Author Archives: kbedalov

About kbedalov

Husband, Father, Coach, Friend. Just living life the way it was suppose to be: honorably, respectfully, and passionately.

To Help People At All Times

10465417_10154287984075338_4733251711735683793_oTomorrow is the last day of Camp for us for a while. 

It will be the conclusion of my 9th year leading the Canoe station at Prairie Hill Day Camp. If you count the year I shadowed Moose, then it would be 10 years.  Plus a couple years I came before that as just a Dad.

But this story is not really about my time at camp. And, unlike the past 50 posts here and on Facebook, it is not about Anna either. 🙂 Although she has been at camp for a long time also.

This time it is the real brains and power behind day camp….Michelle, I mean Sprinkle.

She has been at camp longer than me.  Worked in Pee Wees when Luke was little. Then shadowed a year with Beenie and Yoda.  Tinkle and Sprinkle ran the show for a couple years, and then Sprinkle organized 500+ people for a couple years by herself.

Then Lipstick came forward and it has been the Sprinkle and Lipstick show since then.  This is Lipstick’s last year also. Along with Bullseye, Sparky, and Scooby Dee. It has been a fun ride. 

The camp has gone from stuffing envelopes and mailing confirmations to campers from our basement to now where the process is all online. It has gone from working on crazy schedules trying to get swimming and canoe to share time at the Pond every day at Camp1044610_10151688864060901_495590608_n Winding River to now having all the beach space we need to run both stations at the same time at Camp Pottawatomie Hills. Even the bus pick up has changed.

During this time the weather has pretty much been spectacular with just a handful of rain days and a couple episodes of lightning. Did I mention that we lost power for 7 plus hours this year on Monday night? We have even celebrated our wedding anniversary more than once at camp.

The amount of time and effort I have seen Sprinkle put in the months leading up to camp, while still working full time, is just amazing. She attends the Directors meetings once a month. She responds to email at all hours of the day. She thinks about Camp so much that it even gets in her dreams. You will have to ask her about that one.

She deflects the praise and recognition all of the time. Sprinkle will tell you that she has good people in the right places and that is why camp runs smoothly. Or, that she gets great support from Velma at the GS Office. She is the epitome of a Team Culture when it comes to camp. That is what a great leader does.

Sprinkle does it because she loves camp and what the Girls Scouts do for the community in building strong female leaders.  This is her “fun job”.  

I know the rest of the people stepping down this year do it for similar reasons as Sprinkle, it just happens that I see it up close each day and night. 

As she said in the program guide, “It’s hard work, but my favorite memories are “camping” with the girls and adult volunteers. I’ve made so many lifelong friends. It’s amazing to unplug and be surrounded by my wonderful camp family all week once a year.”

Thanks Michelle for being an outstanding leader and role model not only for our children but for all of the future leaders. We love you!!

And the Year is Done

Today is the last day of school.  Last Day of Anna being a high school student, and last day of Luke being a Freshman. It was a great school year for both while fun watching the both grow away from each other as much as they grew together. Something about a 15-minute car ride each day that will do it for siblings.

Graduation is Saturday and while Anna is receiving her diploma, Luke will be in the choir singing.

And then it is a busy summer with camp, orientation, wisdom teeth out, and mission trip for Anna.  This while Luke is headed to morning practices for a swim, Camp Trotier, and the same mission trip with Anna.

Bring on Summer! It is going to be Fantastic!

It Has Been a Great Ride

Then the clock reached the 90th minute, marking the end of the game. The end of the season. And the end of a high school athletic career.

We LOVED watching you play.

Being a high school athlete is not easy. Being one in the Classic 8 Conference adds another level of difficulty. A scholar athlete, yet another piece of complexity. Having your Dad be the Coach for half of the year adds more. Coming back from surgery to a part of your body required to succeed in both sports just adds to it.  But you did it.

We LOVED watching you play.

You were able to have great coaches in your life that molded, mentored, encouraged, challenged, assisted, took chances, made you expand your horizons. Coach Worzella, Coach Perugini, Coach Hauser, and Coach Ksobiech in soccer. Then on the swim side, it was the holy trinity of female coaches with Coach Sarah, Coach Jordon, and Coach Elle. Not sure what we would have done all four years without them.

We LOVED watching you play.

We had a series of ups and downs over the past four years. And I learned as season 2 was going on that I wanted to be your Dad at meets when you swam. We hardly disagreed on what was best for the team or for you during that time. You were Captain for 2 seasons but in reality had it figured out what makes a team click after freshman season. That was your leadership coming out.

We LOVED watching you play.

Many things we could not have predicted would happen.  Your coach swimming you in JV your first high school meet because he was not sure what was going to happen – it was the 200 IM. Having your first prom as a Sophmore on your birthday after two soccer games that were over an hour away. Most would not have handled that as well as you did. Hating butterfly moved to being a love and a key to breaking the school record and going to State twice. Tearing your ACL and recovering mentally and physically from it. Being named Prom Queen after being told you did not need to wear your brace a couple days earlier. A tough senior swim season not being at 100 percent leading to being named Female Athlete of the Year. Making 17 saves in one game and then a PK the next. There is more. But these jump out as things that we will always keep in the front of our minds.

We LOVED watching you play.

We took a ton of pictures with the new camera. And more with our iPhones. You have some of the best senior pictures ever with your sports shots. Thanks Jason!!  

We created a ton of memories. We had some pretty awesome talks about life. We had a ton of laughs mixed in with some tears. We had a pretty good run at this student-athlete thing. And if Thursday is the last time you lace up your cleats or put the goggles on competitively, we just want you to remember one thing….

We LOVED watching you play.

Then it Was Over

img_8060The 26th season as a head coach came to and an end on Saturday. Now I am left trying to wrap my head around the fact that we will not be able to watch Anna swim on a regular basis anymore in high school.

The journey was a great one with plenty of ups and downs. Something that I wish every parent could experience. Our relationship grew each day. We challenged each other to get better. We struggled. We succeeded. It was hard and it happened every day. Some of it was together, while at other times, we each had to figure it out on our own.

I know she has plenty of fast swims still in her as she moves forward. Forward being at a yet undetermined college that will probably be more than 3 hours away.

There are plenty of you that have sent your kids off to college after the enjoyment of watching them play their high school sport. There are probably some of you that were able to coach your own kid at some point as well. You can probably relate to some of this.

This past season was by itself its own journey:

  • Torn ACL on April 7th.
  • Surgery seven weeks later on May 26th
  • Went to Girl Scout Camp – walked without crutches for a week on June 12th
  • Back in the water for a mere 25 meters, 7 weeks after that on July 21st
  • Swam every day between July 24th and the 28th during our contact days
  • Season for High School started August 9th
  • 30 physical therapy sessions between the surgery and August 30th
  • Cleared for everything at the beginning of October
  • Swam the 100 Butterfly and 100 Breaststroke at the Conference and Sectionals

Back on April 8th, the day after it was torn, we came up with #NoOffDays. We each knew that she was the only one that could do the work to make it back.  She had to both push herself and at the same time know her limits. Not go to fast or too quick while staying inside the parameters set by the athletic trainer and the Doctor.

I think this struggle and determination during this stage of her life will end up paying large dividends later. She should be able to draw on the experience to make her stronger. To know and to understand the full impact of what it means to work hard and to get close to the results that you worked for. To know your own limits while still being able to push to the next level. To be able to set goals and fall a bit short.  Not a failure but rather a learning experience. Anna’s goal was to make it back to State, and she fell a bit short.  But it was not because of lack of effort or lack of will.

This is the part that I will miss most.  Her ability to stay focused on her goals, while at the same time showing full support of everyone else around her on the team. If that was one thing that I was able to impress upon her over 4 years – that the team is more important than the individual – then I did succeed as the parent/coach.

The best part about this story is that on Monday, I get to start this exact same journey a second time. This time with Luke. We can only hope that he is ready for the ride!

6 Weeks Out


First Time Back in the Water since March

We are now 6 weeks out and the next check up with the DR was today.

Things have been progressing well and she is now able to walk down a stair, with assistance, with the repaired leg. Anna has said that it takes more muscle to walk down stairs than it does to walk up stairs.

She is still going to see the physical therapist two times a week.  PT has recommended that she try to get into the weight room at North to get on the stationary bike and/or to work on the leg sled to get one extra day in.  Going to PT twice a week is a minimum.  We are working on a plan for that.

Tuesday of this week Anna got back in the water briefly and swam about a 600. Actually, she pulled the entire time.  She said it felt good to get back into the water.  She got in again on Wednesday and felt the same excitement. It will be a long road to get the strength and confidence back, but if anyone can do it, she can.

And the best news….the Doctor cleared her for everything except for breaststroke kick for a while. This is extremely exciting.

The plan will be to gradually add more swimming each week so we can be ready for contact days at the end of the month and the season starting on August 9
It also means that she can probably go back to work life guarding at the YMCA.

4 Weeks Out

Full survival at Prairie Hill Day Camp was a success. My estimate is that she walked between 40 and 50 miles over the 5 and half days last week. I logged over 100k steps, so I am pretty sure she did with her little kids group.

Rest with her leg up, Ice, and some Ibuprofen at lunch and at the end of the day seemed to help as well.

The Video below is her jumping off the raft.  She is on the far left.  Mind you, this is exactly three weeks after surgery.

At Tuesday’s therapy this week, the Physical Therapist told Anna she was doing good for being close to 8 weeks out.  Anna had to remind her that we are just closing in on 4 weeks.  During that session she did ride a stationary bike for the first time.

During today’s therapy session, Anna was able to use the leg press and did some small squats.

Progress is Good!


2 Plus Weeks


18 Days after Surgery

Thursday will mark three weeks from the surgery date.  Anna has been going to therapy and the stitched have fully dissolved without much assistance.

The last couple days of school last week, the request was made by the PT to use one crutch more for stability in the crowded hallways.  School ended last Wednesday and we are down to no crutch.  Anna can bend it to 145 degrees and seems to be more confident each day in her ability.  She is still icing it most nights.

This is a big test this week though.  <<Insert dramatic music>>  It is the week of Girl Scout camp. Day one concluded today and she did take some Advil and did ice once tonight.  My guess is that she had to be over 10k steps each day.  That would make any normal semi athletic person tired, so I can only image how she is doing.

We continue to check in on her during the day this to make sure she is resting when able and elevating.  Next week we are back to 2 scheduled PT visits and a couple trip to Waukesha North with the school PT.

Thanks for all the cards and notes people have been sending. I know she appreciates it. It is great to have an awesome support system around us.

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