March 9, 2010

If You Ain't First, You're Last!

Ha! I just had to throw a quote from one of my LOL movies there. In all seriousness, though, the above quote is NOT true, although, our team came pretty close to last this weekend.

Let's just say it's a good thing I'm not in charge of a really big high school team. I can hardly keep up (not literally) with this one. When preparing to run at one of the biggest high schools in Mobile, I *thought* I had everything in order. I had registered online, requested a check from the h.s. secretary (They have all the money in the world and they STILL make you pay entry!), and gotten transportation (aka cheese) lined up. So, I am teaching Thursday afternoon, happy as a lark, when one of our secretaries buzzes the room saying the coach from this particular school called and *really, like right now* needs to talk to me. Hm, well I go to the phone and he says I haven't registered my team. Hmmm, really? I am sure I did this. Oh, see you have to actually place your athletes into these little boxes for their events. Yeah, didn't know that. He wants me to do that RIGHT NOW. I'm like, um, I have 18 3rd graders learning how to divide right now. I'm busy. I can tell he's exasperated, but when I took the coach job I made an important promise to myself- my classroom comes first, track 2nd. I tell him I will do it the MOMENT I get home, and he agrees. On to Saturday.

We pull up at the resort, I mean school, and the kids are beyond freaked/stoked. They are swearing to me that the track is "bigger". I spend about 10 minutes convincing them that 400 meters is 400 meters, it's just that this track has 8 lanes. The facility of this school is beyond wow. We were so far out of our league, my heart was already racing. Coach D was gone this weekend, so I was flying solo w/ the coaching. We get settled and I go to the coaches' meeting. The coach was really, really nice and came straight up to me. He said, "You must be Rebecca from XYZ School." I say yes, and laugh. Then I ask what gave it away. He said after we got off the phone he did a little research and said that he wanted to compliment me on 'taking the reins' of this team, and having the guts to 'come to a meet like this.' He then went on ask the group to show with their fingers how many coaches their teams had. Every coach held up at LEAST 3 fingers. He told everyone that I was there coaching my team alone, so maybe they could help me out, if needed. I was standing next to the only other female coach and she whispered to me, "God, you're brave." Haha.

The rest of the meet went as expected, but I would like to highlight a few things-
1. One of my guys WON overall the high jump w/ 6'4". I can't take credit for this however, b/c the extent of my coaching him is to move the little stretchy band up and down the bars. I also help count his steps in practice, but other than that- nada.
2. We did not place last in ANY event. I know this sounds like a lame brag, but honestly, these schools were SOOOOOO much bigger and nicer than us, I was pleased to just not be embarrassed.
3. Most of all, the kids had fun, and so did I. I am really starting to get to know them, even bond with some I thought I never would. These kids make me laugh, and help keep me young.

From the mouths of babes. Here are some funnies from Saturday:

"Coach! They have warm water coming out of the bathroom sink!" (Our schools don't have hot water.) Other teams' athletes look at us like we are crazy.

"Coach, I can't call you coach. That's too manly for you."

"Do we HAVE to start in the blocks?" I don't know why I think this is funny, but lots of the sprinter girls HATE the starting blocks. One of them actually asked the coach from the hosting school this before the 100. He was stumped. Haha.


  1. Anonymous3/09/2010

    Congrats! It sounds like it's going great! I love the "it's too manly for you" comment!

  2. Wow, it seems like everything is going really well! I'm sure you'll learn all the ins and outs of registering, etc. Way to stick up for yourself, though.

  3. Being a coach sounds like fun! Challenging, but fun.

  4. Anonymous3/09/2010

    haha I love the kids' comments. And there is nothing manly about "coach"!

    You certainly are brave for taking a large group of kids ANYWHERE, much less to a track meet by yourself! Glad things are going so well with them. :)

  5. This continues to delight me, no end. I hope you do this gig forever and ever Rebecca, it's insanely entertaining. It really is a like a movie with the "guts to come to meet like this" and "you're brave" and the coaches all having 2 other counterparts. Crazy!! Most of all, congratulations on not being last! You're my hero.

  6. Anonymous3/09/2010

    congrats! i love reading about how the team is doing. it's pretty awesome that you guys are holding your own so well against these schools that have so many more advantages than your kids. props to you for being such a great coach and being able to motivate these kids :)

  7. I LOVE these stories. Don't get me wrong I love hearing about your running, but it is so much fun to hear about you sharing your gift with young runners.

  8. Anonymous3/11/2010

    I just clicked through to your blog from the Brooks ID site and wanted to say hi. I'm enjoying your posts about coaching and am impressed by your long list of great marathon times!