So Many Firsts!

Trin, AJ and Coach after we ran through the chute. So proud of these first 5k timers!
Coach J, Trin, Kelly, AJ, Avery and Coach E. 6AM never felt so good!
“Where’s the first aid tent?” Trin, after completing her first 5k as a sprinter on a mission. She and I ran the race together and she doesn’t know it, but I cried watching her FLY through the last tenth of a mile.
Three of my favorite turkeys:  Trin,  Coach J and AJ.
Coach E is rocking the compression socks after facing some new aches and pains in her forties. She isn’t convinced this is her favorite look.

Our first official race as a team was incredible for a few reasons.

  1. It was very early. This taught us what it feels like to rise and run.
  2. It rained the entire race.  This taught us to push through discomfort that we cannot control.
  3. It was crowded and full of distractions.  This taught us to focus and remember our goals.
  4. The more even we go, the more we pace ourselves, the better our time will be. Plus, it is pretty badass to run full throttle through the chute of a stadium and have your family cheering you on!  I hung back and did not push so I could see the girls finish.  This coach cried before 8AM on Thanksgiving Day.  And I am not sorry or sad :).

Quincy and Someone Like You

Our youngest, “smallest” girl is also our most resilient, the one who encourages everyone else to keep going and keep trying.  She loves launching into a sprint and raced her heart out today.  So proud of Quincy.

She never complains. She wants to sprint over and over. She rocked the 6 x 200’s today and never stopped smiling. I love her to the moon and back.

“I didn’t have time to pack my lunch, so I grabbed some goldfish on the way out the door. I had to help get my brother ready for pre-school and then we needed to go to court. I had so much to do and needed to help my mom. School lunch is so gross, so my stomach hurts but I am trying-promise Coach.”

I walk with her back to the gym. “I had a similar middle school experience, took care of my brothers, got them ready for school, parents in trouble. I get it.”

“You did? How many brothers do you have?” she asks and I can tell she is surprised I can relate.

“Two and we’re really close today. My mom was just doing the best she could too and I promise you things change but I am so glad you are out here with me. I am so glad we get to know each other.” We walk in silence.

“Do you play any instruments, Coach Green?”

“No, I don’t but I tried playing piano in college and it didn’t work out” I explain.

“I play the piano, I taught myself!  Will you stay after practice so I can play you a song I just learned?”

How could I say no?  Of course I will do this and in this moment my heart swells and I really have no clue what I am doing.  This child is living an adult life and I recognize it and I have three million emotions wrapped in one.

She plays me this:

“Will you come meet my mom, tell her how I did today?”

I smile. “Yes, of course I would love to meet your mom, come on.”

She hugs me with relief.

I don’t know what I ever did to get this moment but I will never forget it.

 

JAG Girls, Monday (No One Likes Coach Emily)

Suicides. Sorry ladies…

We were doing a combined workout, speed girls, distance girls and we got rained out. No lightning, but the school has rules and liability, so we headed into the gym.

Played “Hot Feet”–balls of your feet, Low, Medium and High. Giving the girls and idea of what your feet need to do for speed workouts vs. strider (distance) workouts.

Then suicides. Today was a rough day in attitude land. We took it out on the half court.  Wednesday will be specific team work and drills.

 

Good attitudes, smiles to go around.

 

Two of the distance girls who show up and match their dreams and outputs every time. Way to go ladies!!!

Abby

Do your dreams match your output?

Great question.

My favorite athlete Abby Wambach, soccer phenom and rockstar activist posed this question over the weekend at a talk on her sobriety, her athletic retirement and new life off the field.

It may seem like typical sport-star talk, manufactured by some agent but I really believe that she asks this of herself and her step-children.

Abby’s question rings in my head when I think about my life, my sport and my heart. Am I actively pursuing my dreams or am I keeping them static in the gray matter?

Today, the girls are going to talk to me about their goals and what they are specifically doing, output wise, to make it happen.

Today, I am doing an output check. You want this–what are you DOING to get it?  What are you ignoring or letting go to waste?

 

Ready, Set, GOALS

Jaguar Girls: Form focus as we began track set-up, launch and drive.  Distance girls worked on striders and did a 1600 around the inner circumference of the track.

 

The girls also laid out 2017 Fall goals.  Love the variety and hopeful spirit.  Some want abs, others to run faster and one simply wants to “stick with this”.

Team For Kids: Chicago Marathon | October 2018

Running is not recreation for me it is revival and survival.

I was an at-risk kid who went on to become a college athlete and overcame severe asthma.

Today, I help other kids achieve their goals, no matter what they may be- through running.  I am running once again for Team for Kids next October in the Chicago Marathon.  While not right around the corner, it is never too early to begin fundraising and help these programs.  They are so grateful for the support of those donating time or treasure.

Click here for my personal fundraising page and many thanks!

-Em