To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, February 26, 2010

My New Side Job

I have a new side job... because clearly I am not busy enough.

I am an now an Assistant Coach... though everytime I've gchatted about it with people I keep saying I am an "Assistant Couch." (Hello, don't mind that I have a college degree in English!) Well, I guess I am both, but the latter is not a new job for me - I have always loved the couch!

Recently I began helping out my friend Sara who is the head coach for the Ocean View Swim Team in Huntington Beach. She's wanted me to help out for years, but since I used to work so far away I could never do it. This year I can. I don't get paid in cash. It's one of those "rewarding" jobs. Although occasionally I get paid in high fives, and more often than that, I get paid in the currency of teenage angst (a.k.a. eye rolls and sighs).

When I was little I was a fish! I started swimming when I was 2, joined my first club team at 5ish, and swam competitively through high school. When I was a teenager, there were days I swam twice a day for 3 hours at a time. I was a decent little swimmer. I made varsity my first year out, and went to state every year. When I got to college, I decided I was tired. I still pull out the old Speedo every once in a while, and when I do I still LOVE to swim.

So, basically, although I have never been super great at many things, I CAN swim. I can swim any stroke and any length. Like I said, by nature, I am a fish. But, besides teaching lessons in church and teaching teenage girls to put on make-up, I have never really taught much of anything. And, I don't think I am really good at teaching.

Some of the swimmers on the team are (bless their little muffin hearts) REALLY horrible. Those are the ones I get to teach. There are days I want to stand at the end of the pool and chant "Rudy, Rudy, Rudy..." But, I don't. I just smile and try to think of new ways and nice sounding ways to say "you look like a hot mess in that water kiddo!"

The other day one of the girls I was coaching looked like she was drowning. So, I turned to my friend Spils and asked. How can I constructively say "Muffin, I don't even know what you're stroke doing. Are you ok? You are not going to drown are you?". She said, it was easy and to watch her. "Listen kid, you are a weakling. You need to lift weights. I don't even think you can lift a kitten. And, you are never going to swim if you can't pull your own weight! And, you don't even weigh very much. So, go home and start lifting weights." Eeeeeekkkk. The little muffin just looked up at me. I said "but, you have a mean kick and a sweet roll when you do the butterfly."

We have our first meet tomorrow. I am pretty sure we'll get slaughtered. I am just hoping no one dies!

But, I am loving being a coach (even more than I have liked being a couch all these years)! And, the kids are so sweet. It would be tragic to lose any of them should the pool ever get the best of them.


Amanda said...

You are, once again, good for a laugh. And you are so sweet to help the little children. Maybe someday you can give me some tips - I am a lousy swimmer!

Party of Five said...

I love it! Hysterical!

mama mia said...

Oh, the memories! I love the video we have of you at age 3 or 4 jumping off the high diving board at the Mansion House pool. You obviously dressed yourself that day because your bathing suit was on backwards, revealing a full bare chest and a major wedgie on the tush! Pure, raw talent to be sure!

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Ali B. said...

Mom. I wore my swim suit like that intentionally. I was weighing my options for future night jobs. Lucky for you and dad, my chest never grew much, so my swimming ability won out in the end!

spils said...

oh ali... come on she was a weakling.. and it isn't anything i didn't tell her last year... the good news is that she's lifting everyday now and i think she's realized she has an upper body that good for something more than just hanging on her boyfriend. Isn't it fun! :)

katy kathryn julia said...

Ali, I had no idea that you are a swimmer! And I'm jealous that y'all have home videos of when you were young! We don't have any of those. :(