Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Moving On...

As of June 6th and if the current circumstances remain, my coaching career will cease to exist.

Next year I will forge ahead as a full-time 8th grade Math and Algebra teacher, my days filled with lessons, reviews, tests, tutoring and grading papers.  

This means no more early morning practices, late night games and weekend tournaments.

In general....this is a good thing.

I think.

I mean, when I graduated college coaching middle school volleyball was probably the furthest thing from my mind.  I was going to be a MATH TEACHER and that was that.  But the universe led me in a completely different direction and I found myself coaching middle school volleyball and cross country for what has ended up being the past seven years.  And for the most part, it has suited me well - I stayed involved in the age of athletics (middle school) that I loved the most, I got to mentor girls and hopefully helped them become strong young women.....and I even won a few championships along the way.

My life has been divided into sporting seasons since I was in third grade - the first year my parents signed me up for the city basketball league after a year of gymnastics didn't pan out.  Four years of city league led to three years of A team middle school ball and then finally onto the Varsity team in high school.  I headed up the intramurals athletics teams in my college sorority which culminated with a flag football league victory my senior year.  And then I moved on from playing to coaching....

But what now?

I always joke with my co-workers that sometimes I really get tired of hearing my name.
"Coach!  Look at this!"

"Hey Coach?  What time are we leaving?"

"I don't know what to do Coach!?"

"Coach, I need to call my mom!  I forgot my jersey!"

"Can I go to the bathroom, Coach?"

"Coach, do you like unicorns or narwhals better?" 
(Yes.  An ACTUAL question from an ACTUAL athlete.)

There might have even been a time when I told my volleyball players that the next person to say my name had to do ten push-ups because I was THAT tired of hearing my name attached to a question.


If I'm not COACH, am I now going to be a MRS.?  Yikes.

I think the title change is scarier than the actual JOB switch.

Things will be different.  Life will different.  I will have the luxury of leaving school if Natalie has a doctor's appointment, if there are errands that must be ran....or if I am flat out tired and ready to go home.

So why am I sitting here with tears in my eyes?  This is what I have wanted for several years - my principal coming into my room and presenting me with this opportunity was a the big signal from God as to where my life should be heading.  A slowed down life, spending time with Natalie and the even possibility of having a second child.

Yes.  Another baby.....not now, but sometime in the next year.

I had more or less resigned myself to the idea of Natalie being an only child because I didn't see an end to my coaching career given the economic and employment atmosphere in my district.  But this opportunity has presented itself and with Craig voicing his desire for a second child....I'm allowing myself to become excited, nervous and even a little starry-eyed about this next step in our life.

But back to those tears in my eyes.  I love coaching in the sense of....I love seeing the girls work hard, improve and then that MOMENT when it all clicks for them and they are successful.  I love the close relationships that I form from hours spent in gyms, locker rooms and on a bus together.  Those are the moments that I'm going to miss and those are the memories that I'm going to cherish forever.

I haven't told my girls yet and I am dreading the day when they find out.  The 8th graders will be sad....but they will be moving onto the high school shortly.  It's the 7th graders I worry about.  I don't want them to feel like I am abandoning coaching them just wasn't good enough for me.

Because coaching them WAS good enough for me....until it just wasn't.

And this little curly headed girl is definitely a good enough reason to say good-bye.


Heather said...

Oh my goodness, we need to talk. I have been in those exact shoes, and it is HARD to give up coaching but still teach. I was able to continue teaching English but stop coaching soccer (assisting 5 teams and head coaching 1) after Avery was born, and it was a MAJOR adjustment. Actually, it was why I decided to quit altogether and stay home. :) I think once the initial shock wears off next year, you'll feel a huge relief, but it's tough in the meantime. Enjoy this next adventure-- sounds like this year will be a great one!

annajanine said...

Congratulations to you on a new journey! Change is always tough in some ways, but I'm excited for you to embark on this new chapter in your life. Good luck!