Over the years I have worked with many athletes of varying levels and have learned many things about training, people, communication and friendship. When I first began coaching I was excited to help people not only meet their goals, but meet them more quickly than they imagined and even exceed many of the ones they set for themselves. The last thing that I had consider was the friendships that grow from the time on the phone as well as riding together. Not until recently had it really become more of a reality when one of the athletes that I worked with several years ago passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at 48. This shook me to a point that I have not been to in a long time. This made me realize several things. First, how much my athletes (current and former) mean to me but also the fact that this relationship is very important for great success. In American society we tend to be very closed in and it takes us a very long time to open up to someone. As a coach the people who I have seen be the most successful in their training are not always the ones with the most time to train but are the ones that see the most improvement are the ones who are willing to open up and communicate the things that are often hard to verbalize. We don’t often realize, or want to admit, the fact that whether at work, at home or on the bike our stresses and strains are not often localized and every aspect of our life affects our performance.