The ins and outs of love has been a topic of conversation on Dunbar Street recently.

Maybe it is the return of the autumn rains to Vancouver.  Several members have discussed the subject.

I am lucky.  I love my work.  CrossFit is a passion.  Every day I get to see people at their best overcoming challenges, transforming themselves, supporting one another, bringing positive energy into our community. I soak it all up.

When you coach, it is impossible not to fall in love with the athletes you work with.  Each is the hero of his or her own movie.  As coach I get to cheer them on as they struggle through trials and tribulations.  I despair every defeat and rejoice in every victory.  As with every good story arc I watch each character transform like a butterfly emerging resplendent in its new form.

Every person I coach is the champion of his or her own story.  And unlike a mere movie, I get to play a small supporting role!

Love comes easy.

But the flip side of love is heart break.

As much as a coach loves each athlete, the heart is broken with every departure.  As much energy as is poured into coaching, it is impossible not to feel the devastating loss when someone leaves.  And eventually every athlete will depart to carry on their adventure.  Whether they move away, change training or quit without explanation, the heart break is the same every time.
This more than anything is what burns out coaches.  Remember your last break up?  Remember how emotionally raw you felt?  That is what the coach feels with every departure.  You are left staring in the mirror asking yourself: Why you do this? Do I have the wherewithal to continue knowing that my heart will be broken again.

But we do go on, don’t we?  Because that is what life is about.

Every love story ends in tragedy.  Really.  You know the lines: “Until death do us part.”  Well, death is inevitable.  It waits at the end of every romance.  Even the happiest marriages must end when one partner departs this mortal coil.

Depending on how you view it, this could be read as depressing but I don’t see it that way.  If heartbreak is inevitable then there is nothing to fear.  If the outcome is already known then we are free to love fully and it is the temporary nature of our lives that makes these moments sweeter.  So savour them!
We can choose to linger on the heartbreak or pick ourselves up and love again.  There are still people who need to be cheered on and supported.  People looking for a coach to help them on their journey.

Love is a resource that cannot be depleted.  As long as there is a life to be lived, there is love to give.