As athletes, we often like to push ourselves hard with our workouts, and it is tempting to work out either with faster athletes or alone to ensure we meet all our personal goals. While this is a great focus, I think so much comes from sharing what we know with those involved more recently in the sport(s).
When one has become somewhat experienced (and, after over 20 races, I'm getting there), one is often approached to mentor new athletes. I was never more surprised and honored than when this began happening to me. So, the past few weeks I've has several opportunities to help other athletes train.
Have those workouts been as fast or challenging as I'd have liked? Nope. But they've still been decent workouts. And, most of all, I've helped others pursue their goals.
Looking back, I think about the person who got me involved in triathlon. She is an accomplished triathlete and a multiple Ironman. But there were a few times during my early triathlon days that she took time out from her more experienced schedule to ride or run with me. I was way too slow for her; I embarrassed myself terribly; I was greener than even *I* know. But she still helped me out. And now, despite my bout with cancer, can just about maintain a respectable cycling pace.
For that, I will always be grateful.
So, when I'm approached by newbies, I try to be as helpful as possible. I know that one day they will match or even surpass me in skill (although I've far from matched my mentor), and will truly appreciate the favor.