[full of it]

my life’s been a pleasure

Posted in Uncategorized by susieyarbs on January 28, 2009

oh my my my.  where to begin.  the end:  i quit the coaching job this morning.  what what what, you say?  now the beginning:

i totally hated it.  the kids were great, it was nice to be around the sport again, but it made me feel so unbelievably terrible.  i’m not completely sure if i’ll be able to describe this well at all.  hmph.  let’s go back a little further.  i was a very competitive gymnast when i was a kid.  i started when i was five, was plucked from the recreational team to the developmental team almost immediately, and competed my first season when i was seven, which is the minimum competing age.  [[aside: pandora is letting me down right now.  it just played two versions of “stay a little longer” back to back]]  i competed for three seasons and quit when i was ten, totally burned out.  after that gymnastics was just something to watch every four years, until college, when i joined a club team.  it was more social than anything else, a way to stay in shape, not so much about the sport itself.  for a little while i coached tots and rec classes at a gym in austin, where every class was extremely structured, activities planned out beforehand.  it was fun, a really good job.  so, when i heard of another coaching opportunity here, i jumped on it.  like i mentioned before, i was immediately put in charge of classes with next to no training whatsoever.  of course i was overwhelmed, anyone would be, but i’m a pretty tough person and i thought i would just get used to it.  it became very apparent to me very quickly that i didn’t quite belong there.  these coaches have been intimately involved in the sport for their entire lives.  see, these classes are very different from what i was used to at the other gym.  other than the tots classes, there is no structure.  there is a rotation schedule, but that’s it.  vault, go!  beam, go!  and i’m standing in front of these girls with absolutely no clue what to tell them to do.  i have no idea how to teach a back hip circle, a roundoff, a back handspring.  i don’t know anything about drills.  i felt so insecure, so out of place, so out of control.  maybe it would have been different if i’d gotten some training, but somehow i doubt it.  i just don’t have that pool of knowledge to dip into that you get from practicing the sport yourself for so long.  i was dreading (i’m not using that word lightly) going to work, feeling insecure while i was there, and feeling trapped as i left.  other than the fact that i hated it, the job was everything i could have wanted.  more money, regular hours, part-time benefits.  at one point, i think john texted me “wow, this job sounds too good to be true!”  indeed.  

so, yesterday i coached a couple tots classes in the morning, which was fine.  in the afternoon i shadowed a couple of rob’s classes, and he had me lead the class a few times.  at some point during the second class i became acutely aware of how uncomfortable i was and started wondering if the anxiety i was having surrounding this job was worth the money, the regular hours.  i was actually having to fight back tears during the class.  is any job worth that kind of anxiety?  not stress, not challenges, honest anxiety.  the heart and mind-racing, stomach-dropping kind.  i cried on the bus and tried to calm myself down on the walk up to the apartment.  as soon as i walked in the door i plopped down on john’s lap and let everything pour out between sobs.  he, of course, was everything i’ve come to expect from him, which is to say: calm, supportive, comforting, eloquent, rational, loving, sweet.  he very quickly answered the question of whether the anxiety was worth the money, which seemed so obvious once he said it.  we also talked about my current job/career situation in general, which i’m sure played a part in the anxiety somewhere.  then we ate chinese food and watched king of kong.

we’d decided that i would sleep on it, then decide whether i wanted to quit the gym altogether, or tell the owner that i’m not ready for my own classes and ask if i could train more.  i slept, i thought, and this morning the idea of even going in for training sparked the same kind of anxiety.  so i called the owner, and after debating on whether i should tell her the truth or something else, like that i just decided i would go back to my old job, i just told her what was going on.  anxiety, not feeling like i was on the same level as the other coaches, feeling thrown into it.  she apologized for “feeding me to the wolves,” said she was sad to see me go because she’d liked me, and told me to stay in touch.  i tried to just quit, but she insisted that i think about it for a week and get back to her.  i thought she’d make me feel bad for just quitting with no notice, but she didn’t.  

fortunately, i never officially quit anthropologie.  my plan now is to cut my weekend availability at anthro, and volunteer at everett more days a week to fill in the gaps during the week.  and take up knitting.  i feel much better now.  maybe a touch emotionally jumpy, like if i spilled something i might cry.  but good.

oh, john found my watch!  i don’t think i ever mentioned that it was missing.  when we visited sf for our anniversary, we got each other watches.  sometime right after john’s parents visited in october, it just disappeared.  i searched everywhere.  i figured it must have fallen off my wrist on the bus or something.  but a few weeks ago john found it in tippy’s kennel.  she has a really annoying habit of getting things out of my purse and hoarding them in her kennel.  i’ll find receipts, chapstick, hand lotion.  all totally intact, she never destroys anything, she just likes having it around, i guess.  anyway, i’m glad i have it back.



One Response

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  1. Anne Booth said, on January 28, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    I’m so proud of you Susie! Quitting was totally the right (if not hard) thing to do! I’m so sorry that it wasn’t a better experience, because I know that those little girls would have benefitted from your coaching and smile, but seriously… you’d think they could give a girl some support!! I know that the right job is just around the corner, and until then, I’m putting together a knitting care-package for you asap. Miss you both very much! Love, AB

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