With the extra time over break I spent time organizing my closet. While I was working on my t-shirts I realized something… t-shirts are wearable scrapbooks, that bring back powerful moments in our lives.
This is the front of my senior swim team shirt. I was a diver. I had high expectations my senior year. I placed ninth at state my junior year, my first year diving. But, I placed fourteenth, last, my senior year. My best friend, who was a state champion, tried to console me after prelims (top 10 continue to finals the next day). This provided one of those friendship bonding lines; after I had finally told him what place I finished at he sincerely said, “I don’t know how you feel.”
The next shirt is the shirt from my first head coaching opportunity and represents one of my hardest decision as a father.
This shirt was worn by every player on the team during warm-ups. I was blessed to get the chance to be a head coach in my second year of teaching. Even as I write this, I am flooded by the memories of the two seasons I coached. Our first win, having a player crack his vertebrae during a homecoming game, running a crazy 2-3-3 defense (8 man) that allowed us to win a game. But I made the decision to leave Pawnee City for my family and other reasons. I miss those players everyday.
Sometimes change comes from other people’s choices.
After Pawnee City, I was an assistant coach for the Centura football team. Those eight years were filled with so many moments as a team, and for me as a coach. A playoff game in freezing weather, a running back doing the spin move to make the touchdown after we had practiced that move that week, to not being apart of the team after eight years.
But there is something about being a head coach that fills or breaks your heart like nothing else.
I was again blessed to be a head coach for the Centura track team from 2009 to 2011. Life has a funny way of presenting hard choices to you. Again for family I would have to give up the opportunity to be a part a great team. I miss wearing the fluorescent shirt to practice; it meant a killer practice for the athletes. I miss building a season, the beauty and tragedy that track presents for athletes…one shot at performing at their best. Like life, the three years as head coach was filled with both heartbreak and incredible success.
But it isn’t all about sports.
This shirt is from a year end project a student did for psychology class. I have t-shirts from concerts, t-shirts of bands, t-shirts that represents all different types of moments from life. So, what moment of life will you wear today?