mountains, they help you first conquer the mole hill in your own back yard.

I want to live my life in such a way that I can find these "coaches", and I want to be one myself. Some people call them "mentors", but whatever you call them, I want to be one of them! I want to have that quality that sees beyond the struggles and believes that great things can still come from them. I want to be able to challenge those around me to push a little farther than before, and help them see enough small victories that they get excited about what can be. I want to have that wisdom that is worth more than gold.

So, I'd like to thank "Coach Becky" for helping so many believe that they can succeed, for challenging us beyond where we are today, and mostly for her wisdom. Coach, you are a rare gift indeed.

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord..." Ps. 19:14

"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him." James 1:5

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