It wouldn’t be characteristic of me to spend this much time with these athletes and not share something about each of them on this blog. They all sort of gear up for it now, anyway. They know that when they come and hang out in my presence that anything and everything is fair game for content on this blog, unless they specifically tell me that they don’t want something quoted, photographed, or shared in any way…which, if they were the sort of person that cared that much about being private and secretive, they probably wouldn’t be in my presence all that much to begin with.
My first victim on this go-around is going to be Cole Sager.
Whenever Cole’s name comes up around anyone that knows anything about him, it’s always accompanied by something along the lines of, “He seems like such a good guy.”
Well, I almost wouldn’t even say it like that because it sounds too generic and common for a guy who is anything but generic and common. Having said that, he is such a good guy.
I think it was Katrin who put it the best: “Cole is who I would want with me if I were dropped in some deserted area somewhere, and needed to survive for a while without anything.”
Cole has some other incredible qualities like pairing outfit colors and cleaning a kitchen at the end of the day better than a stay at home mother of 4, but Kat’s description is really what makes him different than everyone else.
He is the most comforting sort of caretaker that, if needed, would not just create a bed for you out of leaves and twigs while he slept in the mud. But, if a helicopter came to rescue you and could only take one person, he would hold you up for them, hook you up to their life cord, and wave to you while reciting Bible verses as they whisked you away to safety and he went back to his mud bed to slumber up…even though your bed of leaves and twigs was available for him because he would want to preserve it for the outside chance that you would be back and might need it at some point in the distant future.
Cole is the first one to quietly leave the dinner table at night and start doing the dishes, putting things away, and making sure the counters are wiped clean.
Cole is the one who religiously does as Ben asks and makes his bed every morning before he leaves for the day and makes sure his room is spotless. Like, every day until the day he leaves.
Cole is the first one to jump at the chance to help us in a babysitting “crisis” and sacrifice his precious 8+ hours of sleep so that I can sneak in a workout before they start their training for the day.
Cole takes the recycling out, sweeps the floors, and fixes things that are broken when no one is watching…all just because he wants to chip in and knows it’s the right thing to do. He doesn’t tell anyone about it, he just does it.
In all the time I’ve known him, I have never…ever…heard him speak a bad word about another human being. I don’t think Cole has a mean bone in his body. He is curious about what others stories are, he wants desperately to understand what other people are going through, and will walk by your side far beyond the amount of time that most other people will to make sure he sees you through your strife.
If Cole were competing with someone in the Games and his opponent were in real danger, he would drop everything, switch into hero mode, and do whatever needed to be done to help his fellow competitor to safety. Now, as soon as things were settled, he would do everything he could to annihilate him and leave him in the dust. But, only if he were comfortable with the idea that life was back to being as it should be.
He looks for no praise, he just wants to make sure everyone gets what they need…before his needs are met.
When Ben talks to us about FAMILY standing for “Forget About Me I Love You”, Cole is the number one person that I think of who exemplifies that…with the exception of Maya. There’s a reason the two of them get along like best friends: they both live this motto out more than anyone I know.
These are all the things I wish everyone knew about this tiger of a competitor, things that people may not know just by seeing him in workout videos and on the competition floor.
Cole “The Sager Toothed Tiger” is of a different breed, and I couldn’t feel more lucky to have him on our team.