NOLA or bust….

Way back in October or so, I decided if I wanted to be the best head coach for my kids’ Dream Team Youth Tri Club, I needed to become a certified youth coach.  That’s awesome but how do I do it?  Well, first, I had to somehow get into the competitive USA Triathlon Coaching Clinic Level I.
You see, USAT recently changed the process of attending these clinics from an “open” registration to an application process.  In the past, the people with the fasting typing/mouse clicks got into a clinic, not necessarily those who were more qualified or deserving.
Why did the change occur?  Many people began using the coaching clinic as, well, their own “coaching” clinic.  They were going solely for the purpose of personal enrichment, not to become a coach.  Nobody would do that, right?  Wrong.  Many Age Groupers were taking the course and not taking the exam to become certified.  Therefore, people like me, who have been coaches and intend to continue coaching were being left out simply because they had slower internet speeds or weren’t fast enough with their mouse clicks.  With that said, I’m glad they made the change because I may not have been in the class at all last week!
So, anywho (as my mom would say), I applied.  I had to create a coaching resume.  A coaching resume?  What?  I’ve coached soccer, hockey, etc for years but I haven’t coached triathlon that long.  Pfew!  Don’t panic!  There’s a sample on the application website!  Oh thank you, Jesus!
So I went and typed up a resume and filled out the online form to get my application submitted.  Done… wrong!  Ugh!  I need a reference from an athlete!  “Hey kids?  Can you write your coach a reference?”  No.  I had an athlete’s mother write a reference for me.  Done!
Then I had to wait.  Wait, wait, and wait. Finally!  I got the email accepting I got into the class! Woohoo!  I then went and paid for the class.  The class was $555.  Crap!  We just started making a car payment we haven’t had in four years, Christmas was around the corner, and the girls birthdays are both in December as well!  Ugh.  Somehow, we made it happen.
December rolled around and everything was going great.  Then, the dreaded check engine light came on in the Minivan.  (Yeah, minvan. Sue me.  With a family of five, did you expect a two seater?)  Nearly $800 to get the darn check engine light to turn off.  Lucky me.  Just when I am about to travel to New Orleans I get to spend a ridiculous amount of money for such a stupid car problem.
The week of Christmas rolls around and I take my leave slip to my supervisor so I can get the time off for the clinic.  She replied, “You can’t have that off, we have annual training that week!”  Little did I know, in the 10 years of my career, my job has decided to move up our training date a MONTH!”  Ugh.  Well, who in the world would ever expect the date to change?  Nobody!  Thankfully, I was able to show her that I would be losing close to $1,000 if I didn’t go to the course and she approved it.
I was off for two weeks and everything was going great.   Then what happened?  “Ding” Check engine light!  Ugh.  Seriously?  All that money for nothing?  It kept coming off and on and putting the van in “limp” mode the week before the training.  Why now?!  I was supposed to drive over to Montgomery and meet up with some guys to carpool the rest of the way to NOLA!  Ok, time to bite the bullet.  I ended up cashing in skymiles that I had saved up from a previous life (my corporate career).  It sucked cashing those in because I had every intention of using them to visit Europe again but with my family.  I guess going back to Germany simply was not meant to be…
I made it to the week of the clinic.  I had to sit through the first two of four days of Annual Refresher Training and then I was off.  Oh, and I got to teach some of the training as well.  It’s always fun to teach the same presentation you’ve taught for the past ten years.
I made the flight without any issues at all.  That’s right.  No check engine light.  I hate you, little light…


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