Friday, September 10, 2010

I have become zee proud mama.

I'm psyched to have been elected one of the co-captains of the Nuts for next season. I love my team and I'm stupid excited about being chosen to take on such an important gig. I'm leaving a number of league jobs I've held for some time, and I'm ready to take on something new.

However, with this comes one major loss: I can't be freshmeat mama anymore. Being a team captain means that I become a coach and I represent my team at the draft. Thus, I'm one of the people responsible for making every round of cuts during freshie training. Since the Mama role is all about shepherding and comforting the freshies through the cuts, the two gigs are mutually exclusive.

Looking ahead to freshie training, I feel a little strange. I'm a Project Runway nerd, so I'll use a PR metaphor. I feel like I've spent two years being Tim Gunn and now I have to become Michael Kors. I used to be the one ushering them towards assessments and watching from the sidelines with my "Go Freshmeat!" sign. I hosted freshie get togethers at my house so I could hang out with the new skaters far away from the stress and sweat of practices. It was an honor to be the official "cheerleader" for team freshmeat. I loved every second of that job and I'll always be grateful that the coaches let me create it.

This season I'll get to coach freshie practices and continue to push them to kick butt during assessments. I'm a teacher to the core, and I'm so excited about being able to run drills and show freshies the skills I've learned from all of the outstanding coaches on the league. That's one of the most exciting aspects of this new turn in the road. I've wanted to do this forever, and I can't wait to start.

However, I'll also have to keep my eye on the freshies who are falling behind. I have to be ready to agree to cut the ones who fall too far. If we'd had cuts when I was a freshie, I'm sure I wouldn't have made it through. It's going to be hard as hell to look for the me's of the group this winter and to tell them and to say "better luck next year."

It's better to leave a job on a high point than to wait until you're burnt out and doing the people you help a disservice. I'm leaving this gig after two memorable, meaningful, and extremely happy years. I'm stepping down when I'm in love with it. Because of this, I'll only take good memories with me.

Next season this job will be in the hands of two great people who will make it their own. Steve pointed out that I'll get to enjoy watching these two wonderful soon-to-be-vets pick up the torch, and that I'll be even more proud to see how they transform the role now that it's their turn. He's right, there's no prouder moment than seeing the people you've watched since they were newbies take on the roles you've passed on to them.

Maybe this will be more like that season of Project Runway where Tim Gunn had to step in and judge the final collections at the last minute. I hope so. I'll always be rooting for the freshies, even as I have to take a turn in the judge's seat.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010