A Letter of Thanks…

by Cassie Reilly-Boccia

So many of us ask each other what we’re thankful for around this time of year. As I sit and reflect upon all I have to be grateful for, I can’t help but find my mind circling back to our family of athletes at AW. With this being on my mind, I felt compelled to write a thank you note to our community who has meant so much to us over these last few years. So, without further ado…

Dear AW family,

Thank you for taking a chance on a warehouse in the middle of Pleasantville. Thank you for being willing to learn about the importance of strength and conditioning opposed to just accepting the previously established norms of training young athletes. There is a paralyzing amount of information on the internet that can lead to confusion beyond measure as to what the right thing to do in training is. Don’t for a second think that we don’t understand the enormity of you entrusting us with your dreams. It has become the greatest reward to watch you succeed in all that you do. Your success is our success and as Randy Pausch once said, “Sometimes, the, ‘Enabling the dreams of others’ thing is even more fun.” (If you haven’t read his book, The Last Lecture yet, I highly recommend it.) As each coach is a former collegiate athlete, we all couldn’t agree more and we would have never had a chance to experience this awesome feeling had you not handed over part of your dream to us when you first walked in the door.

Thank you for your appreciation. You have no idea how much a handshake at the end of a session or a simple, ‘Thanks for everything, coach’ means to us. Strength and conditioning is hard. Instead of resenting what is prescribed by your coach, you instead see the value and intent behind each exercise. Putting your body through physical discomfort in the short term in order to achieve a dream far off in the long term is the ultimate definition of delayed gratification. Seeing how you all appreciate and embrace ‘the suck’ of a workout during these fall and winter months shows a great deal of emotion and psychological maturity. Traits that will undoubtedly serve you well in all of your future endeavors.

Lastly, thank you for giving the effort you do on a daily basis. Your continuous fight when the weight gets heavy, push when your breath becomes short, and passion to achieve a level of greatness higher than the one you are currently at inspires us as coaches each and every day. It is because of your tenacity and grit that we are driven to work harder ourselves and aspire to become better coaches, mentors, teachers, athletes, and people. It is because of you that we go to sleep thinking about the program that will best suit you the next day. It is because of you that we wake up in the morning fired up at the opportunity to work with you. Lastly, it is because of you that we possess the most vital trait to leading a happy and fulfilled life: purpose. Thank you for giving us our purpose, defining our why, and making this the best ‘job’ any of us could have ever asked for. From our family to yours, we hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!

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