On the day I “interviewed” at The Running Gym we did strength/range of motion testing and Coach R forwarded the “Getting to Know You” conversation thusly:
Coach R: So what part of China are you from?
Me [Internal]: Ummm… Why ya gotta ask me these hard questions, R? It’s my FIRST DAY.
[Out Loud]: I dunno. Our blood is Chinese but we’re actually from Malaysia and Singapore. Why? You ever been to China?
Answer: Yes, Coach R has been to China. He was there for the Olympics (Beijing ’08).
Coach R is not used to helping people like me.
But he chose to do it anyway.
However, the fact that Coach R’s professional expertise has already been recognized at a very high level presents a problem – I style myself as a skilled provider of personal branding and career building collateral – the fact that he’s already been to the Olympics narrows my sphere of influence drastically.
I used to do resumes and interview prep for friends all the time in my Old Life. I don’t really remember how it happened – I think I picked it up in B School and as an interviewer at an old job and for the Career Services department at Georgetown. This part of my brain made it through unscathed. In fact, my skills might even be stronger now that my social filter is compromised.
Anyway, since Coach R has already reached a certain point in his career he is not giving me much room to work with over here. And I like to feel useful. So I do what I can.
A couple weeks ago we celebrated RAD – Coach R Appreciation Day. It was the work of months. Remember when I told you about my idea for a Coach R TV show? I pitched it to him via email and he told me later with eyes wide, That was SO detailed.
I’m like, Oh, R, you have NO IDEA (pointing to my head) how all this works.
Although he is very accomplished and all I have noted several areas of growth for him over the past year+. E.g. Coach R’s knowledge of doughnuts is sadly lacking. He is also not very good at pretending to have mobility impairments.
So I decided to help him learn to use his imagination more. I waited until he was away training some athletes in another country and I roped the crew at The Running Gym into helping me take pictures etc. for RRN Episode 1 – this is the pilot presentation of Coach R’s Neighborhood.
I think the whole thing is a complete riot. But then again, it’s like this blog – of course I think it’s funny because I wrote it. But I did get Coach R to LOL which is a major win in my book, and when Mrs. Coach R viewed it that morning (prior to RAD, via email) she enjoyed it thoroughly, too.
My CRFC (Coach R Fan Club) focus group gave me some feedback, which was very helpful – but the best part of the CRFC was informing Coach R of its existence (because I take somewhat of a naughty delight in making him cringe). He had NO IDEA what I was planning when I asked him to be a regular character on my blog a couple weeks after we met. All of my peeps have growing fan bases – that’s been my goal all along. I also made this video bc, as I explained to Coach R later, I need to throw your fan club a bone at some point.
Side Note: Fandom begins at home. Example 1: I took a series of pics of Trainer D one morning. I sat in the leg press cage thing and snapped away while telling him laughter-inducing stories. I emailed a bunch to Smurfette and she was tickled pink bc I was feeding her scrap booking addiction. “Smurfette loved them,” I informed him smugly. “You’re welcome.” Example 2: Ed Blueberry is the President of the Mommy Fan Club. He didn’t want to let Tanpo in bc he’d probably want to preside, but Mommy says marriage trumps membership so I think Tanpo is all set.
I’ll share RRN Episode 1 with you tomorrow, and then I’ll leave you alone on the video thing for a while. I’m just giving you the background information in this post. The first 2.5 minutes are RRN Episode 1 and then it morphs into my Thank You video. BTW, I appreciate your kind responses to my Thank You vid so much. I am going to be a slow responder, but let me just say, HUGs.
After we both finished traveling we finally had RAD at the end of April. My tech friends were in charge of snacks. Aren’t these popcorn boxes cute?
In my world you learn to celebrate as a means of survival. I always need to be celebrating something. And Coach R was an easy target – this year is his 20th year of service at The Running Gym. I’m glad the occasion presented itself so conveniently for me but I had another Trainer check the system to verify R’s start date bc really?! I’m pretty sure they had to bend some child labor laws to let him start working if he’s already passing the 20 year mark.
The thing is that Coach R doesn’t relish being celebrated. It’s like me – I love celebrating stuff as long as it’s not me. So I targeted him. Heh heh. I informed the staff that he was a flight risk. “I’m pretty scrappy,” I explained, “but he’s stronger and faster than I am” – so they knew to be on the lookout in case they needed to “intervene.”
I informed Coach R himself 5 minutes beforehand and I said, R, this is gonna be like the time you took your children to see The Wiggles: I need you to Man Up and take one for the team.