Self-Confidence Sunday #20

I’m tired tonight so I almost didn’t write this. But these are things I’ll want to remember on a hard day, so here I am.

If you know much about me, you know that coaching brings me joy. I’ve always said that if I could spend every day of the rest of my life running around barefooted with these crazy kids, I would call it a life well lived.

More than anything, evidence that I have an impact on these kids–that I have in some way brought them confidence and helped them build self-esteem and competence–reminds me why I started coaching in the first place. It always seems like such a tiny thing at face value, maybe just an off-hand comment, but watching them grow and being told how much they’ve improved always makes my day.

Earlier this week, I was working out lesson schedules with a parent when she texted back, “You know my daughter well.” There are times when we coaches can feel so helpless as we watch a kid struggling with mental blocks, anxiety, or shame (in addition to “real-world” issues, which is always so hard), but it’s statements like that that reaffirm I’m doing a good job learning who my athletes are as people and what they need from me as we work together.

I have another athlete who struggles with ADHD (which I get, given that that’s had an enormous impact on every facet of my own life). Coaches, teachers, etc. get on her case a lot, and the poor kid tries so hard. She gets anxious about remembering things, and she is so upset with herself when she “messes up again.” She was so worried she was going to forget things or do the wrong thing that she was hindering her learning process from start to finish. I started doing private lessons with her, and I have just loved seeing the joy in her face as she realizes that she really CAN get all these skills–and even be the best at them the more she practices. I told her that one day, she could compete Level V or cheer in high school or even college too if she keeps working hard, and it was just like a lightbulb went on.

Her grandfather came to practice Friday and found me afterward to introduce himself. He told me that he wanted me to know how much of a change has been wrought in lil’ one, and that even if it doesn’t seem big to me, her lessons with me are a huge deal in their household and for his granddaughter. He said after hearing everything his wife especially had told him about our lessons, he just really wanted to meet me and shake my hand.

I may not have everything together 100% of the time, but if nothing else, I can count on the fact that I can make a difference for these girls. That’s a lot more important than, say, having a clean room (which I still fail at about…maybe 98% of my adult life), which is my current self-improvement project.

Self-confidence Sunday #19

After Knee Surgery One-Legged SquatsTwo years ago, right after my first year in graduate school, I finally elected to have the two knee surgeries (one on each leg) that I had been needing for several years. The pain was waking me up at night, and especially in the Missouri cold, even walking was often a chore, to say nothing of lifting, running, and coaching. I took this photo merely two days out of surgery, and I remember being so exhilarated about being able to (carefully) work on one-legged squats so soon. This photo reminds me that I am a hard worker, I am tough, I am resilient in the face of hardship, and I have what it takes to overcome what can seem like impossible odds. I have survived what started out to be a pretty rotten year, and I am so excited to discover what is left to come. <3

Self-confidence Sunday #18

Hands Prep Stunt United Cheer Dallas#MightyMouseActivities

“Though she be but little, she is fierce.” I may be (very) tired right now, but I am strong and I am a hard worker. Things are coming together, and I hope ***fingers crossed*** that something big is about to happen for me in my career. And if not, I’ll just keep on lifting big people. =)

Everything Changes

One thing that has really struck me about the process of moving on (or whatever it is that I’m doing) is that my emotions and energy can vary extremely widely from day to day. It seems that this often is dependent upon my sense of control over the situation and whether or not we have interacted (or interacted positively). When I am patient enough to let all interactions be initiated by him, it is a lot easier to feel competent, confident, and in control of what “us” is for me and of my life overall. He no longer dictates my emotions to that degree if I let him be the one who approaches me.

Last night, even though our team lost, I had a wonderful evening after coaching just hanging out at a bar in uptown with other members of my city’s alumni network. I met other former Vandy athletes as well as talked to a couple older alums, one of whom immediately got my contact information and has already mentioned several ways in which we could work together. I remain absolutely blown away by the genuine caring, helpfulness, and selflessness of the other VU alums with whom I have interacted. This job search process has been hard, and sometimes it really takes a lot of the wind out of my sails, but the reassurance, planning, and networking other grads have provided has really been the equivalent of a life saver. Someday, I will have my career together and will be able to do the same thing for other emerging professionals. <3

Last night, he texted me while I was out at the bar, and then for about a couple hours afterward. With the way he was talking, it made it sound like he was missing me, but I was careful not to get into anything similar to talks of “us.” He was a bit less careful, but that’s fine (and I played dumb when necessary). The ball is in his court as far as that goes; I’m not going to pursue him. It’s just so dumb that hearing from him through any medium still makes me happy, still makes me feel reassured and at peace. -_- Dumb man…

I got to stunt and tumble some at open gym tonight after work, and I left with this nagging need to get my head on straight and get all my skills back (and then some)! I’ll work with the other coaches when time permits, but I’m considering asking him (yes, seriously) at some point to work with me… He still wants to get together and stunt again, so I may as well ask for him to help me get rid of the mental craziness I’ve developed around my tumbling while we’re already out and sweaty.

He may be a ding-dong sometimes in relationships, but he’s also an incredible coach, sooo… I think I’ll hold off on asking at least until he contacts me again though, since that seems to be better for me. Maybe I can offer some of my editing and marketing skills in exchange, which he could surely use for his business? Then it would be less of a favor from a friend/ex (or whatever we are) and more of a business “deal.”

I know I’ve had some rough knocks this year, but it just feels like life is about to get so, so much better. Everything will be sorted out, I’ll be working in a job that will provide me with challenges and opportunities to learn new skills, I’ll be coaching, out exploring all that Dallas has to offer… Goodness, I just can’t wait to be on salary and able to help my parents financially instead of just around the house. I’m planning on taking my first “real” paycheck and fixing the plumbing in their front bathroom. Someday soon, I will feel like a “real person” again. 🙂

 

I’m Baa-aack!

This is the face of a woman who straight put. in. work. at the gym last night. Maybe it was the pre-workout (or the spinach ravioli, which was delicious), or maybe it was just time for me to feel badass again, but either way, everything went awesome last night. I felt inspired to try all these things I had never done before, along with knocking out some difficult reps of those I had (but not since waaay back in college), and was so surprised (though maybe I shouldn’t have been?) when I could actually do them!

I’ll have to take photos (or videos) of some of those experiments, but I learned last night that I could do a pike hold on the ground, and I think I’m prettyyy close to being able to do a press-handstand. 🙂 I also just got in a bit of a “flyer” mood and decided to climb on the squat racks and do cheer-esque things, since they didn’t have any stools I could use for that. No staff members saw and asked me to hop off though, so until that happens, I’ll just keep doing that sort of thing when I get in the mood.

One plus to being able to lift heavy weights and do complicated things that require a lot of flexibility and stability is that when men stare at me at the gym, it’s much less uncomfortable because they usually aren’t just “creeping.” And if they are, I comfort myself by grabbing the bench/rack next to them and throwing on more weight than they’re using, so there’s that. 😉 But it’s a nice feeling to have people come comment on what I’m doing, ask questions, etc. rather than just stare at my ass, ask me out, or ask if I “need help” with something (I don’t). I’d really love to find a workout partner, but hopefully that will happen soon!

Back in the Saddle Again

We elderlies decided to play around a bit after six hours at the gym tonight. After the last two weeks I’ve had, this was exactly what I needed. ❤️ Nothing complicated, but here’s one of my fellow coaches and I going for a walk-in hands to heel stretch:

Self-Confidence Sunday #9

Delts Fitness Progress PhotoThis post isn’t particularly inspiring or exciting, but I took this photo last Saturday when I hit the gym and noticed that my “coaching delts” are certainly back in full-force. People often are surprised that coaching alone keeps my upper body in such good shape, but that just goes to show that they often don’t understand what goes into the job! For a great many reasons that go beyond physical fitness, I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be a coach. It makes me happy, and it flat-out just makes me a better person all-around.

Self-confidence Sunday #8

It feels like a lot of things have fallen apart in about the last 24-48 hours, so I could really use this dose of positivity today. Sometimes I have these days where it seems like I’ve wasted a lot of time in my life (making the choice to go to graduate school feels naive and misguided at times, for example), as though I’m not where I “should” be, and like I’m not as good at anything as I should be by this point.

Today, I have added some images that remind me how very happy cheering and coaching make me, how strong and determined I feel when faced with implicit challenges therein. I am reminded of the above statement: “You grow and thrive by doing what excites you and what scares you every day, not by trying to find your passion.” This week, I am determined not to overlook the day-to-day things that fascinate me and instead commit to doing things that scare me a little bit.

Coed Cheer Partner Stunt Cupie Awesome Handstand Splits Wedge Mat Gymnastics Vanderbilt Cheerleader Smile Tennessee Football

Self-confidence Sunday #3

Although I am flexible naturally (particularly in my legs), positions such as this take some consistent work to get into comfortably–or as comfortably as as possible, anyway. 😉 I took this photo after coaching a couple Saturday tumbling classes last year, several months before my knee surgeries. I would like to get to this point again, as my oversplits are not this good currently. To do so, I commit to stretching every day (aside from what I get in during coaching) this week to start building that into my daily routine again.

Self-confidence Sunday #1

“Let’s start each week off with a positive, go-get-’em bang! Post a photo (selfies encouraged–really!), quote, poem, or story that makes you feel accomplished, strong, attractive, or just otherwise awesome. The fun part: tell me what about it is so inspiring and/or how you’re going to use that newfound motivation the upcoming week.

Don’t forget to add a “Self-confidence Sunday” tag and pingback to this post! Happy blogging, and I look forward to learning more about what inspires you.”

WestSide Gymnastics Tuck Photo

Even though it was only a tuck, looking at this photo makes me feel strong, fearless, and competent again. This was before my knee surgeries, which was both good and bad in terms of tumbling: I still had bad knees, but they hadn’t been fiddled with by an orthopedic surgeon yet! It’s been slightly over a year since I’ve felt strong enough to just walk out and throw a standing tuck (which I previously could do practically in my sleep) but I start coaching again tomorrow…and maybe it’s about time I gave it a go. 😉