The calendar year has come to an end. It seems like it has been 12 months filled with swimming, soccer, Girl Scouts, and people passing away. And although the last quarter of the year has been filled with tears and sorrow, it has also brought the immediate family closer together.
Back in January, I started coaching at Waukesha Express. This is the team that both my kids belong to. It was a great opportunity for me personally to develop and refine my coaching skills. And since both kids are there a great deal, we have extra time to bond. Anna is now on the Senior team, and Luke is in Silver and moving up. Kids are really finding themselves in swim, still have fun, and are making some great friends. Watching them progress is great. And they have learned lessons about making commitments to the team.
Men’s golf trip to Orlando with my brother and Family Vacation to the Dells with the Mollets took place in February and March. Trip to Orlando allowed me to retain my GASER Cup Championship and form Team SEACOW! Trip to the Dells with Mollet is just one in a long string of extended family vacations with a great family.
Also in the spring, I had my term as PTO President at Bethesda come to an end. Great experience working with good people and a super Principal. At the same time I was becoming the Wisconsin Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (WISCA) President. Some think it is an honor, but it is just more of drawing the short straw 🙂 We are trying to set some direction for the future of high school swimming in Wisconsin. Have been coaching for 23 seasons, and I thought it was time to give back more to the sport I really enjoy.
Summer came and that meant Girl Scout Camp. Another great year of leading great young adults and turning them into leaders. Michelle and Lynnette run one of the largest volunteer based camps in the country. I run the canoe station. While at Camp, Michelle and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. Most people would rather be in some far away remote resort, but I can think of no other place we would rather be for our anniversary. It defines who we really are.
We then moved to the high school swim season starting. But this time with an added twist. Anna was going to be on the team. She got to see both the good and bad of the sport. She got to see the good and bad of being the coaches daughter. All in all it was a great 14 weeks. You are only as good as the staff you put together, and my staff was off the charts great. I think that I thanked Sarah, Elle, and Alex almost every day for being part of the coaching staff.
There was a little fire at the high school on August 1st, so we were out of our home pool for an entire month. There were some concerns if the school would open on time. But it did and Anna started high school. Luke started middle school. 4 months into it now and both are doing great. Anna went to Homecoming. Luke is making some new friends while still being able to see his Bethesda buddies once in a while. The transition went much smoother than I ever thought.
Grew a moustache for the 2nd straight year for Movember. And for the 2nd straight year I was able to raise over 400 dollars for Men’s Health and Prostate Cancer Awareness!!
As soon as the Girls season ended, I started coaching the Boys team at Waukesha North/Kettle Moraine/Pewaukee. And although I kid that everyone was more excited about me coaching this team than I was, it has turned out to be pretty fun. It is a strong willed group of young men, that want to get faster. Sarah is my assistant and once you spend 28 straight weeks together you really get to know a person. If I ever had a sister, I would want her to be like Coach Sarah.
My Mom had a stroke at the end of August and passed in the middle of October. It was a rough time all around. So many emotions. So many great memories. Had a fun time remembering things that I forgot and learning things I never knew by looking through all the photos. Gave a little speech at the dinner after the service that makes me cry just thinking about.
And then just this past weekend, my grandma (Mom’s Mom) had her memorial service. She was 90. My Aunt, Mom’s sister, reminded my Grandma to say “Hi” to my Mom when she sees her in heaven. Most of the family that was in town in October was back in town for this service. I told most of them that I don’t need to see them for a couple of month, well, at least under these circumstances.
Michelle is still working at North High School. She is on her third boss since starting, but I think this one is going to stick around for a while. She is still running Girl Scout Camp. I think for three more summers.
Luke is playing SC Waukesha soccer, swimming for Waukesha Express, is taking improve classes after school, and is deeply invested into Minecraft.
Anna is swimming for Waukesha Express, looking forward to high school soccer, and is still reading a great deal.
Here is to 2014 being just as exciting and adventurous as 2013. And hoping that all of you have a great New Years.