I have been spinning my wheels.
Big Time. Even though I have Big Ideas and Big Plans.
But each day I fail at accomplishing anything toward those plans and ideas. I wake up full of optimism. The day is before me! I want to work on this and THis and THIS! But then I don't get anything done and by the end of the day I'm totally grouchy and defeated.
There are contributing factors to this problem:
First, it's December--and in December I must prepare for Christmas, which can be an overwhelming holiday when you have little kids. Also, there are holiday get-togethers galore that are fun, but suck up time.
Second, the needs of those little kiddos just suck up time, too. A good portion of last week, for example, was devoted to my youngest's opthalmologic needs... the end result being this:
Finally, I have been wasting time trying to get into things like the USA Trialthon Level 1 coaching clinic. Ange and I were going to go to North Carolina in Feburary to do this, but we didn't get in, despite the fact that we clicked to sign up for nearly two hours straight starting at the exact correct time yesterday.
That. made. me. really. really. mad.
But I'm over it now. Really. I really am.
(Get ready for the rant!)
I realize, in retrospect, that there are some good things about being denied entrance by virtue of not having good enough luck. First of all, it will save me about $1000--maybe more. Second, it means I will be home for three days during my kids' February vacation that I may have missed. Third, being denied made me so pissed that I have come up with excellent reasons to say FUCK YOU, MAN! I DON'T NEED YOU! to USA Triathlon and their coaching certification clinic.
I think its important, though, to give credit to USA Triathlon--because really LUCK is an excellent way to determine who gets certified and who doesn't. LUCK really separates out the wheat from the chaff, the talented from the inept, the intelligent from the dumb-fucks. It's really a great way to decide who gets certified and who doesn't.
According the USAT the problem is being worked on. I'm sure it is.You work on it, USAT. You work on continuing to find a way to monopolize the entire triathlon certification routine so that suckers like me pay your outrageous clinic fee and fly to any part of the country to take your course, just so we can stick a little USA Triathlon Certified Coach emblem on our websites. You work on that.
All right, I'll stop with the sarcasm.
The whole experience really made me think, though. First, it really did make me realize that USA Triathlon has the monopoly on certification at this point. But why? You attend for one weekend and pass a test, and shabang! You can brag you are a certified coach. This is rather ridiculous if you think about it. A weekend? A 100 question multiple choice test? Shouldn't a future coach be required to do something a bit more comprehensive before she gets "certified"? Isn't it kind of bullshit to separate those who are qualified from those who are not by their attendance (or not) at a $525 weekend workshop? (yes.)
So, after having the door slammed in my face yesterday I decided to see if there are other triathlon coaching certification programs. And you know what? There are. And you know what? They are way more comprehensive than that of USAT. And you know what? I don't have to leave my house in order to get certified--I can actually take sixteen weeks of courses and then take a test to get certified, without having to fly anywhere.
I have decided to view the USAT certification as a designer label. Does having acquired the label make me a better coach? No. Does actually investing serious time and energy into the study of triathlon coaching make me a better coach? Yes, likely--even if I don't get the designer label as a result. The frustrating thing is that we get caught up in these labels--you know? For example--to site one from our field--it's not good enough to do a race that is 140.6. People want to do IRONMAN. They want the M-Dot. The label. The symbol. It's dumb. This from the girl who has a modified M-Dot tattooed on her ankle...
So, in short, I'm probably NOT going to get certified by USAT any time soon. Maybe not ever. I will get certified by the I.T.C.A , however, which offers a 16 week course that covers a huge amount of ground--far more ground than can be covered in any weekend clinic. And when and if I am ever asked by a potential client why I am not certified by USAT I will simply say that I chose to be certified by an organization that provided me a more comprehensive learning experience than that offered by USAT. And that would be the truth.
And if you are thinking about becoming a coach, I suggest you do the same.