On June 27, 2016 I emailed a guy who would become one of the most significant people that I will ever cross paths with--my coach, Kirk. A week after that first email we met in person at the gym where he worked. I was broken and protected and kind of desperate, and after our hour long meeting and fitness assessment I sat in my car and sobbed. They were tears of relief--100% relief. I had found help. Although I could not have put it in words in that moment, my entire being knew that this was who we had been looking for. That little runner inside who I talk about, who sat deep inside me refusing to let the flame go out--I think the tears of relief were coming from her because she no longer had to shoulder this alone.
I've been going down the rabbit hole of emails between us for the past six years--hundreds of emails--and text messages. They tell the story of my transformation, which is a big claim but true nonetheless; and they tell the story of a relationship built between a trainer and a client and then a coach and an athlete. And then, to my surprise, a foundation of friendship formed under the whole thing.
From the first interactions he was supportive and established trust and accountability, and it was the exact fuel I needed for the fire. He responded to every email, every question and every concern. He was patient and kind and treated me so honorably and with such regard. I had (and have!) such respect for him, and I began to see that if this person I respect so deeply sees so much good and possibility in me, then maybe I could see myself that way.
And that's what I think this quote is about: surrounding ourselves with those people who respect us and love us and see who we really are. They consistently show up for us and gently and relentlessly insist that we keep climbing up and out until we have that view of ourselves as well. They lift us higher.
This point in July every year is incredibly significant to me--almost like a second birthday, in a way. I'm grateful that it doesn't pass me by, and I'm grateful that it continues to hold such a sacred place in the year, because that's accurate. I am not the same person I was six years ago today, and that is an astounding thing. It takes a person of great strength--strength of character and integrity--and a largeness of spirit to lift others up. I found that person in my coach. And I want to take that example and be that person, too.
Thank you, Coach Kirk. Your generosity and level of excellence and truth telling have turned this ship around, and your profound impact in my life has inevitably impacted the lives of those around me. I am beyond grateful. Thank you for the lift : )
A Rising Tide Raises All Ships