I'm Not Yo Mamma

The accolades, just like the scrapes and bruises, fade in the end, and all you're left with is your ambition. (Nicole Krauss)

The following may offend. The offence is inadvertent however as what follows is my own views / beliefs / values. Because someone - athlete or coach - says or does it differently should not be construed as me suggesting they are wrong or I'm right. May be this will even provoke some heated debate. That is your right. 

It's simply that I don't believe in using social media to applaud an athlete after every Ironman, 70.3, 51.5, ocean swim or training session, particularly in some thinly veiled way of promoting my own contribution to said performance.

I am a coach. More particularly I produce specific training programs for specific triathlon distances. I believe there are 3 qualities a coach brings to the athlete. Planning / Performance / Professionalism. 

None of these 3 things require me to blow sunshine out of your arse via a stream of accolades or hashtags on social media. If you need some motivational pick me up, go and buy a kitten poster that says "hang in there baby". If you need your ego nurtured go talk to your mum. Or a shrink. Either way, that's not what I am about.

What I do and what I contribute to an athlete's performance on race day is just a very small part of the puzzle - I provide the map and am your tour guide but at the end of the day the experience you feel is entirely in your domain. 

I recognise that my approach is influenced significantly by my passion for ironman. Remember I started my journey in 1993 - before iPhones, social media, Strava, even watt metres. For me, fronting up to the start line was a revered and humbling experience. It still is. I am often quite anxious and moved almost to tears. I know that there is no fait accompli in our sport. 

Unfortunately, some of the crapola I read on social media makes me really think that some athletes approach finishing an Ironman (or other significant long race) as guaranteed from the time you click Enter. Accomplishment seems to be measured only against time / place / qualification. Anything less than a perfect outcome is seen as failure but worse it is someone / something else's fault. Psychiatrists call this an external loci of control. In my words it's a failure to take responsibility for the process of training and racing.

I've seen a lot of athletes come and go in our sport. The true journeyman gets it. Consistently pursuing an ideology that you are only limited by the limits you place upon yourself makes it difficult to understand the mindset of some athletes (and coaches). I call them sparklers. They burn bright and strong for a short period and then disappear. They burn up everyone else's oxygen. Usually if you get too close you get burned. Permanent scarring - to those around - sometimes occurs.

This doesn't mean you are just abandoned by me figuratively left to sink or swim but realise that how you execute your program is a matter for you. The outcome you obtain can only be measured against your own value system - not mine and certainly not social media sites. The outcome is out of my control. The outcome is your responsibility.

Ferrosapien Sports will help you reach your goals and be there if you fail. Whatever the outcome we / I am proud that you have taken on such an enormous event and that we / I could be a part of that journey. Nothing on (or not on) social media will change that.