Friday, June 27, 2014

The race marked out

In my last post, I mentioned that one of the jobs God has given me is to be a coach.

I just finished up my second year as an assistant track coach for Hillsboro Middle School and Hillsboro High School. My primary focus is long jump and triple jump. And I love it. So. Very. Much.

I love it so much, in fact, that I suffer track withdrawal at the end of the season. And it's not just the coaching part that I miss. It's also the relationship part. These kids...from the middle schoolers all the way to the seniors...touch my life and my heart.

So when the season ends, it's hard for me to put those relationships on hold until the next spring...and it's even harder for me to say goodbye to my seniors. But even so, I just can't help being all-in. Being a coach has brought me all kinds of joy, and I've learned a few things:

1. It's easy to compete vicariously through my jumpers. More than once I've found myself tapping my foot with a little bit of anxiety.

2. Just when I think winter is over, I'll find myself standing at a meet in 30 degree weather and sleet. What this means is I never, and I mean NEVER, take my winter coat, gloves, hat, or snowboots out of my bag until State Track is over.

3. The phrase "Just do the best you can," goes a long way.

4. Grilling pork chops with raspberry chipotle sauce (found at Odds and Ends) is delicious.

5. Athletes are very motivated by suckers, particularly Blow Pops.

6. Babysitters are hard to come by while track is in session, but afterward I have a long list of kids to call.

7. Rainboots come in handy, particularly while bailing water out from under the jumping boards. (Note to self...purchase a pair of your own for next year!)

8. I coach with a great group of guys. I'd go to bat for any of them in a heartbeat.

9. I still have fun doing box jumps into the sand. Next year I plan to go out of the blocks at least once...and I hopefully I won't end up in the hospital.

10. Relationships are key. Whether with the athletes, coaching staff, parents or even reconnecting with my own coaches from SVHS, I've enjoyed the relationships the most. The people are what make coaching great.

And I'm thankful for the opportunity.

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