Friday, August 30, 2013

Coach, Mentor & Friend

I started running with Fleet Feet's No Boundaries Couch to 5k program 4 years ago this month.  At the time the program was still pretty new here.  It had 3 coaches, Matt & Christi Beth Adams (the owners of FF) and Tammy Sanders.  It was a special group - the people and the coaches.  I can easily say it was a life changing experience for me.  One of the really great things about it was that I felt like I really bonded with the coaches.  

At the end of the training, I knew 2 things - I wanted to keep running and there was no way I ever wanted to start over.  I'm sure Tammy doesn't remember it, but I remember being very afraid of training for a half marathon.  When I asked her if she thought I could do it, she was so convincing that I signed up for FF's training program the next January.  And I've been training with FF and Tammy every since.

Christmas lights run with Tammy & Nicole
One of my favorite Tammy quotes is that you will never regret the runs you go on, but you will always regret staying in bed.  I can't even list the number of times that thinking this in my head has gotten me out of bed, shoes on, and out the door.  Tammy has always encouraged me in all of my crazy running plans.  There have been many times that I've told her whatever my current insane plan is and she just shook her head, but then found encouraging words to share.  

When Mark and I decided to train for our first marathon in 2011, Tammy was one of the first people I shared this goal with.  We were running that race with Team in Training (TNT).  She had also done her first marathon with TNT.  She was amazingly supportive and more than helpful when we were coming up with fundraising ideas and plans.  She lost a grandparent to a blood cancer, so it's cause close to her heart.  This year she helped us create a team to train with FF and fundraise with TNT.  To check out that site click here.

More than a running coach, mentor and encourager Tammy has become a great friend.  We've had many long discussions on Monday nights about a variety of subjects.  It's easy to become friends with people you spend lots of time and many miles with.  I'm thankful for all the friends I've met through running.

This past weekend Tammy told me and Mark that she was leaving FF.  I'm being completely selfish when I tell you how sad this makes me.  Of course, I can't really blame her for wanting more flexibility and to have her Saturday mornings back. Without Tammy, I wouldn't be the runner I am today and possibly I wouldn't be a runner at all.  And, as she keeps reminding me, she's not going anywhere.  She's getting married in a couple weeks and they will continue to live here.  She's assured me that she'll still be at Tin Roof 2 on Monday nights.  She is leaving FF very amicably and going to work in a completely unrelated field.   And in her words, she'll be a great ambassador for FF.

Tammy, I can't thank you enough for the amazing influence you've been in my life.  Thank you for always having a smile and an encouraging word.  Thank you for all the times I've come to you nearly in a panic about a running problem or a race and you've always calmed me.  Thank you for believing in me before I believed in myself.  Most of all thank you for being a friend.

1 comment:

  1. gaahh WHAT? Tammy is leaving FF? This makes me want to cry, even though I don't live in the US anymore. I'm sure she'll be amazing in whatever route she is taking now, but man, what a hard blow. She is THE ultimate coach and cheerleader.