Why the day my car got broken into was one of the best days I’ve had in a while.

Every Wednesday, I park my car at Kezar Stadium in the city at 4:30 and start my workout before I coach later that evening.  Each Wednesday, my trainees from RUN365 work their butts off through my tough workouts, strength exercises, wind tunnels, rain, heat and fog.  Last Wednesday, I had my trainees do a time trial.  For many of them, this was their second time trial this season, the first was back in August.  At their first attempt, I promised them that if they came to track consistently, took the workouts and their training seriously and followed the plan provided to them by their coaches, they WILL improve their mile time trial time, which will lead to faster times on race day for whatever event they are training for.  I’m not sure if they believed me but I was so confident, I told them they could put me through some hellish workout if I was wrong.  I truly did and still do believe that if you put the work in, you will see results.

So last Wednesday, I said “ready, set, go” and they were off, four laps around the track at an all out effort.  It takes a lot to do a time trial.  Physically, you’re giving it all you’ve got in the tank.  Mentally, your constantly battling the demons telling you that you can’t hold on.  In the past two months, my trainees have worked so hard and their hard work has paid off in a big way.  Each of them improved their mile time trial.  I couldn’t believe it but many of them improved it by close to or over a minute.  The progress was overwhelmingly evident and I was beaming with pride.  Many of them thanked me for pushing them at track each week.  But I take no credit in this scenario.  As a coach, you can put a workout on the schedule and show up each week.  As a trainee though, you have a choice.  You can show up and just go through the motions, or you can show up and do the work in a real way–push yourself for just one hour.  It’s those people who really work towards their goals who end up reaching them in the end, and I am so incredibly proud of each of my trainees for really show up and give 100% every Wednesday.  It makes me feel like my time spent commuting into the city and coaching is really worthwhile.

Last Wednesday, the trainees did a time trial then a shortened workout before we went over to Kezar Pub for a celebratory beer.  Everyone was in a great mood and I felt like the day couldn’t have gone better.  Walking back to my car around 9pm, I noticed some glass on the street.  Approaching my car and looking inside, I could see that my gym duffel bag was gone and my side window was completely smashed.  My heart sank.  Immediately, I remembered my favorite North Face flannel shirt was in that bag.  It’s something that can’t be replaced.  It was with me on the top of Half Dome, when I was recovering from sun poisoning in the hospital last summer, on great dates and through breakups.  I was wearing it for two days in a van during Wasatch Ragnar in Utah back in 2013, and on my first day of work at SFRC two years ago.  It was my standby and I was so incredibly bummed.  The low was only highlighted by the high I had earlier at the track workout.  Making a list of all the things that were taken was a painstaking but cathartic experience.  It totals about $1500 worth of personal belongings, running gear and apparel, not to mention some cash and my checkbook.  But it wasn’t the monetary value that made me upset, and while the losing items that had sentimental value was such a horrible feeling, what made me the most upset, depressed, angry even was that this petty thief had ruined an amazing day.

A few days have passed and I’ve spent some time (and money) replacing some of the items that can be replaced.  My window was repaired and it’s so clean I keep thinking it’s not even there.  One of my friends looked online all day for a replacement for my three-year old flannel.  Another friend and rep in the outdoor industry replaced my stolen running sunglasses.  And my boyfriend has been nothing but amazingly supportive in every possible way through all of this.  The outpouring of support from all my friends has been so touching.

In the end, it’s just a broken window and just stuff.  And after a few days of digesting the emotions that come along with feeling so violated after something like this, I see it really clearly.  The theft didn’t ruin my day at all.  As a matter of fact, when I think back to last Wednesday, I think of it as the day that everyone hit their PR’s and the day we celebrated the season’s accomplishments so far.  It’s such a bummer that someone had to go and steal from me, but go right ahead.  The one thing they couldn’t steal was that happiness I had.  They might have my fleece, but they don’t have the memories that go along with it.  And they might have my cash but you can’t buy a bunch of PR’s with it.  Sometimes, bad things happen to good people.  And I don’t know if I believe in karma because I know some pretty terrible people who have great lives.  But I do believe that sometimes stuff just happens, that’s life.  How you choose to look at it determines whether it ruins your day or not.  I’m still learning how to embrace that philosophy but with each challenge that’s thrown at me is another opportunity for embracing it just a little more.

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RIP flannel. Thanks for the years of adventure.

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