I’m a triathlete/entrepreneur…who knew?

Wow, what I ride I’ve been on this last year. So this triathlon blog has really taken a hit these last few years. It started as a mommy blog, then took a left turn into triathlon land, and Ironman! I think I said pretty much all there is to say about triathlon/Ironman over the years, maybe there are a few more nuggets in there that I can continue to explore, but yet again I find that my life has taken a turn.

I started a business a year ago! YAY Business! After 2014 and 2nd in Kona, Coach Muddy and I agreed that 2015 would be a no Kona year. I had been pushing my body really hard for 5 years and it was time for a break if we were going to go for the top spot on the podium.

The problem is, I don’t really know what a break is. I didn’t realize it at the time, that I was actually incapable of a true “break.” I heard “break” and thought about all the things on my bucket list that weren’t an option when I was chasing Kona. The first thing was starting an official coaching business. I actually wanted to start a business that built a mental skills training program (which I will do soon as part of RTTC), but as with business, ideas morph and change, they grow and double, and intertwine.

There were also things like Norseman and more 100 mile run races on the list too. I didn’t even dare ask muddy about a 100 miler! haha! I checked off Norseman last year, it was a wild experience, as you might have read about here. I had a magical day at Ironman Lake Tahoe and an awesome sufferfest at Ironman Los Cabos. All really cool experiences on less training than I was used to (but apparently enough..who knew?). I really had to rely on my wisdom!

I got a few of those bucket list items checked off, but really, something else emerged, a passion, a passion for business… yea, it shocked me too! I don’t have a single entrepreneur in my family that I know of. I come from a long line of people with jobs. Educations, and jobs. Not businesses. I had no idea what I was doing.

Starting a business has been a challenge like nothing I have ever been through, in the best of ways. Granted, I have gained some weight (insulation) and a year later I’m just now starting to get a handle on how to train and be an entrepreneur at the same time (a true lesson in self compassion) but wow have I learned so much, and here’s what I realized… I love business! I really love the business aspect of the coaching world. I love interacting with other business owners, especially in the coaching space (whether it’s life coaching, nutrition coaching, or sports coaching) and I really enjoy Vanilla Flavored Tootsie Rolls putting the pieces of a new business together (sorry, my mind wandered there…squirrel…), the products, the systems, the social media, the value adds, all that wild stuff.

So I look at this blog and I think…. does anyone want to hear about the triathlete turned entrepreneur? Are there other triathlete/entrepreneurs out there who are juggling similar balls? (Where are you friends, I need you) Are they still training at a high level? Most people I have talked to say it’s not really possible, but I’ve never listened to the “not possibles.” I love this sport so much and really don’t want it to take a back seat in my life.

Another thing I know, my new coaching company Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching, has the best atheltes. Sorry folks, it’s true, in one short year this tribe has amazed the heck out of me. And when I sit back and think that it wouldn’t actually be a TRIBE if I hadn’t stepped off the safe and manageable ledge, I get pretty proud. As I step more and more out of a one on one coaching and move into creating systems and training for new atheltes and new coaches the RTTC atheltes have supported our wonky little business (not actually wonky or little) tirelessly. Have I been in over my head at times? Absolutely. Have I worked my way out of it? Every Time! Yes, I pulled some all nighters, and yes I crashed two computers along the way, but hey, go big or go home!

So, if you all are game (and if not, you can just quietly float on to the next blog) for me transitioning this blog as my life has yet again transitioned, well, I would like to continue being vulnerable out there on the internet…and continue telling it like it really is. After all, I have always had the heart of a teacher, and there is just too many great ahh-hahs these days that I want to share.

One year in this business and here’s what I can say. This shit is hard, it’s really hard, and just like training for an Ironman, it’s really awesome too. The work is never ending, it requires a boatload of ACTION. Unlike training for Ironman where you go do the workouts on the training plan and then you are DONE, and can go relax, in business the workouts never end! You have to chunk it up for yourself, and that’s HARD!

I hope this blog can still provide some laughs and maybe some poop stories too…you all seem to love those! I’m headed back to Kona again this year, and I honestly have NO IDEA how I’m going to get in good enough shape to compete there, but I will tell you this, I have faith.

Faith in myself, faith in my tribe and my support network, and faith that I can figure shit out. I’m still learning, and I know that this year will deliver some hefty lessons (I’m going to fall on my face more than a few times), but I’m more excited and alive than I have ever been!

Onwards…

P.S. Why oh why do we not have a female triathlon coaches symposium, or association, or at least a flipping webinar series?? Am I right?

IronTide…and we’re off!

UPDATE!!! Tuesday October 20th! We just closed registration for IronTide as we SOLD OUT of our initial round! We are currently working on getting started with our new athletes, and will open registration again in December! THANK YOU for your interest. If you would like to be on our newsletter list where we release our updates and launches, fill out your email on the RIGHT had side of this blog! 

Hi Friends!

I know you have been waiting on a few race reports from me. They are in the waiting area, ready to get published this week but I had to post really quick today to let you know what I’ve been working on until the wee hours of the morning most nights.

It’s been a doozy! About six weeks ago I launched my first product under Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching. It was a 2X a month webinar on mental skills called IronMind and it’s been going really well. All kinds of athletes are learning, and getting to know themselves better through these webinars, plus they are a lot of fun! It was a big push to get that off the ground and I immediately started working on a bigger project. If you signed up for my newsletter via this blog, I told you that I would let you know when I was ready to launch! (If you are signed up, you will receive an email today with a link to all the information in it – check your promotions folder if you are a gmail user).

That time has come (Happy Dance, and I need sleep)! Today I am rolling out a new format in coaching, called IronTide.

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I have spent the last nine months talking to athletes about the coaching market. Many of you have taken my surveys, and endured one-on-one calls from me asking you a litany of questions. Thank You, this came from that!

Through those surveys and interviews I came to a solid conclusion.

ONE – coaches have inconsistent communication patterns. Athletes get bummed when they used to talk to their coach all the time, and then the coach stops or slows down that communication. Coach communication opportunities need consistency for athletes to stay happy. Like training, it’s less about quantity, and more about consistency. But, volume matters!

TWO – athletes get suspicious about their schedules. They think the coach is slacking and just drag and dropping, or not taking their “special needs” into account. They want custom, and they aren’t sure that their schedule is any more. There is a misunderstanding in the coach/athlete relationship between unique and custom. A schedule can be custom built to the athlete, but the workouts are not unique. Again, more of a communication/education failure on behalf of the coach.

I looked at those two themes over and over again and I knew I could do something about these reactions. I started Rising Tide at the beginning of the year because I wanted to share my knowledge with more athletes. Bottom Line. I saw a million different ways of doing that and as the year progressed I honed in on how I could be of service, which became…how WE could be of service (yes, other coaches wanted to be a part of it…happy dance).

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Then we went about building it. And it took time, and resources, and lots of coffee, and mentors, and a ton of help from all my athletes as well. It was a group effort.

I knew I wanted to build a program that solved the two problems outlined above, created a great community, and allowed the athlete lots of flexibility in coaching fees. I wanted good solid systems of communication, and I wanted attention on the athlete to be front and center. I’m so excited to release my little wonky butterfly into the world.

Intrigued? Fill out the form below and then check your inbox for an email with a link to the program details. If you are a gmail user, check your promotions tab and drag that email into your inbox unless you want RTTC emails to keep going to your promotions folder (no!) We don’t send out much email. We keep it to the super important stuff! Like this!

UPDATE!!! Tuesday October 20th! We just closed registration for IronTide as we SOLD OUT of our initial round! We are currently working on getting started with our new athletes, and will open registration again in December! THANK YOU for your interest. If you would like to be on our newsletter list where we release our updates and launches, fill out your email on the RIGHT had side of this blog!

How do you bake your cake?

You know when you hear a reference or a certain quote twice in a short period of time? Oh, coincidence. Ha! I think not…the universe speaking up is what I say.

Yesterday I was in Book Club and we are reading Daring Greatly by Brene Brown which I read a few years back. It’s interesting to pick up a book like this again, I’m reading it with a completely different lens. At the beginning of book club we do a clearing. It’s a time where we go around the circle and give everyone the chance to spew about what’s impacting them on that day so that we can discuss the books content with a clear mind.

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I was 15 minutes late to book club that day. I hate being late. My inner perfectionist has an absolute conniption fit when I’m late. If I know I’m going to be late and I’m driving somewhere, I will stress and have anxiety the entire drive. I’m constantly worried while driving that I’m going to be late, even when I’m early. It’s not unlike me to call someone I’m meeting to let them know I’m going to be late, only to arrive right on time.

Well, I was late, so I was feeling very rushed and behind. When it came to my time for clearing, I just offloaded how overwhelmed I feel these days. I’m used to training for big races, I’ve done that for years. And I’m used to coaching my monthly one-on-one athletes. At times those two things, plus being wife and mom, really fill up my life. Well, throwing in my new coaching company RTTC has really taken things to a new level. I’m delivering much more content to my athletes these days and really stepping up the communication factor with them. At the same time I’m developing a new coaching product called IronTide which I’m totally jazzed about, but holy moly, it’s so much work.

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The nice thing about book club is that we are all trained to hold space for each other. This means nobody jumps in to solve my problems, they just listen, nod, and ask questions that might help me get to the bottom of what I’m experiencing and how I feel about it. It’s a really safe place to open up. Their questions and dialogue helped me to really drill down further.

” One of the most universal numbing strategies is what I call crazy-busy. I often say that when they start having twelve-step meetings for busy-aholics, they’ll need to rent out football stadiums. We are a culture of people who’ve bought into the idea that if we stay busy enough, the truth of our lives won’t catch up with us”          —Brene Brown

My entire clearing could be summed up as crazy-busy but my next question is “what if you are crazy-busy because your life is so full of everything you want in it?” I’m not numbing, I’m trying to SLAY LIFE. Is filling my life with what I want in there helping me to not deal with some of the hard bits? I guess, yes, but I often tell Troy “I’m overwhelmed by the awesomeness of my life.”

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Discussing that with book club and bouncing these ideas back and forth I came up with this: I think this stuff is like a recipe. Baking a cake shall we say. I have the right ingredients sitting on my counter. I’ve worked really hard to realize that I don’t need hot peppers or spinach in my cake. I put those back in the fridge. I’m looking at all the right stuff in front of me. But, I don’t have the ratios right yet. My cake still has a bit too much flour, it’s missing an egg, and I don’t quite have the baking soda, baking powder thing down because it’s either flat, or over-puffed.

This was such an ahh-hah. You can have the right stuff in your life and still feel out of alignment, out of whack, overwhelmed, anxious, and ready to throw in the towel. At times I just want to clear all the ingredients off the counter with one swift act of aggression.

 

Today I saw this tweet from Mary Beth Ellis that made me realize I had to post this blog because it adds another layer (pun intended) to the situation.

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Ahhhh, another cake analogy!

As I seek to get the ratios correct in my life recipe, I’m still looking at yet another obstacle, and that’s temperature and time. I can get all the right ingredients, and get them all in the right amounts and then the oven is too high, or too low, and I can leave that cake in for too long, to take it out too early, thus rushing or stalling the process. The possible pitfalls are endless, but thinking about things this way I started to get a little clarity.

This is life. LIFE IS NOW. It takes constant evaluation. If you wake up every day and endeavor to make the best cake you can, after some fixed amount of time you will probobly have a darn nice cake on your hands. If you however wake up every day, go into the kitchen, throw some ingredients in a pan, with little regard to what you intend, then the likelihood that you will end up with a cake in the end is slim, much less a tasty cake.

It comes down to knowing what kind of cake you want to bake, and waking up every day with that goal in mind. But then backing up enough to know that there are a lot of moving parts to success and it’s a constant experiment. It’s also about trying something, and then looking back and writing down the lessons learned and tweaking from there the next day.

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I realized I’m frustrated and overwhelmed because I wake up in the morning, get out all the right ingredients, put them together in ratios that I think is right, pop it in an oven that I think is the right temp, and my cake comes out a mess most the time. That piece of reflection from day to day is missing for me. I’m waking up the next day, and trying a different mix of ingredients, a different oven temp, and getting a different type of crappy cake. Where I am missing the mark is getting deliberate with what ingredients are too much, what are too little, and incorporating MINOR tweaks so that I can really see the outcome of those tweaks.

This requires a deliberate assessment of the now. What’s in, what’s out? What is the current ratio? Getting real with now is the first step before I can start experimenting in a deliberate and calculated way. And we aren’t talking about a cake, we are talking about life, and the difference between thriving and spinning my wheels. It’s not an easy assessment, but I think having my newly developed cake analogy is going to help me put some processes into action.

I’m wondering if this resonates with any other athletes who are balancing jobs, training, families, etc? What happens when you toss in an extra ingredient? Does your cake get all gross for awhile?

Cobwebs… and Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching

Wow, I had to dust off some serious cobwebs to get this blog updated. I didn’t even remember my password, had to do the whole password reset thing.

This blog looks like the floor underneath my couch, dust bunnies galore, but also some loose change, a few cat toys, oh and my favorite sunglasses that I thought I lost. I always shake my head when people return to their blog and do the whole apology for not posting anything. I know as much as anyone that nobody has been on pins and needles, nobody really remembers if this blog disappears into oblivion and there are a million other options for online entertainment. I used to tell my story fairly frequently, and then I stopped.

I can’t issue an apology, because I’m not sorry. Over the last year, blogging has not been a gift in my life. I started this thing to talk about being a mommy to Annie and to share the fun stuff with some of my thoughts around it. Then I got into triathlon, which made a good story, and then I had some success in the sport, which made for an even better story, and then I had a great race in Kona, which felt like the end of a story. I don’t know when I swapped over from talking about my experiences to telling a story, but somewhere in there I got a sense that people only wanted to read certain things, and I started talking about those things.

But this is my life. And it’s messy. And to even touch on the mess pisses off other people like no tomorrow. So most of what I had to say just felt like dancing around a huge elephant. I hated that, so I stopped. I tried to get up the race reports, but even those have fallen by the wayside.

So I took a break. And I’m glad I did, because I got to missing it a bit more, and wishing I could write about this and that, and now I’m back here to do so. I think it’s important to go with the ebbs and flows of life, and to ask questions when you are feeling “duty” or “responsibility” calling. Sometimes the best action is no action, to just let things rest for awhile to see if you can get some clarity!

So, a quick little catch up, so I feel like I’ve dotted my Is and crossed my Ts. Oh and a kinda big announcement at the end!

I got second in Kona (can I just say that a few more times). I thought my life would be better after. It wasn’t better. It was the same awesome that it was before (and the same not awesome too). I took a break, because I was burned out. Well, not really burned out, but more just wanted to sit and soak in the pseudo completion of a goal. Yea, yea, I wasn’t first, but second is close, and Amy Farrell is a total bad ass! So, it was close enough to celebrate for awhile.

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It’s strange because I love riding my bike, but suddenly I did not want to ride my bike. And I didn’t. In fact, I did the Coast Ride on several hours of biking (like 11 total…ouch…not recommended) and then I didn’t ride my bike after the Coast Ride for another few months. I started riding a few weeks ago. I essentially took 6 months away from my bike. And it felt good. I fell in love with my dolphin pod (we have matching dolphin suits), got a knee injury running in Hokas in the trails (too squirrely for me), recovered from that, and put in 8 weeks of training for Boston. Honestly, I was happy to be on the line, but aren’t I always?

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I went skydiving at Mile High Skydiving and I absolutely loved it. A small part of me wanted to quit triathlon, sell my bikes, and start taking the fast track classes so that I can jump on my own. I decided against quitting, but, I am going to take the Level 1 class as soon as I can get a free Saturday to do so. I was in love, and I will at some point be jumping on my own. It’s for sure!

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I ALSO, found a really great new book club group here in Denver called Real Life Book Club (they are on facebook, newer company, many different groups around town). Through this I met some new amazing women that have lead me to other amazing women, and I’ve actually had a social life. That’s been a really nice and needed change for me. Also, I feel like I have gained this expansive wealth of resources by connecting with women in many different vocations. It’s been really cool! I’m speaking at the next Real Life Book Club social and if you are in the Denver area, you should check it out (ladies only).

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Book Club has lead to a lot of reading and self introspection over the last six months. It’s been really hard at times, and really good at times. I entered a fun 10 week course called Skinny Dip Society that has been such a blast…okay, and sometimes a lot of tears. But for the first time in my life I feel like I’m digging to the bottom of some deep muck, and really gaining valuable insight on how I plan to live the rest of my life. As much as I would recommend this sort of work, I would suggest all new bedding and a calm bedroom, because I spent a lot of time in bed, licking my wounds.

And, the most wonderful thing has been born out of the last six months. Taking a break, and looking inwards really helped me to hone in on “what’s next?” The clarity always seems obvious once it’s revealed and this has been no different. So, without further rambling, the other huge thing that I’ve been up to, to which a real time commitment has been dedicated, has been creating a new coaching business. Cue: Applause!

Drum-Roll-Please: Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching

Facebook Link to Rising Tide where you can sign up for the newsletter (infused with fun and helpful mental skills tricks)

Website in development at RisingTideTri.com (but hey, there’s a pretty landing page).

Twitter is up and going too @RisingTideTri

I have been coaching for 4.5 years now, ever since ChuckieV really urged me to do so. He was genius, because it’s what I was made to do. How nice to have someone else reveal to you what you were put here to do! I take it very seriously (okay, most the time) and I feel honored to be able to work with such amazing individuals. I still have 3 of my original 6 athletes in my stable (Errrr my regatta…haha).

In the past I have always stayed small, many people have said “I didn’t know you coached” because I just took the number of people I knew I could individually help while still running the business, and training. Sometimes I overextended myself and sometimes I found the balance. In my heart though, I’ve always wanted to expand and have the ability to guide more athletes. I’ve had several women through the years want to coach underneath me or be mentored by me, but I never had the structure in place to do so. I’ve always loved teaching and mentoring, especially other women who want to help others find greater health. When I set up Rising Tide, it was important to me to set up a structure where I had the capacity to do that in a formal manner.

I’ve always loved the mental side of sport. Can you tell? I know that my deeper calling is in this area, and I wanted a company that will allow me to put some unique products out into the world in this capacity. I’m still knee deep in what that looks like, but so far it’s looking really exciting/fun/productive.

As I formed my new business I got a lot of insight by project mapping my current coaching business and assessing where I rock and where I need support. Then I went about finding support for most of those areas. This, to me, is the most exciting process because when you start pulling in people to do what they are great at, things start to get really fun and I saw my time open up, which means I can be available to more athletes! It’s a symbiotic system! Most excellent, and tons of FUN!

So, there you go! Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching is open for business and I’m having a total blast at it!

As for the blogging. Well, I’m turning a new leaf, beginning a new story of sorts and I would like to share it along the way. Stay tuned….

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Sleep/Whole30: Day11 – Just a Fantastic Day

What a great Sunday I’ve had! Working with Kristi in the pool today was a totally awesome experience. She has some shoulder issues and we are really trying to work on her form to alleviate the pressure on her shoulders. We made some nice progress today in that regard. I just feel so passionate about my athletes success, it’s awesome to see things click.

Sunday is schedule writing day and tends to be the most stressful of my week, but today I had more focus and clarity than usual. We had terrific office hours today and the crew asked some great questions about running track, ironman nutrition, and using 70.3s during their Ironman builds. It’s been fun, this year some of my athletes have put picking the races they are doing this year in my hands, so I have built a few yearly plans and I’m excited to see those get executed. All in all, really good stuff.

I had a great run today, it was on the treadmill while I had Kristi spin out her legs. I messed around with some different inclines on the tready and now I’m excited to incorporate some of that into my athletes schedules (insert evil laugh here). Many of their sessions stem from things I have done here or there through the years.

Food today was awesome. I made sweet potato/eggs breaky…the usual but without avocado because I didn’t have any. Lunch we went to Smashburger and I didn’t have the bun, but had sweet potato fries and the innards of the burger (patty, avocado, lettuce, tomato, and some bacon…just one slice).

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For dinner Kristi and I were coming home from the gym so we swung by and got Chipotle. It was more eating out than I usually have but it was all really good food, and when it’s good food I don’t really sweat it. I had a bit of a headache this morning, not sure from what.

I’m sucking in the Sleep30 department. I’m still not a morning owl. I’m trying but I’m still struggling here. Today I hit snooze. 4:30 just seemed so early and I flunked morning person school today.

Dina asked me if I could talk about inspiration and motivation on the video blog (every time I write v-log it gets autocorrected…..) and so I did.

Also, before I go, I want to chat a little about motivation. If you are doing something you love, like triathlon, and you are needing motivation to get out the door, or going through a funk, I have a little advise. First off, it can happen, it’s normal, you can get in a lull, but I will tell you this. Through the years I have learned that it isn’t really worth it to force it. If I am lacking motivation, I usually just don’t train. GASP! WHAT? SERIOUSLY? Yes, most of the time, if I’m just not feeling it, I skip it.

I just don’t want triathlon to be about delayed gratification. I want to WANT to do it every day, and I think doing it when I don’t want to is the shortcut to getting burned out. So, I generally just skip a session when I’m not feeling the love. It means letting go of perfection, but then when you have some stellar races despite (and maybe because) you skipped some stuff, you start to realize, Oh, it’s kinda a little special secret in the sport. Bottom line is that most of us are plenty trained, but sometimes our mojo is overtrained. I work best when I value both equally.