Monday, August 19, 2013

My Happy Place

For the last 5 years, I have had been coached by Alex Moore.  He came to the Ski Team from an Australian Rules Football Club and quickly took over the role of Head Strength Coach at USSA.  He learned the sport of Cross Country Skiing, which was a very different sport than any he had ever worked with before, so it took some time to come up with the type of plan that would benefit our sport best.  It has been a really fun learning process for both of us, as Alex is not shy about trying new things, nor is he or I scared of failing with something if we think it is worth trying.  

I am young, but in my life there have been times that have made a real impact on who I am, and people who have shaped the person I would someday like to become.  The last 5 years have been one of these times in my life, where many memories have been formed and my life has been enriched by the love of Alex and his family.  In the 5 years I have known Alex, he has become a father of 3 girls, one of which is my Goddaughter, and his wife, Carly is one of the most loving people I have ever met.  They have welcomed me into their family as if I was one of their own, given me hugs when I needed them, food and company any night of the week (which was more than a few!), and let me be a big part of their kids growing up.

Two weeks ago, Alex took a job with the NBA Basketball Team the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Today was his last day of work at USSA and tomorrow he flies to a new life in Cleveland with Carly and the kids following suite a couple weeks later.  This job is a huge step not only professionally for Alex, but also personally for his family.  As many of us know, the money in Pro Sports in America is absurd and with a family to support, financial stress is now out of the picture, which makes me smile.  

Alex put his heart and soul into his job at USSA.  It is not every day that a coach will come in on his weekends to do a workout with you, just to make sure it goes the best it can possibly go.  He makes my job fun, more fun than the gym ever is on my own, not to mention taking the time to explain why I am doing an exercise, how to do a lift with better form, or how to change my technique to jump further.  He holds me accountable, knows when to push me and when I need to back off, the latter of which especially can sometimes be difficult for me to admit.  There is something about having someone you trust with your life, who believes in you so much that some days it is more than you believe in yourself, by your side each day pushing you to be better than you ever thought you could be.  That is what makes a good coach.  The knowledge is important, and Alex has so much of that and constantly is searching for more, but the real job of a coach, the most important thing, is to inspire your athletes to want to be the best they can be.  It is this quality that will be missed the most in the gym, and it is the personal connection I have with his family that will make Park City feel lonely at times.  

This post is for you, Alex.  This is dedicated to all of the times you pumped the Venga Boys in the gym, making me do an extra set when I thought I was totally spent, teaching me how you get 10% stronger when you chew gum while you lift and the scientific studies that prove you can do more pullups when Avril Lavigne is pumping.  It is for every meal you, well, let's be honest, Carly cooked me, each kid you, well let's be honest, Carly, popped out and let me into their lives, each Sunday you met me in the gym and 1000 more moments that made me feel loved and believed in.  You are one in a million, Alex, and you better believe that the gym will be rocking out to Jock Jams every time I am in there lifting.  The Cavs have no idea how lucky they are, or possibly how very short and Australian you are either!  Best of Luck Al.  We will miss you a metric sh*tton.

Carly, me, Heather McPhie (US Moguls Skier), and Alex

Alex and Carly's daughter and my Goddaughter, Charlie

She tried on a few hats:)

Just the right size I'd say!

I had a picnic dinner with my good friends Tyler and Sarah last week in Salt Lake.  I have not seen them at all this summer, so this was a great evening together.

Earlier this summer a bunch of us decided to make 2 competing triathlon teams and see which team would win.  Alex tends to stack his own team as he hates to lose:) but no one really knew which team was going to win.  The night before the race I decided I would do the bike leg instead of the run, as I had been having some foot pain and wanted to be careful, so Chad, pictured above, was drafted for the run.  Big change the night before, but Chad shined in his new role and our team took the victory.  Carly swam, I biked and Chad ran.  We are already planning our next competition!

Chad coming into the finish..

..with a perfect cartwheel!

The winning Triathlon Team, CanHeAceDis?  Yes he can, Chad, yes he can, and DID!

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