Alright I’m back. 2nd blog entry. This morning my husband had weights and shooting practice so I was able to sit on the beach of the Adriatic Sea for a good 2.5 hours basically alone. It was early, so not many people were there. It was amazing. Amazing scenery, amazing peacefulness.. Simply amazing. I took the time to sit there and reflect on the past, pray and plan for the future. As soon as I sat down on my towel, this feeling of just being where I am exactly suppose to be overcame my whole body. I felt this feeling all July with my team, it brings me to tears ( reminding you, I am no where near an emotional person). So there I am sitting on the beach with tears coming down my face because I am so thankful to be where I am today. I didn’t get here alone. God has instructed my pathway, My husband and I have this beyond awesome support team ( they will most definitely be getting their own blog) that have went over and above helping us. The path to get where we are has not been easy (it’s not easy now either) nor has it been pretty. No one really sees that side or really cares too. People only care about seeing the pictures of the beautiful beach, the pictures of travel, the wins, the celebrations… all the luxuries. What people do not see is the struggle. Bottom of the barrel struggle it takes. And see the funny part is we aren’t even where we want to be in life! We still have these goals that we are slowly chipping at and working hard to achieve.
For instance, I am heading in to my 7th year as a coach (5th as a head), last year was the first year I EVER had a job on the campus of the school I’ve coached at (last year was my first season at my new school). Its normal for a Varsity head women’s basketball coach to work at the school they coach at. The need for the coach to be on campus is huge. Managing work schedules to match with a coaching schedule is hard. Especially when you consistently putting coaching before the job that actually pays your bills. Not sure if you know it or not but coaches (high school ones) are not making big time money. In fact majority receive a small stipend. Someone close to me once told me, you don’t coach to get paid, you coach to serve. So from the time I graduated college until LAST YEAR (minus one year break) I nanny-ed. I went to school, graduated with great grades and received my diploma in 4 years to nanny (no benefits, no PTO, no health insurance unless I purchased it on my own). Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with nannying. It’s extremely rewarding, it’s just not what I worked my tail off for 4 years as a student athlete at a very high academic University for. The year I did take off from nannying, I was a staffing recruiter which I LOVED! It was awesome to be able to help place people with employers and work temporary to permanent. I was actually really good at! So good, that my boss told me she was tired of me coming in hoarse from coaching and wanted me to put my all in recruiting because I had a big future in the business. Right at the time she communicated this, my first head coaching job came in to play (so thankful!) and I quit my recruiting job. WHAT DID I JUST DO?!?!? I am now only making a stipend because the school wanted a trial run for one season to see if they should place me on campus (seriously). This year was probably one of the hardest of my life financially. My husband (who was my boyfriend at the time) and I made things work, barely scrapping pennies together (you’re probably thinking, wait… isn’t her husband a professional basketball player?? Why were they scrapping pennies. No worries, I will get to that in my next blog).
The year of scrapping paid off. My team took themselves to the NC 2A State Final Four. The year before I took this coaching position, the team was 1-17, so this was HUGE!! The next school year came around, still no job on campus. I am back nannying by now, so it’s deemed “okay”. But it was a huge pain in chest. It actually still hurts a little to this day. Working off campus, I missed a lot. Early dismissal times would change for my team and I wouldn’t know. They would cancel things and I would know an hour before that event would take place. Had I been on campus, I would have at least been included in these decisions or known what was being decided and why. To put it nicely, it wasn’t the best support for a coach that is just starting, devoting all her time to the students and continuously putting a stipend paying job ahead of the job that barely pays her bills. But I kept pushing forwarding with the help of my support team! My teams led themselves to a lot of success despite the working situation for me. In 3 seasons they finished 67-15, went to the NC 2A Final Four twice and then lost in the NC 2A State Championship. Their success, all the memories and all of the experiences overshadowed everything. So, my teams and the girls were / are always the light at the end of the tunnel for me.
This working scenario would go on until 2016. I took a new coaching job that came with a school administrative position. I will tell you this move has been great. When I say blessed, I mean it. Once again, that feeling of being exactly where you are suppose to be at this moment in time is there. The support, the love for women’s basketball, the love for helping children, the Christian teachings- it’s there. I will make it very clear however, with things changing drastically in my life and so positively, it has done nothing but motivate me more and more (remember I told you there are still goals to achieve).
This was just a very teeny, tiny piece of my reflection this morning sitting on the beach. I can not stress to you enough how thankful I am to be where I am currently and how I know that without God, NONE of this happens. He uses me everyday and I am just thankful that I receive his messages and his word in my life. I know that no matter what I go through, he is constantly holding my hand through struggles and through celebrations and for that, I am thankful. I am thankful to feel that I am right where I am suppose to be 🙂 . I am so glad I continued to push no matter the circumstances, because never once did I think coaching isn’t for me. This isn’t worth it. It was always keep pushing, something will give, something will happen. So my advice, is to always remain focused on your purpose, your goal. Struggles only strengthen and sharpen you for your purpose. They only make you better.
When I started this blog today, I planned on incorporating my husbands story. I’ll just finish with this for now and make his piece my 3rd (my favorite number any way 🙂 ) blog.