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…
If you’ve spoken to me at within the last month, you’ve probably heard me brag about my awesome gymnastics team that I coach, and how we were going to compete for the Georgia State title on April 16th. If you kept up with the live updates online during the meet, you would have seen how my little 10-12 year old girls were hitting personal best scores left and right, 9 total to be precise, and racked up their highest team score of 114.275 to place 2nd by only 0.175 points.
What this post is actually about is, IT’S BABY DAY!
Apparently my State Meet was too exciting, because when I came home Jessica was in the early stages of Labor. For REAL this time; not just the episodes of prodromal labor she’s been having for the last 2 weeks. She handled it quite well. Maybe it was because we were so tired from the night before, but Jessica took everything (the exams, the epidural, the contractions) in stride. Or at least that was MY perspective, given her quiet, pensive spells during through it all. My one clue that it might NOT be all peachy is that I’m not really allowed to talk. Even if it’s just a curious question for the doctors or a word of encouragement to Jessica. It appears that the very sound of my voice causes her angst. At least that’s ONE birthing stereotype that holds true.
Which is one reason why I’m sitting here, just updating my blog. Quietly. Time flies when you’re waiting for babies to come. I am certain there will be more updates soon!
So it’s a new semester at the Cobb County Gymnastics Center. I’ve now been working there for more than 4 months and I’ve gotten to know the kids and most of them know me. But there’s still a few things that I’m tragically unfamiliar with.
This semester, I’m teaching 2 cheerleading classes. Yes, I did cheer for 3 years in college and I own up to it. So this week, I was teaching a group of 6-8 year old girls how to do Russian Toe Touches. I demonstrated it a few times, and… I ended up splitting my pants!
So I had to finish the rest of the hour trying very hard to keep my legs held very, very close together. When the lesson was finally over, I had about 10 minutes before my next class started. I told another coach what had happened, and he said that the manager usually had some lost-and-found clothes in her office.
I ran to her office. The lights were out (she was already gone for the day) but the door was still open. Behind the door I saw the box of clothes, but it was dark so I looked for the light switch. There was a whole panel of about 6-7 switches on the wall, so I just started testing each of them, flicking them on and then off.
By about switch #4 I started hearing little children screaming in fear and confusion. I was down to the last switch when someone ran in and told me to stop! Apparently that was those were the master switches for the gymnasium lights! What was worse, they were a special kind (and old kind?) that needed about 10 minutes to warm up before they could turn back on.
And so all of the 6:30pm groups that day had to spend the first little bit of their classes with only one strip of lights working. Shhhhh, don’t tell them it was me!
And I still had to teach my next class in ripped pants.
There, I stayed up just so I could post this at the exact right moment. At 1:17 am mountain time, just a little more than 3 decades ago, I was born into the world. Mind you, I came folded in half and butt first (good thing I was always skinny), but I survived and here I am now.
So what has changed since Nov. 11, 2014? I graduated college, which I suppose is a big achievement. My wife, Jessica, is pregnant with TWINS. I’m very excited about that, but I kinda just squeezed that one in at the end of my year deadline and was mostly unintentional (I mean, it’s TWINS! How cool is that?), so I don’t know if I can give myself too much credit. I got back into gymnastics via the route of Georgia’s competitive job market, and it has made me feel really good. Oh, I now live in Georgia, though it still hasn’t quite grown on me as a “home” yet, though I suspect it eventually will.
I’m still not a published author yet, but that’s largely my fault for being too distracted during my “free” time. It takes a lot of work to get one’s first novel published, and I really need to train myself to make it more like a job, which will kinda bite because that pushes it out of the Hobby zone. Still worth it. I think. I also haven’t started my Biology career, but I blame that on no one from any of the companies ever calling me back. I think it must be a Georgia thing. If I did the math, I bet I’d find less than 5% of my messages or inquiries ever returned. Guess who did call me back? The gymnastics team. Yeah.
I miss doing the animal rescue. I miss Rexburg, Idaho and my alma mater. I am surprisingly fine with sharing a house with my in-laws. I think a lot more people could find themselves in a better financial place if they just swallow some pride and share property with their nuclear families when feasible, and go into huge debt just to “have some space.” Besides, all you have to do is out live them and you get a free house! Lol, just playing. Love you Wallace Mom and Wallace Dad!
Ok, it’s 3:17 am (Georgia time). Gotta post! Happy Birthday to me!