Tonight I celebrated my 36th birthday the only way I really know how. For 25 years I have spent my birthday with high school sports. Not every night was actually a game night, but they might as well have been. Coaching has been my passion for over two decades and tonight it showed. I was able to be on the field with some truly awesome kids and amazing colleagues. I absolutely love my SHS family. They have seen me through many of my life challenges and been a major factor in most of my biggest accomplishments. Even though the Railroaders lost and we had some less than stellar fans, there is no place I would have rather been tonight. To my current cheerleaders and the Alumni that came tonight, thank you. Thank you for allowing me to share in your journey. And thank you for being such a big part of mine.
Friday, January 2, 2015
Defining ourselves by our accomplishments.
There are people who will always be on top. On top in school with grades, with athletics, and with popularity. There will always be that mom that has 8 kids and a spotless house, bakes cookies, volunteers for the PTA and holds her whole family together. Or that co-worker that advanced quickly, is loved by peers, gets the bonus, etc. Are those truly accomplishments? Are those people proud of that process? Are they truly making a difference?
I am a coach.
A cheer coach.
I teach groups of kids how to be leaders. How to time manage and budget family, school, friends and responsibility. We teach our kids how to be upstanding members of society through leadership, discipline and dedication. They work hard. My kids didn't start out cheering since they were small. Many of them learned everything they know about cheer from me. Even harder to define is how I have succeeded in this process. We are not judged on a weekly basis through a score. I have learned to judge success as a cheerleading coach by the progress and excitement in the kids. They are successful when they have hit their routines perfectly at a game. When they finish all their homework, cheer at the game and put in a few hours at work. They are successful when at the end of the day they are proud of themselves and the hard work they put in, even if it’s not understood by their peers. As a coach, my MOST successful moments are those when I run into a former student many years later and they talk about their time on my team. They are proud of what they accomplished as a group and what they overcame as an individual. So many of them thank me for being hard on them and teaching them lessons that they still use into adulthood. This is my biggest accomplishment. Leading, guiding and mentoring so many wonderful young athletes. I am successful because I know for one small moment I made a difference in their life. Whether they were successful or not as a cheerleader, they learned lessons that make them successful in the future. They will always have a cherished piece of my heart. That defines my success.