Winston Churchill was one of the greatest orators of modern history. A leader, a lover of cigars, and an ally of the United States during World War II.
A little known fact is that Winston Churchill had a speech impediment. Winston Churchill clearly overcame this impediment through practice, hard work, hours of rehearsal, and an unknown amount of personal self belief. I am certain there were times he thought he couldn’t do it.
Gillian is not Winston Churchill. Winston Churchill is an icon in history, but we can emulate his diligence. I do not mean to compare Gillian to the great Winston Churchill, however they do have something in common – the pursuit of excellence.
Gillian seeks perfection in her movement. She cherishes movement and enjoys all things involving movement. Dance, gymnastics, running, pulling, throwing, batting, the list goes on.
Today was difficult. Gillian is frustrated. These Oly movements are difficult. They are technical. They are challenging. They are hard. So, day after day Gillian hammers out Oly lift after Oly lift…all without REAL coaching, without REAL help. I’m a rookie. I’m a hack that has a few dollars and a little bit of time and bought a few weights for the garage. Gillian is the athlete. We record her movement, scrutinize her movement, listen to those around us that give well meant input. But in the end, it’s Gillian and a barbell, struggling in a variety of conditions (none of which are ideal) to learn to perfect a movement – essentially alone.
I’m proud of her.
July 2 we are getting on our Harley Davidson and riding to Texas to spend nearly two weeks with Mark Rippetoe of Wichita Falls Athletic Club and the author of Starting Strength as well as a few other titles. “Rip” – as he is called – is arguably one of the greatest coaches in our time. Rip has been helping us with lots of phone time, email time, video time, and general support. As Rip has stated, you can’t get good coaching over the internet. Gillian needs this personal time with a coach, and she deserves an opportunity to be coached by a coach with an ability to coach commensurate with her ability to move. At a different time in her life, Mike Burgener coached Gillian to amazing feats. Both of these men are leaders, coaches, and personal friends. Both of these men have generously donated their time and expertise to help make an athlete – my wife – better.
My point is this – Gillian needs and deserves a real coach capable of helping her move to her potential. Mike Burgener did it, Rip will do it – but I’m not that guy. I’m better at leading Marines and flying helicopters. I’m smart enough to know that, and I am looking forward to witnessing a professional coach do his thing.
As I said, today was a tough day at CrossFit SoCal. Gillian never really kept the bar close, never really was able to get that “scarecrow” high pull. To make matters worse, Gillian’s cervical injury is still a factor and limited her Front Squat to 195lbs – still more than she should have done given her injury. We worked off the blocks during the snatch to help work on form, staying light. I didn’t tape any of the Clean & Jerk portion, however Gillian did work up to 143lbs…again keeping it light because of that cervical spine issue.
I think she needs rest…a small break…she’s frustrated, but willing to try just the same.
July 2 can’t come soon enough.