For our 1st anniversary, the coaches each took a moment to reflect on the past year.
For as momentous an occasion as our first anniversary is, it kind of snuck up on me. And I think because of that it took me a beat to really wrap my head around how grateful I am for NYX. Julie, Laura, and I created NYX out of a vision for a community of coaches and athletes that all make each other better, and it’s truly incredible that in just one short year we’re already seeing that play out in so many ways. It just makes my heart sing to see athletes connecting and supporting each other, and to have created a coaching community where athletes truly have a team of coaches supporting them beyond their one designated coach.
I am so grateful for our OG NYX athletes who took that first step with us.
I’m grateful for those NYX athletes who joined us during our very first year, drawn to the community that we’re creating.
I’m grateful for our Mob members who value our community and choose to be a part of it.
And I’m grateful for Julie and Laura, who make me a better coach, athlete, and person.
My heart is full, and we’re just getting started! Cannot wait to see where we are at years 2, 5, 10, …
As I reflect on the past year, the theme that comes up for me is the gift of aligned partnership. Whether we’re talking about friendship, marriage, or business partnership, we have an opportunity and a freedom to be more ourselves when we align with the right people. We can engage more fully with what we have to offer as individuals, knowing that our partners do what they do so well.
Over a year ago, when I wrote each of our bios and taglines for the website, I barely knew Julie and Alison. But over the past year, I’ve gotten to witness the impact that the combination of our personalities and energies create. It has allowed me to see each of us a little more clearly.
Last year, I wrote that Julie is the badass. Here is what I’ve learned exists underneath that well-deserved title:
Her intense level of commitment to everything she does exists because there is underlying trust. It isn’t something that she is just lucky enough to have innately. She cultivates trust. She knows that it must be there in order to reap the rewards of a process, a plan, or a goal. So she does the work to build it.
It is far easier to look at someone like Julie, who wins her age group at seemingly every race she enters, and label her as “other” than to acknowledge that we might have those same seeds of greatness within ourselves. Choosing separation absolves us of our responsibility to cultivate our own success.
I’ve seen her get frustrated when athletes don’t completely buy in to the plan. And I’ve realized it’s not about the plan, it’s about the lack of trust. Because what Julie knows better than most of us know, is that no plan will work without trust, and even a sub-par plan will work when trust is the backbone.
I got to see this play out with her own coach in a lead-up to one of her races. Her taper was not much of a taper. She had something like a 20 mile run 2 weeks out from the race and a 15 mile run the week before. Now if it were me in this situation, I would be strongly tempted to resist this at all costs. Julie was a little uneasy at first but she didn’t question the strategy. She simply acknowledged that she was unaware of the intention behind the plan. All she had to do was talk to her coach to find out why that was the best plan for her (not question whether or not it was) so that she could go back to being fully invested.
You can probably guess the result.
It’s hard for most of us to let go of control and hand our faith over to an unknown future. Whether past ways of doing things elicited good results or bad ones, we cling to them because they’re familiar. If nothing else, we’ll know what to expect. What I’ve learned from my partnership with Julie is that it’s ok to have fear and doubt – they are inevitable side effects of trying to do something we’ve never done before.
But our trust must be bigger.
Last year, I wrote that Alison is grounded and relatable. Here is what I’ve learned exists underneath:
There is so much cultural conditioning that tells us exactly what winning looks like. It is standing on top of the podium and nothing shy of that. It has become a mechanism that tempts us to feel less than when our version of winning doesn’t quite measure up.
We created NYX Endurance in defiance of this outdated structure. The truth that brought the 3 of us together in the first place is that our athletes’ success is not measured by outcome. We celebrate perseverance, grit, and winning on our own terms. But when 2 of the 3 of us are often standing on the podium, we rely on Alison to embody our mission. We depend on her to ground us.
This load can be heavy.
When you are the representative of an entire shift in perspective, there are times when you might feel buried, unseen, and tired. Over the past year, I’ve witnessed Alison’s grace and her fire. She isn’t shy about letting us know what we must create space for. She knows how to bring us back to our center when we get off track. She reminds us of the specific ways in which all kinds of winning must be witnessed and celebrated.
And even when her load is at it’s heaviest, there is always the voice that is her guiding light, whispering gently into her ear:
“No fucking quitting.”
And she perseveres anyway.
What I’ve learned from my partnership with Alison is that the work of creating more inclusion in the world is empty unless you can also build it within yourself.
I’ve learned that we have to be brave enough to define winning for ourselves.
Our lives and our world depend on it.
Last year, I tagged myself as the deep thinker.
I have been highly attuned to my own depth for as long as I can remember. I hold both shame and love for the part of me that has never taken anything at face value. I’ve experienced my entire existence just below the surface.
But no matter my feelings about how I see the world, my partnership with these 2 women has given me the stability and courage to express my perceptions with clarity and intention. Our aligned vision and mutual support gives me freedom to wander into the depths and be the translator for what I find there.
It is my intention to reflect back to all of you the brilliance that I see under your surfaces.
I see your perseverance and your victories underneath your struggle.
I see your light,
through the darkness.
I am humbled by your tenacity in ways that often move me to tears.
I hope to use my writing to illuminate the connective tissue that holds us each together, and that holds us all together.
We may become temporarily immobilized by the stories we’ve carried long past their due dates, which underneath their nuance, are simply stories of perpetuating scarcity: we are not worthy of our goals; we don’t work hard enough; we aren’t fast enough, skinny enough, young enough, smart enough; we don’t have enough time.
Over the past year, I’ve come to see my job – my privilege – as helping you rewrite those stories. And this partnership allows me to feel free enough to do so.