Monday, March 23, 2009

Opportunity Answered and Diarrhea Days

When my dad worked in corporate America he used have what he would affectionately refer to as 'diarrhea days'. These were the days where he had a big meeting or presentation to do and his nerves were getting the best of him.

I've never really had diarrhea days but I do, on first days of new beginnings, sometimes allow my nerves to get the best of me.

Today was one of those days.

Last week I was approached by the Athletic Director from the school where I am currently working. I had been talking with him about a coaching position for next year and I figured he wanted to talk about that a bit more.


He pulled me aside and asked me to be the head coach for one of junior varsity teams this season. As in SPRING season.

I was shocked and really quite flattered.

I told him I needed to think about it.

I have been coaching, or helping to coach, an independent girls' rowing team and I loved the girls I was working with. I was not a huge fan of the head coach or her methods but she was an Olympic rower and deserved respect for that. Plus, she was technically sound with her teaching she just didn't know how to reach the girls and it was becoming problematic.

I spent a day or two going back and forth between the two positions. I talked with anyone and everyone I could about.

I prayed about it.

I asked for guidance.

I looked for someone to make the decision for me.

This was a head coaching job. Sure it's JV but it's still a head job and it could open a lot more doors to me in terms of coaching.

It's a team that I would see the girls on a daily basis in and out of the classroom.

It's in a place where I am very happy working and I enjoy the people I work with.

And it came with a paycheck that was significantly more than what I was possibly going to make as a rowing assistant coach.

The job had been offered to me last Monday. I walked into school on Wednesday unsure of what I was going to do. I was still looking for that sign that told me that this opportunity was for me.

I went to Mass, as I do every morning, and I asked for guidance. I asked for anything.

I came out of Mass and headed for my mailbox and then up to my classroom and I ran into- literally- the Athletic Director.

And it was my sign.

Our AD generally does not come into work before 9 because he's there late with the teams. For whatever reason he was in early that morning and he was in my path.

And he stopped me. And he asked me.

And I told him I wanted the job.

And it felt right. It felt good.

I quit my rowing job and it was hard but they completely understood why I needed to take this opportunity.

I met with my new team. I met with the varsity coach. I began my weekend knowing that today, Monday, would be my first practice.

Today, was my version of a diarrhea day.

I am completely confident in my skills. I am confident in my teaching abilities. I am confident in my motivational and team building techniques.

But, my God, was I nervous today!!

I have a wonderful group of girls that I'm working with. I am supported by so many people, both in and out of the athletic department. I have everything at my fingertips that I could need to make this a success.

But I was so nervous!

All day long my stomach was in knots. All day long I agonized over how practice would run and what we were going to do. I worried about how the girls would react to a new coach almost mid-way through the season.

And then we got to practice.

It was shaky at first. My two oldest girls stepped up to the plate, literally and figuratively, and really ran the practice with guidance from me.

And then it was smooth. Not seamless, but smooth.

We meshed. We laughed. We learned about each other and we started fresh.

And the diarrhea day was over and I could laugh because there was very little reason for it.

Last week, opportunity came knocking and I was quite unsure about whether or not I wanted to answer it.

I am so glad I did.

Although, tomorrow will probably be another diarrhea day.


Helen E.M. Wright said...

GOOD FOR YOU!!! Sometimes you need to have scary days!!


Colleen said...

Oh, I have chills for you. Fabulous!!! Is it still the rowing team? Or a different sport?

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