I'm still here!
My blogging buddy, Mark Roulo, sent me an email a week ago to make sure I hadn't fallen off the face of the earth. It's nice to be missed by somebody, and I've felt guilty about being away for so long. But blogging takes mental energy, and I just haven't had enough left over to do this lately. As I told Mark, I set the blogging aside because I have been so involved in my two jobs--teaching and coaching hockey.
Even though I've done it for 33 of my 34 years in education, I guess I forgot how demanding coaching is on one's time and attention. After taking a year off, I came back into coaching last year and although I worked with the varsity goaltenders, my main responsibility was handling the junior varsity team. Hockey is huge in northern Minnesota, but there is far less pressure on JV than there is on varsity teams, so when it comes to enjoyment vs. pressure, it was one of the most enjoyable years in coaching I've ever had. This year I was moved to varsity assistant, and our team is very good. As a result, the pressure has increased, and the amount of energy demanded from me has gone up with it. I thought I'd be able to hang in there with the blogging through the season, but I underestimated how hard that would be.
Our team finished it's regular season on Tuesday with a record of 23-2. We begin our section playoffs next Thursday, and we have to win three games to make it into the state tournament, which is our main goal every year. Right now, it appears that we have a legitimate chance to not only make it into the state tournament, but to win our state championship. There is the very real possibility, however, that we will get knocked off in our section tournament, and if that happens, it will be hard to view our season as a success, regardless of our impressive record. That is pressure! I'd love to tell you that I handle pressure marvelously and that I will be calm, cool, and collected throughout the upcoming ordeal, but the truth of the matter is that at times like these I remind myself a lot of Barney Fife. As I told Mark, at least I'll be able to put my Metamucil away for the next couple of weeks.
I'm posting this because we have a nine-day break between our last regular season game and our playoffs, so the head coach has given the kids (and me) a rare weekend off. I might post again soon because we only have school two days next week. We've got Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday off because our girls' hockey team made it into their state tournament. You think that doesn't add a little to the pressure? In any case, don't worry about me. I'm still up here in the frozen tundra of Warroad, and hopefully I'll be able to get back into blogging when our season is over.