This is another first for Sparta Chicks Radio; it’s the first time we’ve had a “supportive dude” on the show!
Michael Scragg is an experienced endurance athlete in his own right.
After breaking his neck in a downhill mountain biking accident in the early 2000s, Michael made the switch to road cycling and ultimately into triathlons.
Since finishing ‘dead last’ in his first Half Ironman, Michael has gone onto finish 9 Ironman triathlons as well as multiple 24-hour mountain bike races and ultra-marathons.
He is also married to 2x #SpartaChicksRadio guest and ultra-endurance athlete, Melissa Urie!
His connections to previous podcast guests don’t end there; he’s also coached by podcast guest Jess Douglas!
Over the last few years, Michael’s racing career has taken a backseat while Mel pursued her ultra-endurance goals, which have included Ultraman races in Australia, Canada and at the World Championships in Hawaii as well as Epic 5 and (up next) Uberman!
So in this episode, Michael and I discuss what it’s like to be on the flip side; how to crew for, live with, support and encourage the endurance athletes in your life.
And this topic isn’t complete also without discussing why it’s important for the athlete in the household to be aware of the impact their sport has on the family (in ways you may not have anticipated).
This is a very different conversation from the ones we’d usually have, but it is I think just as important.
In this episode, Michael and I discuss:
* his history and background in endurance sports,
* how he and Mel met at Ironman New Zealand,
* whether his background in endurance sports can be a hindrance at times,
* what he really thinks when Mel mentions a race she’s been considering,
* his advice for athletes on how to get ‘buy-in’ from their family and for the “support team” on the conversations they need to have, and questions they need to ask, their athletes,
* why it’s important to set some boundaries so your family still feels like you’re part of the family - not just someone who eats and sleeps in the house (I loved the example he gives of Mel’s bedtime rule),
* his best advice for the family and support team on what to do - or not do - the night before or the morning of the athlete’s big race,
* his ‘dos’ and ‘dont’s’ for crewing, especially when it’s somehow you love and care about,
* why it’s important not to take things said in the ‘heat of the moment’ personally, and
* dealing with the aftermath, especially when your athlete and loved one is sad, disappointed or even shattered by the result.
This conversation has insights for both the athlete as well as their family. As Michael says in this conversation, the majority of us are not racing to win, so it’s important to keep things in perspective.
Notes and resources:
Sparta Chicks Radio guests mentioned in this episode: