My readers know me as Peggy or HAMR, but most people (my students) know me as Ms. K or Coach. Coaching and obviously teaching, is a big part of my life. Most people get to go home after work and do whatever they do, but two out of three seasons a school year I coach; cross country in the fall and track in the spring. I actually like coaching a lot; specifically, coaching hurdles.
It all began freshman year in high school. I was a very little freshman who had no clue about running hurdles. That first year on the team, I had a lot of fun with my friends even though I never really got coached, but I was hooked on hurdles. Sophomore year, we got a new coach and he saw something in me that I didn’t know existed. For the next three years, he pushed me to be the best athlete, hurdler and person I could be. I looked forward to track practice more than anything. I seriously became a different person on the track and built my self-confidence. I went into teaching because I was bilingual (moving to the Chicagoland area when I was four) and because of my track coach. He gave me my first coaching job freshman year in college and paid me out of his own pocket. I can’t thank him enough for influencing my life and shaping me into who I am today. To this day, I’m still good friends with Coach V (it’s hard to call him by his first name still) and adore him, his wife and their beautiful kids.
So as you can see, coaching is more than just coaching a sport. It’s about making those connections and lifelong memories. I hope I inspire my student athletes just as my track coach inspired me. And yes, I can still run the boys’ high hurdles.
P.S. This is my off-duty coaching look. I promise to post what I actually wear to practice and meets. Especially, those fashionable instances when it’s freezing and I’m wearing a million layers and can’t feel my toes kind-of look.
Photography: Limani Designs