My shoes not removed for more than a moment, I hung the key up on the hook. It was then my hand brushed against it causing the hard plastic to bounce against the nylon cord. My head immediately went down to the floor and my mind flooded with many thoughts about what this time of year used to mean for me. I looked up from the cold cement floor of the garage and embraced the whistle into my palm. I squeezed it and closed my eyes. The realization slammed down on my as if a car fell on my back. My knees went weak for a moment and I took a few deep breaths and put the whistle back on hook. Instead of going into the house, I walked back out of the garage and tried to distract my brain from thinking about basketball. My efforts were all for not. I decided it was healthier to let my mind think about it instead of denying what it so desperately wanted.
Feeling like I just lost my childhood pet, I began to pout. I could feel my blood pressure rising. I started to become furious. I was doing everything my way, the right way and I am left standing with a whistle in my hand ready to cry. I know I have blogged about this before and I even denied myself the truth by saying I wasn’t missing it. After seeing that whistle today and feeling the small cork like ball rattling inside the whistle, I miss coaching right now. I don’t miss the parents, I don’t miss the attitudes that came with some of the players, and I definitely don’t miss the late nights. Plain and simple, I miss the game. Furthermore, I will miss the relationships I built with young people. I will miss teaching the life lessons that sports can have.
I am not one to dwell on the past, but basketball has been a part of me since I was in middle school. The positives about basketball being amputated from my being go well beyond the negatives. The time I get to spend with my family is time I can never get back if I were to still coach. Christmas break is going to be awesome this year. My wife and I can enjoy it together. I get to concentrate more on my classroom and my most important job, being a language arts teacher. Oh, and the amount of time I can spend doing things for the writing project is a positive too. I truly am an optimist and I do believe things happen for a reason. I know in the long run I will be better off. Oh, and this blog tonight is another reason why I write. Writing allows you to get your frustrations out and express your feelings. And so the whistle hangs.