Buff, Manly Men coaching Little Girls in Gymnastics

Anyone else find this a little humorous? Because today it finally hit me. I was helping coach the Level 4-6 girl’s team with two other guys when I realized that here we were, three strapping young men demonstrating how to dance and do back-walkovers to a dozen little girls ranging age 8 to 13.

And the thing was, for the last several months I was utterly oblivious to my sidelined masculinity, blinded by my competition driven need to see straight knees and proper demi pliès. I was literally doing chasè split leaps while screaming “You need to be pretty like I am!”

This is not an isolated phenomenon, either to myself or even my gym. At the State meet last week, I got my first look at the famed Georgia Elite team from Athens Georgia. They’ve won like 3 of the last 5 State Championships in our division, and I was curious to see who their coach was. Turns out it’s a 6′ tall black guy with a shaved head and chiseled biceps, who probably had to have his T-shirt sewn on over his shoulders. Now that my eyes have been opened to this He-Man gymnastics coach phenomenon, I remember that guy and laugh at the thought of parents signing their daughters up for the team. I imagine him growling out in the voice of Mr. T, “I will teach her how to do beautiful cartwheels!”

And yet, I feel no shame. I love what I do. Plus, I figure I’ve got at least 4-5 years before my newborn sons are old enough to be embarrassed by me. Still, as I prepared myself this morning for another day on the job I held my razor in my hand, looked in the mirror, and thought maybe I should grow a beard, just in case…

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