Saturday, May 24, 2008


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Hawaii's Rachel Ross

Ladies, this post is for you... men, you might find something valuable too, BUT women, this is for you!

"It's important for a woman to be an athlete. To be strong, brave, and NOT feel sorry for kicking someone's butt." -Serena Williams

I am really finding that women are too nice. Humble. Quiet. Shy. Intimidated (that is my big problem). Giving. Caring. Encouraging. Supportive. The list goes on. I think ALL those are great qualities and will take us REALLY far in life. BUT I am learning that some of the GREATEST women in the world, including my favorite, Mother Theresa, are also strong, brave, proud, fierce, competitive, fighters, determined, bold, and IT IS OKAY.

If we never believe in ourselves or value what we can do we may miss out on an opportunity to shine.

My lovely Hawaiian teammate was recently featured in a great interview and I was telling her she should post it. WELL, her humble, shy, quiet side wasn't much in the mood to give herself credit for her ability to shine!

SO I am (without her permission of course!) Sorry Rach!

Check out the interview here: Rach Ross

Now, those of you that know me pretty good know that Rach & me have always had a bit of a battle going on. It has been "Big Island girl VS Oahu girl" and for the past few years we have been 1-2 at most every race. Then we became teammates. We both got on Lifesport. For me it was a hard pill to swallow. In fact I was bummed... I really felt like having my coach was the only thing that was giving me any sort of ability to hang with her or drop her. Once we started to "share" him I had to learn to swallow my pride. She instantly was stoked to be team mates... As the year has progressed I have learned to use Rach to make me better and vice versa. When she pushes I have to, when I push she does, when one of us gives in the other is there to make sure to move forward. I really think she has become the reason for much of my success this season...

All I know is that as a woman we (I) tend to get too competitive with each other and rather than using each others strengths to make us better we often work against each other. Now that us Hawaii girls have become "team mates" and use each other to become better who knows, you may see 2 women from Hawaii on the podium in Kona (that is right, NO local Hawaii person has ever podium-ed at Kona). Watch out for Hawaii moms... and if I can give one ounce of advice, find your rival and make her your partner.

By the way, my "partner" ran 6:30 miles after nearly 6weeks off running and a severely messed up IT band... I am glad I am not racing Nationals this year!


Patrick said...

Okay, since this post is for women I'll just watch!! hahaha!

Brooke Myers said...

Love it Bree... It's a challenge to let go of the pride and just be. I try to say I am not all that competitive, but half of my problem I think is that deep down inside I am and I need to learn to admit it sometimes.

From what I know with you and Rachel, I have felt like you have definitely learned to grow in your friendship or at least accept it for what it is - how it is.
You both are two great athletes and instead of fighting it out - teammates may just be the perfect answer for the both of you.
Why not right?
Keep supporting each other and encourage one antoher - you both will become stronger from it!

TB said...

Sometimes we don't know the depths of our limits until someone else pushes us to them. We tend to be safe and comfortable when we rely on self-motivation.

"Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."

Proverbs 27:17

Phaedra Cote said...

Hi Bree! You don't know me...I found your link on Rachael's blog but I knew of you before that. I raced Honu last year and watched Kona IM this year and was there at awards. I am a mother of two boys and I absolutely LOVED this post.

First of all, I really enjoyed reading Rachael's interview....that was good that SOMEONE posted that. But also, I love what you wrote about being a woman, being competitive and how that can be a good thing if that's what you make it. I can't agree more. There's nothing wrong with some healthy competition! I'm glad you guys are "team mates" and pushing each other as well.

I've read your story as well and it's extremely inspiring. Unbelievable actually. Thanks for doing what you do and doing it so well. You make me wanna try harder, dig deeper and be better. Nothing like some good inspiration once in a while :)

Phaedra Cote

rr said...

Oooh you are BAD. Imagine my surprise, clicking on Wee and seeing my THIGHS, dead ahead, in all their white glory? Egads!

But seriously, I am sorry I stole your coach :) And more seriously, I am loving the teammate thing too! You, Ingrid and Tanya went off and had babies, and my second season was not nearly as fun. Last year was much better! I love love love racing with you, planning schemes, and getting eating advice from the no-sugar queen!

And seriously Bree's readers, we all know it's unlikely I'll ever catch her again. But yep, I'm going to try!

Rory said...

You two are awesome.

Paul said...

At the end of the day it's the athlete not the coach. Having someone to push and motivate helps a ton! Sounds like you have two of those here.

Bruce Stewart said...

I hope Rachel's knee heals well. She is a great inspiration and person. I hope the people from Hawai'i are really successful.
Since I haven't met a man who can share good advice like that, I'll have to base my training on what you write.

Maijaleena said...

Great post. You're lucky to have a teamate like that who is such a good friend but who can also push you so much.

Mel said...

Those are the best a kick ass friend that can push you past your limits and still be there to celebrate your victory with you with no hard feeling :) Go make races amazingly Bree needs someone out there challenging her :) Get fired up!!

Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

What a GREAT tribute! You both have such healthy mindsets!! Too often women can be overly compeditive - I've found myself doing the same thing... but once you find that great training parter or the friend who compliments your style and your training - you can move mountains! What a beautifully written piece Bree! Best to you AND to RR!!!

Amy Beth Kloner said...

Freakin' awesome! Too true. Why do we pretend like competition isn't there? It's fun and it makes us better. At the end of the day we're competing with ourselves, anyway.
Didn't you just love the interviews with Macca and Normann before Kona last year? I kept thinking, "You'd NEVER hear two women talk like that."
Like you said, we have the ability to bring the best out in each other. You're lucky you both recognized that! ~amy

Eileen Swanson said...

Sweet post Wee! So awesome that you and RR push each other. I totally remember when she joined Lifesport and it was tough! But it is so awesome now and we are all there for each other and we all LOVE being teammates! I have the BEST teammates ever ;)

Love ya. Oh and love ya too RR!


triguyjt said...

What a team you guys make!!!
Its great that you can get more motivation when comparing yourself to rach..

That would be very cool to have Hawaii women be on the podium....!!!

Katie Weaver-Jongerius said...

Team mates, fast Mom's, rivals, friends...perfect combination for you two but deadly combination for those racing against you ladies. YIKES!

Cy said...

Such a great post-You two are Super STARS!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Bree,
LOVE this post for many reasons. My husband is so funny--he said,"you have to read Bree's latest post!" (He now checks them for me!).He said that I would love it because it was just what we were talking about the other day. We were out running and he was pushing the triple stroller and I saw a guy in yellow shorts zoom by. So I decided to catch him before we hit our house. I took off and finally caught him. After I did the guy said, "you're making me look bad." I realized that it was the husband of a lady that I know. So I made up some lame excuse and told him that I was just trying to get back in a hurry to use the bathroom. Long story short my husband asked me why I made that up and I said I didn't want him to feel like I was trying to beat him! Stupid I know. My husband told me that I needed to lose that attitude and be proud next time. Don't be afraid to be competitive! Therefore, he loved this post---and so did I! Last but not least, I loved your spin on competing with each other to also HELP each other. I have often thought that we as women can help each other so much if we would learn to recognize competition as something very healthy and beneficial! Thanks for your thoughts Bree.
Courtney "Running Mom"

Lisa said...

Wow, you two are just amazing! I love reading about crazy-fast age groupers (turned-pro in your case, Bree), as it gives me a lot of motivation and inspiration. Keep it up!! You rock!

TriGirl Kate O said...

In a conversation yesterday with another mom at the pool (lounging, not swimming), we were agreeing that it's too bad most women don't make it out of the middle school mentality, where everything is a competition. It starts with who has the coolest clothes, to who's dating the cutest boy, to whose kids are smarter or whose husband is more successful. Augh. You are so right that we can learn and help eachother more in the long run by laying aside our petty (and imagined) grievances. Time to graduate from middle school!
Tell Rach I am with her on that IT band thing--so not fun.

jahowie said...

You are both amazing athletes., woman, or child can use you both as inspirations.

Ange said...

Thank you for sharing the story about your friend Rachel. She sounds amazing. I think it's great that you two have each other. You can work together, support each other, and then put the game faces on and race each other! I had lots of friends like when I was a competitive swimmer. It can be very healthy and make you better.
I'm so excited to watch you guys at Kona!!!

Trigirlpink said...

That's so nice of you to showcase Rachel in your blog! You are right. Women can be sooooo caddy and competitive with each other at times. So nice to see and hear that you can work together on a positive aspect in your training to race successfully. Hey, since I won't be getting my Kona spot in CdA.. haha..with Kerrie, I'll come and clean out your closets, No WIRE COAT HANGERS!!!!! :-)
BTW.. nice pink bra top and shorts in your last post. :-)

Speed Racer said...

Thanks for that first part. Just thanks.

ShirleyPerly said...

So true, Bree. Thanks too for pointing all that out about us women. And also for sharing the news about Rachel.

Sarah said...

Great post, Bree. I think it's tough being a woman because we can be so emotional about things; it's like we generally can't be friends if we're going to be competitors. Whereas men can compete to the bitter end and still go have a beer after. They tend to be less emotional about those things.

Good stuff to think about. Go women!