I mentioned a few days ago that my daughter's swim team is going through some major changes. All three coaches have resigned. It's become a very emotional time for everyone involved with the team. YMCA teams tend to become a family. We spend enormous amounts of time together. Being a parent of a swimmer means you are very involved in what is going on because you have to be part of running the meets. Even at away meets, teams have to provide timers to help run those meets, too.
Losing one coach is hard. Losing two coaches really hurts. But, losing three (and in our case, all) your coaches is heartbreaking in so many ways. All three coaches have been part of the team for many years. Two of them since they were swimmers, themselves. So, it's very emotional for them to leave something that has been such a big part of their lives.
But, it goes even deeper than that. Since our Y has not yet hired any new coaches, the uncertainty of what will happen has driven almost all our swimmers and their families to different teams. It also means noone has volunteered to be part of the parent board next year. Basically, it feels like our team is falling apart.
I have been part of the parent board for the last two years. This is a board that has worked endlessly to grow a team that was starting to struggle into a thriving team. We more than doubled the number of swimmers on our team. We had the two most profitable years our team has ever seen. And, this year we took more swimmers to "state" (a meet you have to qualify for) than the team has taken in about a decade.
Now we are down to probably less than 10 swimmers staying to see what happens. My daughter is one of the swimmers that wants to stick it out. It's so hard to take her to practice and see so many people missing. Not only has my daughter made friends and grown close to her teammates, but I have grown close to and made friends with so many of the parents.
This is the place my daughter found her passion. It's where she learned to love a sport and found a place to belong as part of a team. It is where I watched her come alive as an athlete. Something that I did not find until I was in my second year of high school. And, because of this I fell in love with the sport myself, even if I don't actually participate in the sport as a swimmer.
So, now I keep swinging from complete saddness, to reminding myself that things always work out and feeling hope back to saddness. And, in between, I fight anger that really has no place to be directed towards.
No matter what, I know, what will be will be and our time with the Stingrays will always be a special time to remember. I just hope it's not over entirely. It just really is a heartbreaking situation right now.