Running is a sport full of coaches. At any race, you’ll find 20 people who will freely give you advice if you ask. And in my journey as a runner, I’ve had several people who were influential in giving me the confidence to run far.
One ran my first 5K of distance with me. One ran-walked a half-marathon training run with me. Another passed on her experiences and her love for the sport. Yet another taught me about what it takes to run long distances on steep trails.
Everyone is a coach. And now I’m loving having that same opportunity myself.
I’ve brought several folks on runs with me this year (often their first trail runs) and have had the privilege of helping to push people to exceed their own limits. I ran with (and helped to encourage) one friend who called a mountain run one of the hardest physical experiences of his life. Today I did the same with a smoker who hasn’t run in ages.
It’s so satisfying to see someone make a breakthrough in a skill. A feat that might be normal for you is a major life achievement for them. Even as an observer, you will get a feeling of joy and triumph rubbing off on you.
And, as it turns out, it’s pretty easy to get that satisfaction.
Maybe you don’t run, but you probably have a useful skill of some kind that you can pass on to someone else. You don’t have to be the world’s best – you just have to be able to 1) show the way and 2) encourage. And really, it’s the encouragement more than anything that counts. Surely you can give that?
Bet you never thought you would be a coach, eh? You can start whenever you’re ready.