Learning to breathe…again.

February 25, 2011

BrielleSome of you who know me could say that I am a little WOUND and slightly energetic. Well, that is a result of my excitement for learning, education and life in general. With that said, I do feel like I have come a LONG way from where I was when I started this journey in education about 10 years ago (yes, I realize I am only in my 5th year of teaching… but I have been working with children since I was 16) At that time, I was a very different person… different to the point that I am not sure I remember when I took time to breathe.

In high school, I would walk quickly down the halls in a constant state of fear of being tardy for class. I carried EVERY book to EVERY class just in case I didn’t have enough time to stop by my locker for a quick exchange. I would ask the teacher for help when I didn’t really need it, just to be sure I was going to get the answer correct or was on the right track. I would talk to my math teacher to see if I could be tutored or could redo assignments in order to take my A- to an A. I harassed the counselors regularly to figure my class rank and did endless calculations of what my GPA “could be” upon graduation. I was an officer or at least a member of almost every club in the school. I was voted most stressed out my senior year and deserved it. I could go on and on about my perfectionist “issues” that I battled in high school, but I won’t bore you. All in all, I was a HUGE NERD and was driven by my perfectionism.

My college career was a whirl-wind also. Especially since I started taking classes before I finished high school at the local junior college twice a week in the summer. That was the beginning of the insanity. I took 21 credit hours during one semester which included an online course and a weekend class in Kansas City. Let’s just say that I have classes from 9 different universities that make up my crazy 3 year undergraduate career.

As I reflect on the past I become embarrassed at how I had lost control of my life. I was not even human. In fact, I was a robot. The only time I felt human is during my panic attacks and anxiety I experienced everyday before class…or when I would have difficulty sleeping because my head was racing with things that I needed to do tomorrow… or things that I didn’t get done the day before. Essentially, I was a real mental case. I am not sure I knew how to stop, relax or breathe.

Finally something hit me like a ton of bricks (I married that something about 2 years later). I realized that life was way too short to live afraid to fail, to continue the internal fight to be the number 1 at everything, and to essentially wake up with anxiety and stress running my life. I finally understood that life was worth living. As each year passes, I find things that reinforce my choice to live a “normal” life and suppress those feelings of anxiety and stress. The birth of my daughter Brielle and the future birth of another daughter in April creates my favorite kind of stress… parenthood. I wouldn’t trade that kind of stress for anything. Don’t get me wrong, occasionally playing a tough team in volleyball or a close Mizzou game might cause me to regress… but hey, I’m human…Finally!!

Here we go…

Title for this blog came to me as I was thinking…”What could I call this thing?” I even shamefully Googled some “Good Titles for Blogs” in my attempt to latch onto a good idea. The results of the search didn’t exactly describe my aspirations for this blog. I need something that describes my trials and tribulations as I stumble down this path of reflection in cyberspace. Therefore, “Coaching the Coach” was what I came across.

My title as Instructional Coach describes my job, but truly I am one coach that is coached on many topics every day. So as I learn, I surround myself with others who are in effect  “Coaching the Coach.”