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Mary Cain's courageous op-ed (Read 269 times)

flyrunnr


    Mary was a child when all this ramped up.... ... have some compassion and empathy for someone who got ensnared in a shitty system and consider that is is not their fault.

     

    NO ONE DESERVES TO BE ABUSED OR MANIPULATED.  NO ONE.

     

    signed,

    an abusive relationship and rape survivor

     

    I wish RA had a “love this post” feature. Very powerfully said, you are a thriver. Kudos.

    https://www.strava.com/athletes/2507437

    PR's - 5K - 17:57 (2017) | 10K - 38:06 (2016)  | 13.1 1:26:36 (2017)  | 26.2  2:58:46 (2017)

    2020 Goals - Sub-2:55 Marathon                       Up Next: US Club Nationals, Boston '20, Broad Street Run

     

    flyrunnr


      There is nothing to admire about Alberto and NOP, they were a “win at any cost” type of organization. It’s easy to form an opinion about something or someone based on limited information, basically what you saw in the media. I’ve got a friend that worked for Alberto with several of his athletes as a massage therapist. I told him him Alberto appeared to be a well-regimented and demanding coach (overachiever type) that expected high levels of performance from his athletes, putting them through grueling workouts within minutes after finishing impressive race performances.

       

      He told me I was an idiot, and that Alberto was a more like a mentally deranged narcissist akin to Hitler and proceeded to elaborate why based on actual interactions with him. Funny how quickly and strongly your opinion changes based upon getting first hand information from a trusted source. It really comes down to reality vs. perception of reality.

      https://www.strava.com/athletes/2507437

      PR's - 5K - 17:57 (2017) | 10K - 38:06 (2016)  | 13.1 1:26:36 (2017)  | 26.2  2:58:46 (2017)

      2020 Goals - Sub-2:55 Marathon                       Up Next: US Club Nationals, Boston '20, Broad Street Run

       

      CanadianMeg


      Cirque du Sore Legs 2019

        Is it fair to say that the sport simply needs fewer absolutely terrible human beings? (Ok, that’s oversimplified - as stated above, most sports are fucked up. We need systems that don’t reward horrible people/behaviors)

         

        It also seems to me that the concepts like not starving your athletes and - as Stacy sims says - “women are not small men” should be graspable by non-horrible people of any sex or gender identity.

         

        Well said.

        And the world needs fewer terrible human beings being rewarded for the win at all costs way..

        "Don't feel like running today...suck it up and run ...you're an athlete." (John Stanton, founder & owner of The Running Room)

         

        Half Fanatic #9292. 20 Half Marathons and Counting... :)

          I see there is a growing "Me Too" movement in the elite running community. The coach's body shaming of people, mainly women, who are elite runners seems uneducated. They are already training and eating at elite levels, THIS is the body that individual is going to GET. And people are different, some are smaller framed, others larger. Trying to get a large frame person to "look" like a small frame person is just not going to work. As in Cain's case, it resulted in weaker bones. She would have performed better and stayed healthy had weight and body size not been a "goal".

           

          YES, there is a correlation in bodies of elite runners, world class distance runners are generally short and skinny (see article about height of men 10k runners who are faster than 27:00). And for midpack runners, weight loss = performance gain; to a point. Once weight loss for that individual (all people are different) reaches a point where they are weak, fatigued, and prone to injuries, it's counter-productive. At the elite level, it would be madness for a coach to try to get an athlete to lose much weight if they are already performing at a high level (and it's not some recent weight gain).

          55-59 age group  -  University of Oregon alumni  -  Irreverent and Annoying

          Seattle prattle


            The situation is certainly at a low, and a mean, reprehensible, regrettable one at that. My question is how do you ever change it, knowing full well that elite sports create the perfect vehicle for extremes, abuse, manipulation, secrecy, and on and on. And our culture laps up the gravy and bestows the winners with all the adoration and recognition in the world.

            I saw one good suggestion on Let's Run messageboard in a discussion called Mary Cain hot take, and poster suggested that "Maybe the solution is age restrictions? No one can turn pro in athletics until 1 year of college(I think nfl and nba to that)or have a minor league like MLB."

            Think about it. I fully believe that poster (Hayduke) is on to something. Okay, the shaming and pressure is wrong, but it is even worse when the age card comes into the mix. Honestly, why haven't we done that yet?


            From the Internet.

              The situation is certainly at a low, and a mean, reprehensible, regrettable one at that. My question is how do you ever change it, knowing full well that elite sports create the perfect vehicle for extremes, abuse, manipulation, secrecy, and on and on. And our culture laps up the gravy and bestows the winners with all the adoration and recognition in the world.

              I saw one good suggestion on Let's Run messageboard in a discussion called Mary Cain hot take, and poster suggested that "Maybe the solution is age restrictions? No one can turn pro in athletics until 1 year of college(I think nfl and nba to that)or have a minor league like MLB."

              Think about it. I fully believe that poster (Hayduke) is on to something. Okay, the shaming and pressure is wrong, but it is even worse when the age card comes into the mix. Honestly, why haven't we done that yet?

               

              That's an interesting way to approach it - I've had a hard time formulating my thoughts on some of these things because I entered the sport as a fully-grown adult with no ambitions or expectations; it seems wild to me that so much rides on kids/young adults pushing themselves to the brink 3 seasons a year during their formative years. A slower long-term approach to developing athletes might be a more successful way to deepen our talent pool and bring out the best in our most promising athletes.

               

              I don't think calling for more women in coaching/leadership positions is sexist at all. The percentages are insane right now - a quick google brought up this article, citing 10 women vs 83 men in head T&F coaching positions at D1 schools in 2017-18, and 17 vs 86 men in head XC coaching positions. It's not a matter of "nurturing" and shit like that, it's just bringing a different perspective to the table, and also being more qualified to address things like menstrual cycle impact on performance and competing well while maintaining a healthy body fat %/body composition.

                 

                Fundamental disconnect between doing something of your own volition versus being pressured and manipulated without knowing it until it's too late.  Most people do not CHOOSE to enter into an abusive relationship.  You are projecting what you THINK you would do in a similar situation, but you just don't know.  I was a straight A, driven student who got into the best architecture school in the country and always scoffed at those videos in health class about unhealthy relationships...that would never be me!  Well...it was, and I didn't choose it.

                 

                And yeah, I wanted to kill myself.

                 

                So there's that. You don't deserve any well thought out response, but I hope that in posting this, people who are compassionate and open-minded may gain a better understanding of what is wrong with the system that ruined Mary Cain.

                 

                omg this

                darkwave


                Mother of Cats

                   

                  I don't think calling for more women in coaching/leadership positions is sexist at all. The percentages are insane right now - a quick google brought up this article, citing 10 women vs 83 men in head T&F coaching positions at D1 schools in 2017-18, and 17 vs 86 men in head XC coaching positions. It's not a matter of "nurturing" and shit like that, it's just bringing a different perspective to the table, and also being more qualified to address things like menstrual cycle impact on performance and competing well while maintaining a healthy body fat %/body composition.

                  I agree with your point that you can argue for having more women in coaching/leadership without being sexist.

                   

                  However, Cain's statement was

                   

                  Secondly, we need more women in power. Part of me wonders if I had worked with more female psychologists, nutritionists and even coaches, where I’d be today. I got caught in a system designed by and for men which destroys the bodies of young girls. Rather than force young girls to fend for themselves, we have to protect them.

                   

                  It was her statement, her argument that she would have been protected if more women were in power, that I found sexist.

                  Everyone's gotta running blog; I'm the only one with a POOL-RUNNING blog.

                   

                  And...if you want a running Instagram where all the pictures are of cats, I've got you covered.


                  From the Internet.

                    I agree with your point that you can argue for having more women in coaching/leadership without being sexist.

                     

                    However, Cain's statement was

                     

                    Secondly, we need more women in power. Part of me wonders if I had worked with more female psychologists, nutritionists and even coaches, where I’d be today. I got caught in a system designed by and for men which destroys the bodies of young girls. Rather than force young girls to fend for themselves, we have to protect them.

                     

                    It was her statement, her argument that she would have been protected if more women were in power, that I found sexist.

                     

                    Ahhh gotcha. I misinterpreted your first post - I can totally agree there. Grew up an equestrian as well and have seen plenty of toxic behavior/attitudes from women and men.

                    flyrunnr


                      I like Mary Cain, always did. I would love to see her overcome all that has been done to her, and find her love for running and competing again. As Frank Sinatra said, "The best revenge is massive success." That could be a medal in the Olympics or at Worlds under a new coach, or whatever.

                      https://www.strava.com/athletes/2507437

                      PR's - 5K - 17:57 (2017) | 10K - 38:06 (2016)  | 13.1 1:26:36 (2017)  | 26.2  2:58:46 (2017)

                      2020 Goals - Sub-2:55 Marathon                       Up Next: US Club Nationals, Boston '20, Broad Street Run

                       

                         

                         

                        It was her statement, her argument that she would have been protected if more women were in power, that I found sexist.

                         

                        Not really all that sexist, because I think she meant "people who have a shared experience and background" and can relate to issues that face other female athletes, or more importantly females in general.

                         

                        But that's kind of digging a hole, because that infers that men cannot coach women effectively, and women cannot coach men effectively. Those are blanket statements, and obviously doesn't cover everyone (like the blankets on OUR bed, which always seem to end up on my life accomplice's side of the bed in the middle of the night...)

                         

                        Performance isn't the only standard good coaches are judged by, the mental health and well-being of their athletes weighs large, too.

                        55-59 age group  -  University of Oregon alumni  -  Irreverent and Annoying

                          It's not sexist at all to suggest that more diverse management teams are more innovative and less prone to creating abusive, toxic working environments. It's actually a fact.

                          Runners run.


                          runktrun

                            I think some of us inferred from her statement and the ensuing discussion that women would be more effective because they are "softer" etc, which yeah, can seem sexist.

                            Not running for my health, but in spite of it.

                            Nimmals


                              Mary Cain made a bad decision and continued to make bad decisions by staying in the program and not telling her parents sooner. Then she still tried to get back into the program when many people offered to help her. Is she a victim very likely with a bit of Stockholm syndrome too considering she very recently tried to get back into the program before it got shut down. Now the program is gone I guess the stockholdm syndrome hold was broken.  Any runner who skips school is a pulling a pin and juggling a grenade including Alison Felix. Go to school do your apprenticeship hone your craft, widen your experience.

                               

                              People end up that way blaming everyone but themselves. Does Nike share blame yes, but not entirely there are a cast of other people that stood by and watch this happen. She should blame her parents for their lack of foresight, her dad's a doctor he could have been more involved reviewing her medical information her mom could have accompanied her live with there part time. Umm she went pro as a child you don't just turn your child over to the Agoge anymore and walk away. I'm sorry but me, my child you have to give me a job move my family across country so she has a support network. Sydney McLaughlin did it. As long as the salary is right get me a job as the janitor in Nike HQ so I can be there to support and maintain a relationship with my daughter/Child. Because if its worth it to have her in the program, its worth it to ensure she has some normalcy.NEw balance didnt put Sydney in some secret program they got her a collegiate coach who was also a woman so sh can guide her because she was still a young woman with only one year of college.

                               

                              I remember watching Touhy parent say they will never let her do what Mary Cain did and that was 3 years ago before all of this broke. I had a tremendous love for Mary was excited she was a NY product like Nicole Blood and Samantha and so many others. But what Mary did with her parent permission was poor decision making. She could have joined so many great college programs and still made the Olympics hate to reference Sydney here again, (In high school nonetheless).

                               

                              Mary cain was in high form (before Salazar) kicking serious adult butt. There is another thing that didn't come out when she was being amazing and running those fast times she was not being coached by Salazar . It was by John Henwood of Henwood Hounds. That tells you she didn't need Nike. One more thing and its a phenomenon I have studied and read widely and its called the curse of puberty. Many of the girls who lead races in sophmore years, never win in senior year and college due to biological changes. The only woman who won in both high school, college and adult national titles was Suzy Favor Hamilton and we all knew what it did to her mentally and she hacked off her breast to save a few pounds, in her memoir she says they made her uncomfortable because all men stared and it was the first thing she felt anyone saw.. These women put themselves under tremendous pressure both mentally and physically we have to change the way the whole system works. We have a habit of being Silo-ed instead of sharing when it comes to athletic performances or breakthroughs

                               

                              Mary was at first slim lean and fast and I noticed she started to full out become a woman and the way Nike handled it was disgusting but I remember meeting Marielle Hall and she has a body more akin to a 400m runner but she still gets that beautiful body around the track she still top 5 American 5k/10k threat. So Mary just needed to be stronger and that growth and strength would have occurred in a 4 year D1 program. Look at Jordan another HS Phenom never won an outdoor XC title despite winning two in HS. Sara Reid from Villanova was a #3 on her Canadian HS team and she came to the US won two collegiate titles.

                               

                              What happen to Mary is a shame and should not have happen but what do you expect they let a little girl go into a world where men don't understand the biological changes that women undergo. Its a learning lesson and its a mistake I hope we never see repeated. Sydney didnt make that mistake so this doesn't have to happen again.

                               

                              I coach mostly women and I'm always encouraging them to use Garmin to track their periods so we can optimize their training.

                              We also send them articles on findings and trends and encourage them to read books like Roar and get the FitrWoman app. The more you know the better your success.

                              Half Crazy K 2.0


                                More proof kids sports are fucked up. I'm guessing if you are LeBron James, you have far more ability to tell a coach my kid isn't doing this than someone who is not a professional athlete.

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