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Gumption

Tuesday, July 14, 2015 by Coach Jeff

Gumption-

Definition:

  1. initiative; aggressiveness; resourcefulness:
  2. courage; spunk; guts:

NO matter the ability or the experience level of the athlete it all boils down to this, my favorite word, gumption.

I’ve had the benefit of seeing this first hand as a volunteer in a couple of races this year. I appreciate the effort that most athletes have put in before they ever get to the starting line. Way before the training even starts, they’ve shown gumption. I say “most” because I’m talking about the beginner athlete, the weight challenged athlete, the late comer to the sport athlete. I admire these people who have made the choice to try something they are not comfortable with. For some, it may be totally new. We’ve all seen them at some point. The person that has made that life-changing decision to step out of their comfort zone of “the norm”.

I admire the gumption it takes to say today is the day that I’m going to make a change. I’m not going to accept the way things are. I’m going to take that first step toward running my first 5k, take a swim lesson or go for a bike ride. So what if I don’t have the newest gear or the trendiest bike or the latest fashion in running shoes. They do it because they have the gumption to change.

At first the transformation is mental. They have to get over the awkwardness, their doubts, possible embarrassment of not being as good or experienced or, heaven forbid, look the part before ever getting to the physical nature of what they’re about to take on. I root for these athletes and draw on them for my inspiration. I want them to succeed. I know that they are on a path that will change their lives and the lives around them in positive ways. The ripple effect is in full force when we give these people our words of encouragement, pass along wisdom and welcome them into the “suffer community”.

I’m often asked by people what was that race like? Was the course tough? How was the weather?

I’m not in control of those things. Those things don’t matter. The only thing that really matters is gumption.



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