What Not To Say

Ryan | Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 Leave a Comment

Trainers are supposed to make you stronger.  Faster.  More powerful.

They’re not supposed to bring you down.  There’s plenty of other ways and other people who can do that.  I’m not paying them though.  With that in mind, I’m annoyed with my own strength trainer today.  We’ve trained together for years now and I suppose we have that kind of relationship where perhaps she feels like she can say anything and it’ll be OK.

Well, three weeks before an Ironman and it’s NOT OK to tell me you don’t think I’m cut out for running and that after the race I should stop for a few years.  I don’t need to hear that right now!  Yes, I’m sure it’s obvious to her that my skeletal structure is placing added stress on my hips.  Perhaps that is why I consistently have tightness in my hip flexors.  But so many other people do too.  That means nothing.  And the last time I checked, my trainer isn’t a doctor so she can’t say for sure.

Of course, my trainer isn’t the first person to tell me it’s somewhat of a miracle I can run at all.  My ART therapist told me the same thing earlier this year.  But my ART therapist nurtures me back to health, asks me questions about how I’m feeling, and leaves it at that.  He hasn’t made any sweeping statements that would tug at my self-confidence in the dark hours of an Ironman.

Fortunately, I’ve learned a thing or two about mental training for an Ironman.  I feel very fortunate to have interviewed the top pros in the sport to learn how to prepare mentally for a race and deal with the pain and suffering that an Ironman brings.  Chrissie Wellington taught me how she creates a mental bubble for herself, only allowing in positive energy and comments while shutting out negativity. Today, after my strength workout, I created that bubble for myself.

I just thought I’d never need to use it because of what someone in my inner circle of supposed supporters said to me.

Being a good trainer has as much to do with how you communicate with your client as the kind of routine prescribed.  I’ve stuck with this person for years, through injuries likely caused from over-exertion, over-use of heavy weights, and over-use of a muscle group.  Still, I’ve been loyal.  But something as simple as a simple comment made me re-think the relationship today.  I have one more strength training session left at my work gym.

It may well be my last.

I know I have limitations.  I just don’t need the people trying to build me up to inadvertently tear me down with a careless statement.

For now, I will do what I do best, use this as fuel.  You don’t think I can run?  GOOD.  Then when I crack a 4:20:00 at IM CDA we’ll talk some more. I know that’s not a record-breaking time, but it would be a PR by a long shot for me and I think I’m just ready to do it.

Maybe this is the best thing that could have happened to me. Because now I’m mad.

And you wouldn’t like me very much when I’m angry.

25 days and counting.

PS: Sorry for not writing last night.  I was wrapping up my column with Chris McCormack for Lava Magazine Online. It should be running tomorrow.  Stay tuned for it!

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