Benaiah interviewed me as part of his class project. Benaiah's dad, Dave, and I go way back to when we first started rock climbing together while living in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Benaiah wrote a great summary of his interview with me. It is amazing how wise he sounds when it comes to coaching and running.
Let me remind you that I’m only eight years old. Even though I know what I want to do, there is only so much I can do right now. That was my first question for Carrie. She said I should do lots of different sports while I’m young, because “running is very repetitive”. She said I need to “develop other muscles that help you stay injury free” and “build balanced muscles and joints”. That’s not a problem for me, because some of my favorite activities include swimming, basketball, mountain biking, hiking, indoor rock climbing, and martial arts.
Playing sports and watching running videos is easy for me, so I also asked Carrie, "What personality qualities do good running coaches have?" She said I should be “outgoing, friendly, tough at times, and empathetic”. She even went further into detail and listed other character qualities to be a running coach. They included being a good communicator, dependable, a good listener, and a good observer. I’m good at most of that, especially the friendly part, but I’m still just a kid. I need to make sure I continue to work on them as I grow older. I need to do my best to be an all around awesome guy.
I need to make a plan to go from a booty-kicking runner to a running coach. For starters I need to pay attention to my coaches now. I really like Crystal and Marcus Faudi, the coaches for the Chattanooga Patriots homeschool team that I run for, so that’s not a problem. For now, I'm going to keep getting better as a runner.
I was actually scared a little that becoming a running coach would take away my love of running. Carrie told me that coaching "actually helps me as a runner because I can see running through the eyes of different athletes.” That makes me feel better, because I don’t ever want to lose my love for running. I think it’s pretty cool that not only will I still love running, but I’ll also be a better runner.
Beyond that, I need to start thinking about more education. At some point I will have to start thinking about college and more. There are tons of classes, programs, degrees, and certificates I can do to learn more and get a job easier. I can even become a doctor like my dad. I can get a degree so high that people would even have to call me Dr. Benaiah. I think that would be pretty cool.
I’m still young, and I have a long way to go. Carrie has helped me a lot, and I have a clear path to follow. It’s not just for me though. This is good advice for anyone who wants to be any kind of coach, not just a running coach.