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USAT Conference Day One

October 22, 2011

Philadelphia is a pretty neat city. I am staying on floor #30 of a hotel much swankier than Mary Eggers can even comprehend. Someone came to my room last night to turn down my bed.

“Turn down my bed?” I asked her, stepping aside. “I apologize but I don’t know what that means.” She smiled as she simply…… turned down my bed covers.

“Just preparing your bed for your slumber ma’am.” She said. for a moment I wondered if I was supposed to get in it while she read me a story.

Guess not.

Was I supposed to tip her?

I think I am staying in a rich person’s hotel. Everyone here has really nice hair and smells incredible. One woman got on the elevator with a fur coat. I didn’t know whether to tell her that I thought fur coats were “out” (what do I know)…. or to pet her. I am more of a Days Inn kind of girl. There you can get a free continental breakfast!

I am swimming in a pretty amazing pool. Two lanes, 20 meters. How’s that for a hotel pool?

I told you….. I am a pool snob.

Day one of the USAT Coaching conference was excellent. I am so glad that I came. I think all coaches should come back to Level I every so many years, it helps to rebuild your foundation, solidifies your roots, brings you back to the basics. Plus I got to meet some really good people and reconnect with some I already know.

I love hanging with triathlon people. I love that some people are here to stop working for “the man” and pursue something in fitness. There are now 2,100 USAT Certified coaches and that number makes me smile. The more the better. Together we learn.

In all honesty there are two people I came here to see. Bob Seebohar and Bobby McGee. I had heard Bob Seebohar was a fabulous presenter and I am interested in his nutrition. Disclaimer: Long before I became a coach with QT2 I subscribed to and became a proponent of The Core Diet. Many people think that what Bob presents and what we at the Core Diet present are opposites. In fact, I don’t think we are. The basic daily nutrition is extremely similar and very solid. It’s the race day nutrition and workout fueling that we differ. I just wanted to hear it from Bob. It’s how I learn.

Bob is an excellent presenter. In my adult life when I sit at a lecture you have my attention for an hour. Bob had it for three separate lectures. He was entertaining, enlightening and educating. At one point he said this; “If a coach or anyone for that matter tells you their way is the only way, run.” I couldn’t agree more.

This is why I came here. I came to be educated, I came to be presented with information about my sport. I didn’t come to change my nutrition philosophy and I haven’t changed it. I think part of education is being open to listen. It sparks our own questions, encourages us to dig deeper, look into the why this and why that…..  I like to listen to other’s material not to change what I do but to broaden my scope of knowledge. As coaches we are also teachers. I can better teach what I know and believe when I know and understand what else there is out there. To really understand what I do believe in and subscribe to I have to understand exactly what everyone else is teaching as well. If I want to be the best coach I can be I have to continue to build a broad knowledge base. Just because I dont’ follow Bob S’s nutrition periodization does not mean I don’t want to learn about it, understand it and take away so many of the very good nuggets he gave.

Understanding all of it helps me in my coaching more than I can explain.

I can’t teach horizontal addition without also knowing how to add in columns. That’s not totally comparing apples to apples, but you get the point.

The moment I stop growing in knowledge , I am over. Remember: if you are going to be passionate about something, be passionate about learning. I am very passionate about learning.

One of the biggest benefits of selling Train-This is that I can now focus on coaching. That’s really what I want to do. Now I have the ability to further expand my education and further my coaching levels and really…. truly learn. Every month for the next 12 I have some sort of coaching education lined up. This weekend it’s USAT. In December we will do out QT2 coaching conference….. man oh man is that the one I am drooling for. In our first meeting as coach / athlete Jesse taught me a bunch. I remember thinking: I wish this guy was one of my high school teachers. He has a way of presenting that would make chemistry interesting.

Saturday will bring another 8 hours of learning. Finally I get to sit in a classroom and learn what I want to learn. I have waited all my life for that. It’ll be Bobby McGee, who is like the Bono of triathlon. At least to me.

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