As we edge toward the holidays, Kelli and I would like to thank every Purple Patch athlete for our trust in our guidance and coaching, as well as wishing you the best holiday period and a Happy New Year. As we will remind you in the early part of next year, New Year, Same You. We will build on your assets and go and create a wonderful 2022 of performance. We would also like to thank our team. Team Purple Patch. Without doubt, we have our best team we have ever had, all united in the purpose and mission, with a massive collective passion to develop Purple Patch and support athletes with the best coaching and programming possible. It is not easy, and we are ambitious as we are creative in building methods to connect and coach, but it is rewarding and worth it. Thank you to everyone.
With this, it feels a timely opportunity for me to share my observations and lessons from 2021. A performance view specific for the Purple Patch crew. I focused around three main topics for this, and many of the lessons come out of a transition from lock-down back toward some version of normal:
The Importance of Human Connection and Coaching. I remember Kelli sitting in a bike class I was coaching, more than ten years ago, and proclaiming what the benefits and value would be if we could work out live streaming. It was barely possible at the time, then along came Peloton, Zoom and other technology. We made the plunge, not to compete with Peloton, but to enhance remote coaching. As we end the year, I can say with certainty that the benefits are real. It is a small example of the connection most of us feel is powerful, after a year or reduced human interaction. We are human-beings, and thrive from real connection, whether in-person or online. This year has been magical to see the direct performance bike and posture improvements from those who leaned into the coaching - I can see the evolution. Yes, that’s you Marlow, Meredith, Erik P, Rob C and more. It is scary that I cannot bring myself to do strength without Coach Mike guiding me. Sharing the journey with folks is powerful and performance enhancing, and we encourage all to dive in.
Embracing the Soul-Filling is valuable. It is not new for us to promote embracing the easy sessions being really easy, but in the last year or so we shifted some wording that helped many evolve their relationship with the easier training. We labeled it ‘soul filling’. Simple and accessible, but somehow powerful. I made this phrase up in the midst of the pandemic to position sessions with a role to allow freedom, joy and a de-stressing effort, all the while holding high value in tissue resilience and global endurance. It might feel basic to promote this as a performance lesson, but it is the tiny example of a bigger lesson. Holding the sport in perspective of a greater life makes it more fun and a greater yield. More than ever before, I observe athletes embrace a really healthy lens on performance. Yes, we love great results, but we also chase improved health, energy and lessons that allow us to show up in life the best versions of ourselves possible. I - and the whole team - have observed this more than ever, and it is a good thing. Bravo team, keep it up. I see it as the heartbeat of the Purple Patch mindset and way.
The characteristics of athletics extend to life. Stress was the word of 2020, not just arising from some natural fear of an emerging pandemic, but from the massive amount of change that almost everyone had to navigate. Our worlds collided, and rhythms, life structure and social connections all evolved almost overnight. The best equipped to manage this, roll with the punches and emerge stronger? Athletes. The reason, I believe, is that the central assets of embracing the athletic journey were the very ones we needed to navigate the situation. Two of these bubble to the top; resilience and adaptability. As Purple Patch athletes progressed to 2021, and we began to open toward a version of normal, it was powerful to see many folk double-down and rely on these lessons and traits. I spent some time reviewing the list of many athlete race reports yesterday, and there were so many references that portrayed applied lessons of performance characteristics to overcome obstacles and adversity. It is one thing to go through an experience, but quite another to draw lessons and grow from it. I have been proud to see so many Purple Patch athletes do just that.
Yes, I could talk about the power of strength, the value of the run consistency project so many have embraced, and many more things, but the three lessons above are powerful. They are also lessons to continue on into next year. Good things lie ahead.