Because I hope to still do Olympic lifting into my old age.
There is a point at which a person begins to question their own mortality and the legacy that they will leave behind. However after hearing from my doctor that I am once again in fantastic shape, I am going to borrow a scene from the 1995 movie, “Grumpy Old Men.” I have no doubt in my mind that I will live to turned 95 years old, exercise most days in my life. Every morning, I will wake up, and eat five strips of bacon. And for lunch, I will eat a bacon sandwich. And for a midday snack?
Yep… Bacon. Bacon! A whole damn plate! And I will usually drink my dinner. And according to all of them nutrition experts, I would take a dirt nap like thirty years prior. But each year will come and go, and I will still be there. Ha! And they will keep dyin’. And I will wonder if God forgot about me.
I do not think about my personal mortality, but I think of the mortality of my career. Look, I love what I do and the people I work with. Every day bring with it a new challenge. I cannot ever say that my job is boring, but I question how long can one keep, “counting reps.” Years ago before I was married I told my wife Pam, “you have to put in your time… and things will get better.” Then I applied for my Master, and once again I told Pam, “you have to put in your time… and things will get better.” At some point after putting in all the time, I have to prove that things will get better, because she will finally figure out that I truly am full of shit.
I do not want this to ever sound like I am complaining about my job, but I am here to state a fact. THIS IS A HARD PROFESSION; YOU HAVE TO PAY YOUR DUES. I am going to be the first to say that I feel my due are almost all paid up. I do have some yet to pay but I have moved up the ladder. I have been rewarded some fantastic opportunities. I have a Masters, I work with some amazing athletes at Talisman Centre, I have a great situation working for the Canadian Sports Centre and with Cross Country Canada. Every day I see the up dates on Twitter my heart explodes with pride. Teaching at the University of Calgary is one highlight of my week. My professional relationships with the group over at Natural Way Chiropractic and Dave at Tower Physio make my job easier every day. I AM TRULY BLESSED TO LIVE THE LIFE I DO.
But at some time you ask what does a 30-year strength coach’s career look like? It’s like asking what do a 20-year Cross Fitter look like? We don’t really know. And not only that, we ask, did we set ourselves up to be that expert in our respective field so that groups find us to use as a consultant? Have we developed a legacy or begun to develop that legacy so that we are in that position 20, 30 years down the road.
I think the mistake I have made, and this is on more than one occasion, was to take the small successes and over-inflate my sense of self worth. It happens to the best of us, and we then think the grass is greener on the other side. We think we can take on more that we can handle and then thrash in the water with our heads just above the water. When I fist went to Peak Power, would I have been able to take on a team with the dynamics and needs of Alberta Alpine? Hell no. I would have crashed and burned. Could I do it now? I like to think I could. I like to think myself and the training team is going to see success with Cascade Swim, Water Polo and Gymnastics. But as a young coach we tend to be false prophets, and spout intellectual incest (sharing information we have collected from others as if it is our own). We fake it until we make it. We aspire to be leader and think that we are. But our view of what a leader is is completely skewed.
For the young coaches out there, who wish to have longevity in this profession have to become leaders, and to be a leader, it is not having a title or being the loudest/ smartest/ charismatic etc. person out there. It comes down to a few simple things…
- Prepare relentlessly
- You are always accountable
- Surround yourself with good people
- Under promise and over deliver
- Be your own man… or woman
- Stand up for yourself and do not give yourself away
- Continue to study, read and lead.
I am going to he honest… what to know more about the above list read “Leadership by Rudolph Giuliani. I think it is essential reading for those how what to be better personally and professionally. There are ways to make this great profession something that we do for our lives, not just a period within it. I really believe that and Pam, “all those good times are near, I can feel it.”
Yours in Health and Performance,
Jeff Osadec, Mkin, CEP, CSCS