Having not participated in team sports during my youth, being coached as an adult was a process with which I had to acclimate myself.  I did participate in gymnastics and theatre coming up, but I never had a coach get in my face and say harsh things to me to push me forward.  Whilst training for the American Diabetes Associations’ Tour de Cure, (cycling for a cure) spring 2012, and currently conditioning for the upcoming 40 mile ride on April 12, my husband has taken the role of coach.  He doesn’t do the “in your face” coaching but it is difficult to hear just how much better I can do if I just push myself harder, place my hands just so, and not be such a wuss.

Over the past year of learning crossfit, I have also learned positive reinforcement goes a long way.  My trainers and fellow team mates encourage each other by saying ‘good job’ on a regular basis, even though I know I could’ve given a bit more or was disappointed in my own performance.

In the office of the Press Gazette, it’s much the same.  Throughout this learning curve of being editor, I am encouraged by my co-workers and readers, but I am also learning the responsibilities of leadership, good and bad.  Our news service, a vehicle of informing the people of Santa Rosa County, will not print itself, will not fill its own pages with copy, or have monetary support without the hard working people behind the scenes who do their jobs.  We’re a team who support one another.  We go the distance together.  It is their encouragement, constructive criticism, but mostly their ‘good jobs’ I look forward to hear and I also am eager to share. 

My mother-in-law told me a long time ago, just before my wedding day, her mother shared something with her and she felt it was important to share with me:  if we all pull together for the good of the family, the family will prosper.  Good advice.  Being a member of a team, working for the good of a cause is a facet of life we should never take for granted.

When my husband steers me forward for a 40 mile ride this spring, still working for the good of a cause, I will do my very best. Reminding me I have to get on my bike, check my baseline of insulin, keep my head up and breathe easy is his job as coach. He has my best interest at heart and, of course, I don’t want to be a wuss.

Watch for me on the bike trail in a red jersey, steadily trying to increase my speed.  If you call out to me, I’ll wave as I pass by.