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Stories From The Bluff — Light And Fluffy

 No stranger to the famed distance running Dunbar family, Rob Conner offers some undoubtedly sage advice to Miles Dunbar before his upcoming race. 

No stranger to the famed distance running Dunbar family, Rob Conner offers some undoubtedly sage advice to Miles Dunbar before his upcoming race. 

There are three words I often use in my coaching rhetoric which are near and dear to my heart. They bring back fond memories of cherished time spent in my younger years with friend and mentor, Rob Conner. 

These words are " Light and Fluffy." 

Seasoned athletes know that when I speak them, it is time to buckle up, hunker down, and get focused. The day's task just got real and a demanding session layed ahead. 

It takes about 6 months for athletes I coach to comprehend that when I say this workout is going to be "light and fluffy," they should expect anything but. It is a trojan horse term and catches rookies off guard. 

The phrase stems from R.C during my time as his assistant coach. Usually when a freshman or sophomore athlete was having anxiety about a session or concerned about the degree of difficulty involved, he would try to calm them down by employing those words. I can still hear R.C. "Dude, don't worry, this session is light and fluffy. You'll nail it." This was R.C.'s way of holding the athlete to account by providing the reassurance they desired so they could run without reservation.

Light and Fluffy is not meant to deceive the athlete, rather it is meant to encourage. It is a supportive sentiment. As in, "I know today's workout is challenging, but you can do it. You're fitter than you think and ready to get after it." Which is spoken as, "Today is light and fluffy. You got this."

You are welcome to adopt it, copy it, or laugh at it. But whatever you do, don't underestimate it. I've seen first-hand athletes posture shift from one of anxious concern to relieved confidence after a coach spoke these words. They move people. Make a difference. And keeps the overall mood of a difficult day light and fluffy.

 

Thanks for reading. I'm glad you're here. // jm

Jonathan Marcus