Ever since I started actively running a few years ago, I've wanted to share that love of running with my students. I got my coaching endorsement and have been a middle school girls' track coach for the past two years. Middle school sports are essentially a social activity, at least in my district. Yes, there are certain sports that are very specialized and have a strong AAU presence which makes them more serious, but track is not one of them. As a middle school track coach, the main job is teaching the basics of each event and giving everyone a chance to participate. High school is when it gets serious. I love running, but I don't love Track. Probably because I don't run on a track (unless I'm really focusing on speed work). I've always felt more drawn to Cross Country. Partially because I love distance running and it's not confined to a track; partly because I like the type of kid the sport attracts. The hardcore stereotypical jocks seem to be more inclined to go for football and volleyball; the misfits flock to distance running.
The XC coaching position in my district opened up this year. I applied immediately, and waited as patiently as possible to hear word. The official news came last week: I'll be coaching Cross Country next year. A coworker and I will work as a team for all boys and girls XC runners in grades 7-12. Our goal is to build the program and make our runners as healthy and competitive as possible. My other main goal is to spread the awesomeness of running as far and wide in this community as I can.
My feelings about this change based on the given day and time. I'm thrilled, of course. This is something I've dreamed of for years. I'm also terrified. Middle school track is nothing compared to varsity Cross Country. I have so many plans laid out and expectations for myself, and I know the pressure from parents will be there, too. I'm excited to have this opportunity to keep in touch with former students and to build athlete-coach relationships. I'm scared I'll let them down and won't live up to expectations. It's a new adventure, and I hope it's a successful one.
I teach 7th and 8th grade English in rural Iowa and hope to reflect, connect, and share with other English teachers. Iowa Council of Teachers of English Executive Board member. Iowa Writing Project superfan. UNI MA:TESS graduate.