Sunday, August 9, 2009

Navel Gazing on a Friday Afternoon

So, I’m writing this on Friday, late afternoon. Mr. Coach is somewhere in England right now, making his way to an airplane tomorrow. I’ve pretty much made up the lost sleep from the two Channel crossing events of this past week. I cranked out a few stories for my employer, the newspaper. I fielded a few emails from parents of age-group swimmers who want to plan their autumn schedules. Now. I ran a few times. I swam a few times (until the university’s maintenance staff closed the pool without warning for repairs. Not that I’m bitter or anything.) I went to a swimmer wedding. I oversaw Little Mr. Coach’s preparations for a kids’ triathlon that he’s doing tomorrow morning. He’ll do it and when he’s done, I’ll entrust him to the care of Kevin, who will pick Mr. Coach up at the airport while I fetch Little Miss Coach from the week-long workshop she’s been attending for her school. That’s only an 8-hour round-trip drive. I do have plans to make sausage calzones tonight for Mr. Coach’s welcome-home dinner tomorrow. There’s nothing good on TV but there’s Leinenkugel’s Red Lager in the fridge.

In other words, it’s been a pretty normal week. You know, one of the things I was hoping for when I started doing this blog more than a year ago was that it would bring a few other swim coach spouses out of the woodwork. I figured we could commiserate with each other. But that hasn’t been the case. Though I’ve heard from lots of really nice people, I have never heard from any other coaching spouses. (Interesting side note: the “traffic reports” that I get from having this site on Blogspot tell me what the search terms are that lead some people to the site. Most of them are just “mrs. coach blog,” but there are others I’ve started keeping a list of because they’re just so…interesting. Like “coaching a paranoid spouse,” “national velvet gertrude english channel” and, my personal favorite, “boys in showers.” I’m probably not getting a lot of repeat visits from that last one. At least I hope I’m not.)

But I’ve realized, from a year or so of doing this, that 1) not a lot of women interact online about sports, and 2) not a lot of coach’s spouses feel the need to connect. And that’s OK because probably most of us are too busy being the air-traffic controllers in our family’s lives to have time to connect.

Although, I have to say, during my first year of marriage to Mr. Coach, I was taken out to lunch down in Fort Lauderdale by some of the other coaches’ wives, all of them in the 60+ year-old phase of life. Mr. Coach said they were softening me up so that some day we’ll agree to run the winter training camp down there. And as I sat there with the ladies, some of us face-down in our margaritas at 2 o’clock on a Wednesday afternoon in December, I thought to myself, “You know…I could get used to this.”

But the truth is -- and this is part of why it's still fun even after almost 18 years -- is that you never really do get used to it. There’s always going to be some new challenge heaved your way, whether it’s a new pool that only took 17 years to secure funding for or a pair of athletes who decide they’d like to swim the English Channel. There’s always something new.

(Oh, and next week, I promise I’ll do a wrap-up on the whole Channel relay experience because I’ve got some seriously good stories to tell about that.)

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