Yesterday, my husband/coach was reading LetsRun.com a popular running website…And he came rushing to find me to read me their quote of the day:

“It’s funny, you mention that everyone understood why I redshirted. I was in Eugene and I went into the Glenwood restaurant, and there was these four older men. I don’t know if they were officials or just fans. And I put my name in for a table and was in the waiting area and I overheard these men talking about the women who were racing, and say, “Oh Simpson, blah blah, oh Kipp, blah blah blah,” and then I hear my name and they go “Coburn, she was so hellbent on making the team that she redshirted everything.” And they said it in such a condescending way, it pissed me off.

Of course I was hellbent on making the team. Isn’t everyone hellbent on making the team? Isn’t it why we train? Isn’t it everyone’s dream? These four men who I know didn’t mean it in a hurtful way, they really got me fired up. Yeah, I redshirted, but it’s for Olympics. It’s one year. This is a big deal. Anyway, I had a little bit of fire under me over the Trials because of that one little comment, and I couldn’t let it go. But I’m happy with the decision to redshirt. It paid off, and I think people who are close to me or are really involved in the sport understand and respect my decision. [Pauses] Four guys really bothered me, and I had that quote in my mind for so long, and once I made the team I felt a little vindicated. – Emma Coburn – Olympic Trials 2012 Steeple Champion

I started laughing when Tim read this to me, because it so closely describes a similar personality type in myself & Jackie. “Hellbent” according to Webster’s dictionary means, “Stubbornly and often recklessly determined on intent,”

What a perfect description of myself, and I’m sure Jackie would agree of her as well. Yes, we are hell-bent. Yes, I am hell-bent on trying to be the best runner I can be. Some people ask why do you want to qualify and train for the Olympic trials or world class races? Why??? What do you get out of it? You don’t get much money out of it, if anything you spend much more money traveling the US to big races to find top competition. That comes back to the question, “Why do you want to train to this level?” Why, you ask, because I feel the inner hell-bent urge to be the best I can be and, that urge isn’t satisfied yet.

Often me and Jackie say this phrase, “Am I crazy?” , “Are we crazy for doing this?” Most of the time we convince ourselves and each other, that no, we aren’t crazy… this is normal right??? Yes, this is normal to wake up early and run 10-15 miles. Yes, this is normal to run off into the bushes mid run and pee. Yes, its normal to be taped up, bruised up, and blistered up. Yes, it’s normal to consume so many calories and have a grocery cart so loaded I can barely push it. Yes, it’s normal to blast out a long hard workout for hours on end at a track, week in week out in snow, wind, rain, and 100 degree weather… Ok, maybe it’s not normal, but it’s normal to us who are trying to push our bodies to extraordinary lengths and be elite runners. It’s normal to us, because it’s our life. It to others may look at hell-bent as crazy and nuts. But to us, it’s just us. Just us working everyday jobs, hanging out with our family & friends, and running tons. To us, that is pure happiness and running big is our dream that we are hell-bent on chasing.

Sincerely Hellbent Runnababe,


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