Thursday, January 24, 2008

Someone to believe in you...

Yes, my swimsuit does say "Coach Steve's worst nightmare"

I think you are truly fortunate if you have that one person (you might even have a handful) that believes in you more than you might believe in yourself...

I was at masters (does that count as doubles if I swam 101 in the morning and then masters at night???) and good old Coach Steve was there just holding back his "oh my, what am I going to do with her?" expressions. And I thought to myself... I am so happy to know Steve and I love him! (not in that way). He is one person that has never let me stop believing in me...

I have been with Coach Steve since 2003. I was pretty darn clueless when I met him and I am not talking about just in the pool. I was fresh out of college, over a 14 hr. flight from home, I had my first "real" career-teaching 2nd grade, I was wanting to try a triathlon, and I was kind of "coming into my own me". He was there for me since the first time I jumped in the pool. He took me under his wing and gave me such a strength I had never known.

I did not grow up with a father and in a sense Coach Steve was the dad I never had growing up. He was there when I met and fell in love with Jim (he actually egged on the relationship), he held my hand and heart all through my bitter/sweet pregnancy, he saved me from depression post baby, and he has always believed in everything I have ever considered doing and full on had my back. This includes the Weebee business Lauren and I started... he was such a promoter for us!

My favorite memory with him was the Friday morning before Ironman as I sat with him on the pool deck crying. You see there was this verbal bet going around Kona that some girls in the community started. They were all giving times on when I would hit the wall and land on my face. It was a bunch of junk talk and I let it get to me. I know I will fall on my face in life, I always do in certain areas, and I humbly admit I am not the best. And yes, I am known in Kona for being a pretty bad pacer- I LOVE to go out too fast and see how long I can hang on (there is the wanna-be ITU girl in me again)... but to bet against me & not in a joking way-OUCH! And the day before Ironman I let it get to me.

Coach Steve was there in the way a little girl needs her daddy. He gave me some tuff love and told me, "Bree, tomorrow, when you race imagine you are in a cocoon. One that you can see out of and enjoy the day and the race, but this cocoon nobody can see in. Nobody can see you, touch you, hurt you. You go do the race as best as you can and remember nobody even sees you". I remembered that. And still when I get scared I put myself back in my cocoon...

I have never looked so forward to swimming as I have these past few years with him. He has this way of making our masters feel like family. We all go through so much together and he makes sure that the time we are in the pool we are each others best friends, biggest rivals (so we can push each other to get better), and he makes sure that we are enjoying life...It is like a breath of fresh air to have somebody just give endlessly and support eagerly.

AND to make it even more exciting he is the master of swimming! (at 60 he can still kick my butt in the pool or ocean)!! He holds world records and used to be the race director for Ironman! He has endless experience and gives little girls big hope! He has helped dozens of poor struggling high schoolers stay out of trouble and earn swim scholarships off the island and to a future on the mainland!

I could go on forever and ever... if you want to know more read here... and to see an old photo (when he was inducted into the hall of fame) LONG AGO! It cracks me up!!

So, to those of you that have someone believing in you-appreciate it, embrace it, and be thankful... unfortunately not everyone has that. Cheers to those that support us and believe in us! AND be on the look out for someone you can believe in... you might just be the person that they need to chase dreams, give hope, and save a life...

Jen, Mary, Liz, now I know why you all have such fun posts to read, as coaches you really do have such an awesome job!


Blogger Mel said...

OK Bree were we in each others mind my post is as close as it gets to yours :) "That one special somebody" Or are you doing your THANK YOU like I requested???

What a beautiful story and a incredible man...

What a bunch of jealous Bitches...But HEY you had the last laugh...Let your Ironman race and ALL of your other race results speak for it's self :)

You ROCK!!!

January 24, 2008 at 9:34 AM

Anonymous Naughty said...

What a great relationship.....I am reminded once again that in all relationships I/we should where the love is!!

January 24, 2008 at 4:49 PM

Blogger Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

Bree - this is absolutely beautiful. You are a poet with words when it comes to Coach Steve. Thank you for sharing the good parts, the parts that make life better, and the parts that remind us to be thankful for those who support us. What a tremendous story! It saddens me to think that people would place bets on you - you are so much above that, beyond the "negative vibes" that people send your way. You are an incredible, inspirational athlete, who is nothing but selfless. Shame on them! Thank you for sharing - Coach Steve sounds amazing. And BTW - I totally count your workout as a double - Swimming 101 in the morning + Masters in the afternoon. Wow - amazing. Don't listen to others - your cocoon anology is great. And now, you've got a lot of people who support you in your cocoon - let them in, and ignore the "bad" stuff. You totally rock!

January 24, 2008 at 5:14 PM

Blogger Pedergraham said...

Well...when we finally make it to Hawaii, I'm going to add to my list of things to do: go to one of Coach Steve's workouts.

We all need people like that in our lives that care about our whole selves. Thanks for sharing.

January 25, 2008 at 3:31 AM

Blogger Amanda Lovato said...

Hey Bree,
Great post!
I had the pleasure of meeting Steve this past Ocotber. He truly is a special guy. You are so lucky to be surrounded by people like these. Those smack talking bitches aren't your friends. They don't matter. It's people like Steve that make it all worth while:)
Cheers to you!

January 25, 2008 at 5:25 AM

Blogger Katie Weaver-Jongerius said...

In our athletic journey, some of us are lucky enough to find more that a swim, bike, run, tri coach..they find their life Coach! Sounds like you have certainly found yours! What an amazing tribute.

January 25, 2008 at 10:54 AM

Blogger Eileen said...

Steve sounds amazing! You are so fortunate to have 2 awesome coaches. Congrats on working on the swim "101." You're still promising the draft right? HA ;-)


January 26, 2008 at 3:36 PM

Blogger James Cotter said...

Steve is on hell of a good guy and top notch coach. He is a master of technique and motivation.
He always seems to say the right things at the right times to boost confidence and make you feel at ease.
I received a very similiar talk before my last ironman, except I was in a bubble, not a cocoon:)

January 27, 2008 at 12:08 PM

Blogger Marni said...

Great blog bree!!! I hope you had a great weekend!

January 28, 2008 at 5:32 AM

Blogger ShirleyPerly said...

I'm sorry you had folks betting against you. I, for one, always knew you'd do really well, even though we had just met for the briefest of moments at the pool and at that one Peaman event. I could see the fire and strength in you. I'm glad you showed them!

January 28, 2008 at 10:58 AM


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