Want more from HillRunner.com?
Club HillRunner.com members have access to videos, the SuperCalc, and more - all ad free!
Another honor for Coach Conway
by on Thursday, May 14, 2015  (11 comments)

Image
Coach Conway - inspiration, role model, mentor - working the finish line, one of the many jobs a high school coach fills

A personal post this week. As anyone who knows me as a runner knows, my middle school track and high school cross country coach has been a huge influence on my life. To be honest, he has been inside and outside of running.

To explain what Coach Conway has meant to me would take far more words than anyone wants to read in a blog post. To try to keep it short, I highly doubt I would have found my way to distance running without him and it's no secret how big a part of my life running is. He has done much more for me, though. He taught me to be confident in myself, to be proud of what I've accomplished while remaining humble. He's been an amazing role model on many levels, from the way he freely shares his incredible wealth of knowledge to his work ethic and desire to excel personally as well as be as helpful to as many others as possible.

Coach Conway's accomplishments have rightfully garnered him many honors. As an athlete, he's a member of the Indianhead Track Club Hall of Fame and the USATF Masters Hall of Fame (class of 2007). As a coach, he's a member of the Wisconsin Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame (class of 1998). I had the extreme honor of being his invited guest to the induction ceremony for the Wisconsin Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame. I couldn't have been more proud to sit there next to him as he was granted that honor, not just for coaching state champion athletes but also for coaching runners like me to be the best runners - and people - we can be.

Well, I just found out that Coach Conway is being inducted into another hall of fame. While he would likely never admit it, a lot of people who know him would agree with me that he can't win enough of these honors. He deserves all he gets and many more.

Since hearing this news, I've been thinking about Coach Conway a lot again. How much he means to me and my life but also how many others out there have had their lives forever shaped in wonderful ways by his guidance. Coach Conway is the reason I started HillRunner.com, the reason I decided to take up coaching and the reason I do everything here. He gave me so much, in so many ways, through running that I wanted to do something to give a little back. I wanted to pay it forward in any way I could. If I can help even one person even half as much as he has helped me, I know I'll have made this world a better place.

In the meantime, congratulations to Coach Conway! I couldn't ask for a better inspiration, role model and mentor.

Quote this postQuote
Share: Share this page on Facebook Share this page on Twitter Share this page on Twitter
11 comments
cesar

Great words Ryan!! I can see that those words are from the bottom of your heart!

Quote this commentQuote
Diane

What a gift he is to those he coached and those of us who have benefited in the periphery! I'm so happy to hear that he impacted your life in such a wonderful way. Many people go through life without ever experiencing such a great mentor. So glad you are paying it forward!

Quote this commentQuote
Ryan

Thanks Cesar. I'm glad to hear that my words did get that feeling across. I was trying to express all he has meant to myself and surely many others. It is so hard, though, to find the words to express that. Especially when you're writing on a tight timeline because you want this to be posted while it is still timely.

Diane, he has been a wonderful gift to so many, even many who he has never met. His reach is incredibly broad and deep. I'm just so glad that, in that small town in rural northwest Wisconsin where you might think it could be hard to find such a mentor, I had one right there. He truly has changed the course of my life and I hope that I can pass on some of his wisdom to more people. Since the beginning, this has been a big part of all that HillRunner.com has been about.

Quote this commentQuote
cesar

I would like to read how He influenced your life outside of running :)

Quote this commentQuote
cesar

I would like to read how He influenced your life outside of running :)

Quote this commentQuote
Ryan

Well, I'm sure I'll write about him again but the big thing is he taught me to be confident in myself and proud of who I am. I'm still very much an introvert but I was extremely shy when I began high school. I would go out of my way to avoid attention and I froze if attention was placed on me. In large part with his help, I opened up a lot, which has influenced every part of my life I can think of.

Quote this commentQuote
cesar

Yeah! its important to open up, I am in the process, I am used to be very shy before, but I am improving on that!

Quote this commentQuote
cesar

Out of curiosity, the guy running in the photo is you?

Quote this commentQuote
Ryan

That's me. 20 years ago this August. Coach is trying to hand me a place card at the finish of what we called the Magna Cruiser meet, a low key tune-up race for the high school team. I'm following his guidance and running through the finish line, even though there's nobody near me. Two days later, I was reporting to my first day of practice as a freshman runner at UW-Stout.

Quote this commentQuote
cesar

You have not gotten older!! what is the fountain of youth?¡¡¡

Quote this commentQuote
Ryan

Well, it's hard to judge a guy's age by his back. You aren't comparing pimple faced 18 year old to slightly wrinkling 38 year old. ;)

Quote this commentQuote
Post a comment as a guest:
Note: Guest posts are moderated. Your post will not appear immediately.
Your name:
Your email (will not be displayed):
Bold ([b]text[/b]) Italics ([i]text[/i]) Underline ([u]text[/u]) Center ([center]text[/center]) Quote ([quote]text[/quote]) Insert image ([img]URL[/img]) Insert link ([url]address[/url] OR [url=address]text[/url])





Share: Share this page on Facebook Share this page on Twitter Share this page on Twitter Follow: Follow HillRunner.com on Facebook Follow HillRunner.com on Twitter Follow HillRunner.com on Google+