Today at work was a sad day. We found out one of our coaches had been brutally mugged and is in the ICU.
It was also the last day for two of our coaches, both of whom are moving on Monday, one to Florida for her husband’s new job, one to Hawaii for her husband’s new station (US Navy).
The two departing coaches have been very close allies of mine in the gym since I started back in September. They are very much loved by the staff and students alike.
In the photo above is my hand. In my hand is a handprint from a very sweet, very talented 8-year-old girl named Jamison.
The coach moving to Hawaii is her primary coach.
Today, during our Uneven Bars rotation, her training group shared the apparatus with mine.
Jamison walked over to me and said, “I’m really sad.”
I asked her, “Why is that, kiddo?”
She said, “Because (coach) and (coach) are moving away and I am going to miss them a lot.”
I told her, “I know it is really sad, sweetie. I am sad, too. I don’t want them to go away either.”
She looked at me and asked me to sit down so she could hug me. I did. Then she said, “I need your hand.” I put out my hand for her. She then placed her fully chalked-up hand onto mine and asked me, fighting back tears, “You’re not going away, are you? I need you to stay and make me the best gymnast I can be.”
With tears welling in my eyes, I told her, “I will be here for a long time. We will make you awesome.”
She hugged me and simply said, “Perfect.”
She is only eight years old. Her hands won’t be that tiny forever.
It is a reminder that behind all the talent, all the toughness and hard work and intensity, they are still just little girls.
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If this was waiting at home I might never leave home