June 16, 2012

Wednesday morning as I was running, a horrible realization came over me. I was thinking about the changes Luc will be going through with school/ While we don’t have an exact new school just yet, there will be one. I do have to be clear. It’s not at all that we are unhappy with his current placement. If everything could remain as it is we’d keep him there forever. The dynamics of the school change a bit as the grades go higher, so it’s time for him to fly. His progress has been nothing short of amazing.

Either way he’s going to go through a big change in September. As I was running it dawned on me. The Ironman 70.3 World Championships are September 9th. Curt and I are both scheduled to go. School begins the day I would need to leave.

I scrolled through the possibilities in my head. None of them felt right. Curt offered to skip Vegas. God love him he came up with about ten possibilities…… but when it came down to it none of them felt right. Me… leaving town for any reason during a critical transition in Luc’s life is just wrong. I can’t do that to him.

Am I upset about it? Definitely. When you qualify for a World Championships … it’s exciting. But to be honest even if I were to win the whole damn thing…..  what my absence during that week could do to Luc would be irreparable. How better to say I don’t care than to jet off while he needs his home to remain stable, not be shuffled around between grandparents.

Yes there is disappointment. Certainly. I am making it sound as if it were a bigger decision to make than it is. It took all of three seconds.

I honestly…… HONESTLY don’t know another parent who would NOT do the same thing. Trust me this isn’t a hero move, this is a move ANY parent would make.

It turns my attention ahead to 2013 and what I have been on this path for the past few years to accomplish anyway. As athletes we get VERY caught up in the here and now. As a QT2 coach one of the biggest things I have learned is how to plan for an athletes long-term development. Anyone can have a stellar season. Can anyone have the patience to really allow themselves to hit a potential.

As an athlete and a coach I find myself sometimes caught in the middle. I want to fruits of my labor to show TODAY. NOW. I want last week’s training to show tomorrow.

But that is not how it works. At least that’s not how we work it at QT2 and again, as a coach and as an athlete it’s been my greatest lesson.

On one part it sucks. You put in all this work and from the outside in it looks like progress is slow to nonexistent. You want to bust it out now, not in 18 months. We learn however that we must solidify health before speed and then when the right day and right time comes….. and I know that exact date in fact…… that will be our day to unleash.

I look to my colleague Cait Snow and realize what has made her so successful …as Jesse so beautifully put it (paraphrasing here” … “Is her ability to make the sacrifices she needs to 365 days of the year, and her unbelievable amount of patience.” If there is one athlete who you need to look towards to see the examples of long-term development and patience in action…. it’s Cait.

In those moments as an athlete she is my example.

As a coach I don’t have those moments for my athletes. I can always remain committed to their long-term development. The line between the two is more distinct than you might think.

So while the focus on 2012 has changed in terms of racing….. the focus in my development has not changed. Health before speed. Period.

The long term development of our son though……. remains priority number one.





  1. Right on Mary!

  2. Mary – totally agree with you. Our son has something potentially big going on the day of Kona this year, so when Mac makes his annual trip to the Big Island for work, I’ll be staying home. Hawaii will always be there – I’ll only have these moments with the kids for a short period of time.

  3. 🙂 you are a smart lady, Mary. I really love the hidden nugget in here about being patient. *tucking that into my back pocket*
    and of course, the children come first.

  4. Thank you.

    I don’t get why any “parent” would make any decision other than yours, but reality says… I’ve seen a parent of a child receiving Special Education services ask if she HAD to go to the hospital after her child had 2 seizures.

    Parents come in all forms, as do children.

    Thank you for just being you.

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