When Jerry Schumacher Speaks, Listen
Recently, I was speaking with Jerry Schumacher, coach of the Bowerman TC professional distance running cohort. I had a question and figured he might have an answer. So I gave him a call.
In the course of our conversation, he said many wise things. However, one gem stuck with me.
He reminded me, "athletes must take care of The Temple to thrive."
When an informed person speaks, listen closely.
Jerry is right.
At times, we coaches worry so much about the exercises, workouts, reps, volume, miles, paces, etc. that we forget to make sure the athlete is serious about taking care of The Temple. It is sacred. Should be treated with respect. Honored. Cared for. And kept in the finest condition. No matter the cost of time, effort, or money.
Of course, The Temple is shorthand for one's body.
And honestly, I've found that understanding to be a difference maker.
The people who unconditionally love their body, nourish it consistently well, rest it, treat it with the utmost respect and see the body for the partner in their running and racing that it is tend to thrive and enjoy a richer career than those who do not.
Those who fundamentally disrespect it by feeding it poison, or not enough, or go on the latest fad diet to drop several pounds quickly, etc. often corrupt and destroy the very thing they are trying to enhance. Which is silly, of course. But sadly, this is far too common in our sport.
Training and competing at your highest level is a privilege. And if an athlete chooses to not take supreme care of their body day in and day out, minute-by-minute, treating it as a scared Temple, all their efforts will come up short and be for not.
If you don't believe me, ask Jerry.
Thanks for reading. I'm glad you're here. // jm