Friday, January 26, 2007

I love my job!

Blogging has been light of late, as track season began Monday. That means two things in my world: first, that I'll work late every day (and therefore have less free time at home for such things as blogging), and second, that I'll be exhausted for a week or two from the physical effort of coaching. I don't run every step with the kids anymore, but the parts I do participate in are demanding (and become more so as I crowd the big 4-0). But even though the weather this past week has not cooperated (it tends to drop about 20 degrees between the start and finish of practice every day, which is really unpleasant for sprinters), I am reminded again what a blessing it is to do something for a living about which one is passionate. On Tuesday, possibly the best athlete in the school barfed up a lung because he wanted to excel (and impress ME) so badly. The end of most of our workouts looks like Jim Jones has been passing out kool-aid, with bodies strewn all over and various groans of agony sounding from the heaps of steaming flesh. Yet these kids are all there on purpose, giving 100%, in pursuit of a goal months away. For some it's a time goal--under 5 minutes in the mile, or maybe even under 8. For others, it's a school record or a state title. For others (like it was for me in '84), it's "nerd rehab"--striving to find a niche as an athlete in an environment where there are no cuts, no bench, and no ball. But in all cases, this is one area of teaching where no one doubts the correlation between effort and outcome. The outcomes are by no means guaranteed, but the striving is what it's all about. If I won the lottery, I'd still coach. (Of course, if I won the lottery, I'd do my winter coaching in a brand-new indoor practice facilty. Oh, well...)

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