Coaches and Mentors are some of the most important teachers and advisers in life. They inspire knowledge, self-confidence, a high level of self discipline, expertise, patience and leadership. They also become some of the most important relationships we will have in our lifetime. I’ve had several coaches throughout my life so far who have helped shape me into the person I am today. I believe you are always a student and some of my most cherished and nurtured relationships at the moment are the ones with my coaches. I believe that becoming strong doesn’t start in the gym, it starts in your head. My dad has always said, “If you want to learn something, if you want to get better at something, find the person who is the best at what they do and invite them to lunch or ask them for help.” Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help and brave enough to ask for it.
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My mouth is dry and my heart is racing. I’m about to go Live on the Nikon Stage at CES in Las Vegas and it’s my first time public speaking to an audience outside of a classroom. Nothing like jumping straight into the deep end! I asked my best friend to say a blessing with me. We held hands, closed our eyes and he asked God to wrap his arms around me, calm my nerves and to fill me with the confidence I need to go onstage and tell my story. My heart calms down and it’s time. Somehow my nerves calm and I’m able to start speaking. It’s comforting to have friendly faces in the audience there to support me and to know that my coach is watching. The 30 minutes went by so quickly I have no idea how I did. All I know is I can breath now and the tension has released from my body. I think I did ok from the response of my friends but I felt an extra surge of encouragement when I read my message from my coach saying, “WOW!!! You rocked it!! Brava!”, complete with dancing emojis. I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude for my coach and satisfaction from making her proud.
48 hours later I have arrived in Miami with less then 24 hours at home and it’s time to shift gears. I check in with my OPEX fitness coach, sending him a photo of the gym at the hotel so he can rework my workouts for the next week to keep me on track with my training, then head to the local market. I am grateful for my coach that I can have the communication and response from him over a span of 24 hours to adapt my program to what I have available to me. Prep and keeping a schedule is crucial this week to stay on target with my goals. Traveling can easily derail progress and I try hard to focus on the things that I can control. Open communication with my coach and planning made the week a successful one and one I could be proud of. It kicked my ass but I guess that’s what it’s supposed to do!
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Working with the US Sailing Team, with talented athletes and Olympic hopefuls, is one of my absolute favorite jobs. The whole team including the coaches and staff is comprised of amazing people who have become lifetime friends, it feels like going to work with family. I was with them this past week in Miami working the training camp. I really appreciated being able to spend more time with the coaches and staff and had the privilege to be on the water with the coaches throughout the week as they worked with their athletes. My favorite part of this week was witnessing and documenting those interactions on and off the water. It made me feel more grateful and appreciative for all the mentors and coaches in my life and in the words of John Kennedy, “We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” Thank You.