In recent posts over in our family diary I have covered some of the things we have done to get ready for the arrival of the bundle of joy. It’s amusing to me that something so small could have such a profound effect on every aspect of your life but I guess that is the miracle of life. It’s a miracle that anything survives! I know much of the furniture and decorations in the house haven’t made the cut. I thought when we agreed to do “the baby room” that it would be restricted to one room of the house, that being the room that the baby would sleep in. Apparently I was mistaken. The baby will be enjoying the redecorated bedrooms, bathroom, the new couch and the freshly painted walls if my wife has her way. She will also have a new desk upstairs to open her mail at and a craft room where she can spend time making arts and crafts. However if she gets tired of her own room she can go into the basement and sleep in the new bedroom that we have created down there. If she wants to play with anything that belongs to Daddy however she will have to go find it in the garage.

Nicole’s favourite thing to do nowadays seems to be to get me to feel the baby kicking. It’s pretty weird. However, the thought that Nicole has a little person hiding inside her that is alive but doesn’t breathe is just as bizarre. In fact, the more you actually think about pregnancy and the whole baby thing the less sense it makes and the more odd it seems. Nicole is getting less and less comfortable as time goes on, something that I am all to familiar with as a past fat git. You see, being pregnant, as far as I can tell, is just like being overweight. You can’t bend down to tie your shoes or reach the floor, you can’t reach certain parts of your own body, you can’t fall asleep without cutting off circulation to something and you wheeze like an asthmatic mouse every time you try to do something energetic. I’m not saying I am happy that Nicole is uncomfortable but at least now I am sure she knows what it is like for me when my back acts up and I walk around the house like an octogenerian wearing a backpack.

Needless to say, it’s a little overwhelming and bizarre at the same time. Plus there are the regular life things going on too, much of which is slipping away unnoticed because every 2 seconds someone is asking about the baby. Here’s a tip everyone… ask about the baby once it is born, k? Until then, let us wallow in our innocence and ignorance of the shitstorm (literally) that is about to hit us.

Death by sand burial. It’s part of a game we have been playing at gym with the recreational kids and for some reason the coach running the game couldn’t get my smartass comment out of her head and referred to it as death by sand at one point. The next day she managed to call it “Beach” but still described it as being buried alive for fun… Gym coaching has been fun this year, mostly because I have had a small group of kids that I really like. The only problem is that everyone seems to think that they know more than I do and while that may be the case with technical gymnastics, they can’t hold a candle to me when it comes to fitness and getting these kids in shape. Most recently I have had my conditioning replaced because the fit test results weren’t great. This may sound logical however there are 2 things at play here.

1. Nobody except Nicole, myself and the kids know how hard the conditioning is and how often we do strength vs cardio. This means that the kids are now complaining because the conditioning is too easy.
2. My kids, being teenagers, don’t respond well to a fit test type scenario and on any given day you may get amazing or crappy results. This time around they couldn’t be bothered which is typical. So the upshot is that they now get to do less and try to improve the next time. Since they realize what has happened I fully expect them to tank the next test.

The final, equally as irritating thing is that I was told that the conditioning I was doing at the start of the year was, essentially, worthless. It involved burpees with chinups and was axed the first time the head coach saw it. Funny thing, the burpee and the chinup are the staples that would have kept the kids strong had I been left to what I know. Anyway, it’s now only 9 classes until competition, not a time to be working on improving strength but rather polishing routines. I think next time, if there is a next time, I just won’t listen.

Speaking of which, a subject which will bring me great sadness was discussed last night and that is what we are going to do about coaching next year. Nicole says she is not sure if she wants to coach. I think she will be dying to do something, ANYTHING after being home with baby for a few months and would welcome the chance. Either way, it would be better to start and have to quit than to want to do something and not be able to. The bigger problem is the money. As much as we want to think we are doing OK, we are basically dirt poor. Something Nicole can’t seem to grasp sometimes and any extra money will be a massive benefit. The sad part is that I am coming to the realization that this will probably mean the end of my coaching career and the one thing in my life that I can say I truly love doing will be no more. It has been about 6 or 7 years now that I have been coaching and a large part of why I love it so much is seeing the kids every week. I am sure it is different when you are a parent but my love of the kids we coach is something that I will have a really hard time losing. My job, to be honest, isn’t exciting. I work in a technical field with technical people and am surrounded by technology. Frankly it’s boring as all hell on an emotional and creative level. But when we get to see the kids two nights a week I get to see life at it’s best and most appealing. There is nothing like seeing kids learn new skills, being impressed and proud that they did something cool. Whether it is my 9 year old rec kids who are just learning to do handstands or a competitive kid who learns to do a difficult and dangerous skill for the first time it is all a wonderful emotional experience. Even dealing with petulant teenagers who curse at you when they turn their back is worth it for the times that you can make them smile with pride at having impressed you. If there is no gymnastics in my future for the next few years it is something that I will miss with all my heart. Hopefully, my heart will be filled with the love for my daughter as we lead her through her life and the sadness over time will fade. Time will tell, but I am not comfortable with this aspect of the future.

So there you have it. As an introduction to the new site it’s a bit heavy but then again, life seems to be gaining weight at an alarming rate!