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But what it can't do is quantify our ever-changing mind-set and emotional state. When he started working with high school football players, Brandon Rager used to think an athlete was dogging it or being soft if he performed poorly on the practice field or had an off day in the weight room. But as he matured as a coach and got to know his players more as people, he started seeing that such dips in performance were frequently tied to some kind of off-field issue. A good coach makes the effort to build in-depth relationships with their athletes and builds up trust so they feel they can share problems and ask for advice when they need it. Enabling athletes to fulfill their athletic potential is certainly important, but helping them to live fuller lives is even more rewarding. There's no app for that! Now let's examine how the role of the coach can go far beyond simply improving physical performance. A truly effective coach doesn't just know his or her sport inside out and know how to create training programs that lead to excellence in it but is also an expert communicator, a psychologist, and an educator. He had no vehicles, a rifle, a frying pan, a pot, a self-built cabin and that's it. He didn't need anything else, and he was totally happy with that. He would walk at times for 20 to 25 miles just discovering what else he could find in the wild. It fascinated him to no end. As Joe Rogan interviewed Glenn on the Joe Rogan Experience, he's perplexed by Glenn's whole idea of living in the wild. Joe straight up asked him, Why is this life so appealing to you? And come on, I gotta ask the same question, too. Why would a man, in this day and age, decide to revert to how people lived before the Industrial Revolution? Glenn responded by saying that he's in true harmony, peace and excitement when he lives in the wild. Back when he lived in a teepee in Vermont, he woke up with a smile on his face every day. Usually these things happen when I am neglecting myself, not taking time for myself, eating poorly, or have not done any exercise in months. Clearly I am ignoring my feelings.

I see it as a symptom that I am not doing what I need to do. At the height of the insanity I'd experience as many as seven facial tics in rapid succession. They began as small twitches near my eyes; This phenomenon continued for years, abating and increasing with tension and stress. I felt I must look like a contortionist. After I separated from my husband and began living alone, all such symptoms disappeared. In the past years, when under stress, I have been aware of some less intense twitching. When I became quite stressed while witnessing my daughter during her divorce proceedings, ending a very abusive marriage to an alcoholic, I noticed my face twitching again. The best coaches don't eschew technology completely but use it discriminately to empower athletes and make them more self-reliant and independent. Thirty Rowers, Eight Seats, One Coach Long before Erin Cafaro became my wife, she was one of my athletes. This gave me the privilege of looking inside her preparations for two Olympics, which was a valuable part of my education. The four-year cycle that Olympians operate within is incredibly grueling. Yes, they do create lasting, lifelong friendships with some teammates. But the competition is fierce and unrelenting. There are thirty rowers competing for eight seats in one boat, so there's bound to be some sniping as each person tries to stake their claim to one of those precious seats. To be honest, I've never witnessed more drama in my entire life, let alone my coaching career. You'd think that the head coach would get pulled into the rivalries, the seesaw relationships, and the tears. He was excited about what was going on out there in the wilderness. He's super fortunate, in his words, and realizes how few people get to have this experience.

This guy is literally trying to survive on a daily basis in the wilderness. No grocery stores, barely any internet, no heating and air conditioning, no plumbing systems. Where would you get water if you didn't have grocery stores, water bottles available or running water in your home? He can't trust that any of these basic amenities will be available. He must kill the food and carry the food to camp and clean the food and cook the food and store the food for later. He not only needs to consider this for himself, but for his wife and three kids that would live with him in the wilderness! Glenn can only trust in himself to make his survival happen, which was a very powerful appeal to him. He considers this to be one of the best aspects of living out in the wilderness in Canada. I think I was thrown into a memory pool and began swimming in my own situation again. For now, I am tic free and hope to keep stress at a manageable level. I don't know what caused my fibromyalgia, but now that I'm in recovery I no longer experience the physical pain or incredible fatigue that I once did. I can now do all kinds of things that I wasn't able to do previously. I can get up, get dressed, and go out; I can drive again, and I'm not depressed. Is my being in recovery helping to diminish the pain of my fibromyalgia? Is one connected to the other? I don't know, but I'm not going to give up my recovery to find out. I believe I am in remission because I now have a voice and no longer accept being bullied, and I no longer doubt myself. But not in the case of this women's eight. Throughout both Olympic cycles, I was amazed by how Coach Tom Terhaar managed to stay above all of that and remain focused on the task at hand: getting his athletes ready and prepared and picking those who would comprise yet another world-beating boat.

He'd come in every day with the same all-business attitude, even when the emotional tension reached fever pitch in the boathouse. His no-nonsense, pragmatic attitude was what held the squad together and enabled him to push the ladies to their limits but not beyond them. It was the most impressive display of team coaching imaginable. Tom reinforced how crucial the attitude and demeanor of a coach is, and the importance of letting athletes figure things out on their own. Tom also had, and probably still has to this day, a skeptical attitude toward technology. Yes, the team did some testing to establish lactate and aerobic thresholds, which allowed him to create tailored training programs. And he encouraged Erin and the others to snap pictures of their Concept2 rowing machine monitors on days that required them to be indoors instead of out on the water. But what he realized was that tech is just one of many interconnected means to an end--it wasn't the focal point of training. He doesn't rely on anything except his own aptitude to survive. With Glenn living in the wilderness, he really only needs to figure out three things: gathering food, maintaining a great shelter and surviving. What do you think he doesn't need to rely on? He doesn't need to trust others to provide him food. He's got that. He doesn't need water filtration companies or sanitation companies to take care of his waste. He's got that. He doesn't need to trust that his 401k will actually do well enough to last him until retirement. Retirement wasn't a thing for Glenn during his time in the wilderness. No matter what happened, it's up to Glenn and that's it. It's like my body was forsaken by my heart and soul and once I began to honor me, my body began coming back to health. When faced with chronic stress and an overactivated autonomic nervous system, people begin to experience physical symptoms.

The first symptoms are relatively mild, like chronic headaches and increased susceptibility to colds. With more exposure to chronic stress, however, more serious health problems may develop. Stress has the ability to worsen many diseases that may be caused by other factors. STRESS AND SERIOUS ILLNESS Today medical researchers certainly recognize the role stress plays as a contributor to cancers. It's believed by many medical professionals that stress weakens the immune system, significantly reducing the body's number of T cells, which are responsible for defending against malignant cancer cells. The T cells in the immune system are the body's only real means of defending itself against cancer cells, and they can only be created during the body's relaxation cycle. Two Women of the Lodge have been challenged by cancer. This was just another lesson in his coaching master class. Tom made sure technology was a valuable tool because it was part of a holistic approach to training that wasn't just about the numbers. First I learned how to use the Concept2 monitor to get instant feedback and to see how certain changes I'd make affected my speed, Erin said. When Tom introduced heart rate monitoring, it was a useful way for him to guide sixty athletes who he didn't get to spend enough time with, and helped me better understand how my pulse corresponded to my perceived effort level. Using fitness technology can become a game to see who can get the highest numbers, but our goal was to become more efficient--to generate the most speed and power while keeping our heart rates low. That said, Tom never used technology for its own sake during Erin's preparation for the Olympics and was quick to abandon methods that didn't prove beneficial. At one point we started using `smart' oars that showed the power curve for each rower's stroke, Erin said. If there was a dip in the curve it was meant to show a disconnection from the oars and identify areas of inefficiency. But when Tom started looking at the numbers, he found that some of the lower-level athletes had the best-looking force charts. The best rower on the team had the worst. No one can take advantage of him because he's taking care of everything himself. The appeal with Glenn Villeneuve is that he fended for himself and determined his own domain.