About two years ago, my daughter Abbie was ready to give up running for good. After spending two years in a very negative environment at her high school, she was all but finished with a sport she had learned to love. The coaching environment was toxic; athletes were used and discarded as if they were pieces in a game where the only goal was to win. With her confidence nearly broken by this ruthless system, Abbie decided that running just wasn’t for her anymore.
However, things changed when we found out about Coach GP through a trainer at a gym that Abbie went to. She had expressed her exasperation about her high school coaching to the trainer, and he, in turn, mentioned a man that he had met while working out at his local track.
It was a rainy day when we pulled up to GP’s house. I could tell Abbie was wary of the situation, there was little hope left to be found. After speaking with GP, however, there was a slight difference in Abbie’s attitude. I could definitely detect a change which I now identify as the return of that hope.
Coach GP was one of the best things to ever happen to my daughter in terms of her running career. She came to him as a broken athlete, devoid of the tenacity and fire she had previously possessed. With his help, Abbie moved on from that rainy day in Coach GP’s living room her junior year of high school to run at The College of New Jersey. She learned about the mechanics of running: proper form, cadence, foot strike— instead of being thrown into workouts without any explanation like she was used to. He taught her about proper nutrition and how to take care of her body and avoid injury. He showed her how to train like a professional— which is something that has served her very well when competing in collegiate-level athletics. The camaraderie associated with the other athletes GP trained created networks of friendships that Abbie and I will never forget.
Coach GP helped my daughter to learn to love running again, and for that, my family and I will always be grateful.