Coaching Exam

Well I finished my take home exam for becoming a USA Triathlon certified Level 1 coach, the entry level. I already have two athletes that have requested my help, both friends, and both somewhat experimental. 😉 I know what we should be doing, but actually getting an athlete to do it, get feedback and look for improvement is a different matter altogether! Hopefully I will get my certification soon, and then I’ll be a real coach. This is almost as exciting as getting board certified…it just didn’t take quite as long.

The rest of teh story…

Here’s the rest of the story of the thunderstorms and glass. Sorry for the delay, but at least I got a map of it for you…

Glen Haven Switchbacks. A tough, but beautiful ride. Down Rt.36 along the big thompson river, turn left at Drake, then follow the northfork up through Glen Haven and up through two sets of double switch backs. The most thrilling part of the ride is when you finally top the crest at the top of the second switchback…The entire Estes Valley falls open in front of you with a view of the valley leading into town, the whole town, and all the great peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park. Wow.

Oh yeah, there was the thunderstorm that I timed perfectly…just as I got to glen haven it started thundering and lightening and poured down rain. I got a sticky bun and a diet coke and waited it out. Just as I got started again, I got a flat tire! A tiny, tiny shard of glass had pierced the tire, so I had to stop and repair both teh tire and the tube…but both held up just fine.

The Helicopter and the Rodeo

Imagine making a special trip to watch the world’s highest rodeo. Nearly 8000 feet above sea level, with the rocky mountain peaks rimming the arena. The setting sun casts moutain shadows and long fingers of the setting sun’s rays make the distant rocks sparkle and shine in the evening light. The sky takes on a purplish cast and at last the outside world is dark…leaving only the rodeo lights and the arena in front of you. Nothing can compete for your attention now, as you take in the daring leaps of the steer wrestlers, the determination of the barrell racers and the sheer courage and of the bull riders.

That is, until you feel the subtle pounding in your chest. You can’t hear it yet, but coming from somewhere nearby is a low frequency pulsing that resonates in the arena. Everyone becomes silent. Similar to the opening scene from the TV show MASH…”wait for it.”

It climbs above the earth, popping up from the valley below and circles around the arena. A deafening roar of the rotor blades halts the rodeo clown in his tracks. Everyone, including you, grabs their cowboy hats to keep them from getting blown away like tumbleweeds across the fairgrounds. Blinding spotlights scan the rodeo as if searching for a fugitive. After what seems like an adrenaline filled eternity, the noise begins to quiet as the rescue helicopter settles on the ballfields adjacent to the rodeo arean. The crowd remains silent. The announcer tries to regain control and reinvigorate the clown. The clown, for a rare moment frozen in time, suddenly comes to life in an almost awkward fashion as he struggles to refocus attention on himself and on the riders.

The crowd has breifly forgotten about the mysterious intruder, but just as they get transfixed by the rodeo, the helicopter lifts off again. This time the noise and lights are not quite as much a surprise, and the rodeo only slows for a minute as the chopper quietly passes overhead to the nearby hospital rooftop to pick up it’s waiting patient, then as if trying to hide, it quickly dissappears down the valley and drops back over the edge to the trauma center in the waiting plains below.