Tuesday, August 14, 2007
The Greatest Reward
So today was the first day of school for teachers. That means the same meetings as every year... ugh. It also means practice shifts back to the afternoons, which in Charleston heat is another big ugh. But today I got a reminder of why teaching (and especially coaching) is the most rewarding job on the planet. Four alumni of my team came by today, just to say "hi." All were superlatives, on and off the track, and all are now young adults that I am pleased to count as friends. There was Matthew, the best student I ever had and an all-conference runner on top of that, home from Yale. I still love to talk politics with him, even though our votes will almost certainly always cancel out (unless, of course, he ever runs for office, in which case I'll probably vote with my heart and not my head). Goose is getting ready to head back up to NC State. He was a state-caliber miler, and had an uncanny ability to run the race of his life when it counted. I can't believe he still has my number memorized. There was Soz, my best-ever miler, and without a doubt the nicest Christian kid I have ever coached. He's out of school now (Wake Forest) and has a real job... working for the local Episcopal camp, no less. I couldn't be prouder. And Kristen, an MVP and the best girls' team captain I've ever had. She's also out of school (Purdue) and getting ready to start an MBA. She once won an award for a paper she wrote about an adult who was a role model (3 guesses who was the adult). That was one of the nicest compliments I have ever received from anyone. To say I love these young people would be an understatement. I'm pretty sure that sometime between now and next May, I'll ask myself, "why the heck do I teach?" For days like today.