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.

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

Munchkins, You Are My “Why”

In response to the Daily Post’sΒ  Reason to Believe : β€œAt the end of every hard-earned day / people find some reason to believe.” What’s your reason to believe?

When I think back on some of the hardest times I’ve ever experienced, sometimes I’m not even sure I quite remember how I made it through. What I do know is that I have clung to two statements my mother used to repeat when I was a child: “This too shall pass,” and “Sometimes you have to either laugh or cry, and I’d just rather laugh.” This combination of hope, perseverance, and humor in the face of struggle has gotten me through many tough breaks.

In addition to these two principles, it is my life passions–the pursuits that make me feel at peace and as though I am making a difference–that bring me through a plethora of life’s trials. Even on the hard days, returning to coaching was my best choice of 2015, hands down. Those kids bring me a sense of joy and purpose that is unmatched by anything else in the world. Music, writing, lifting, and cheer have always been helpful too, but nothing compares to working with children.

A quite empowering aspect of daily living is the fact that we have the power to make of our life just about anything that we want. Despite difficult circumstances, I always have the power to say, “Today is a good day. I am strong, I am worthy, I am confident, and I am determined. I alone decide who I am and what I can accomplish.” And, if all else fails and the day brings one crisis after another, I can always go to bed resolved to try again tomorrow.

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. πŸ˜‰ 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. πŸ˜‰