A Child’s Gift

Noah teaching me how to play chess for the second time… We had to use Spongebob characters as makeshift pieces!

Since today was my day-off, I decided to seize the day and finally put in work for my tennis tournament this weekend. To tell you the truth, I have not practiced in seven days because I wasn’t feeling well, along with a hectic work schedule. But it is finally slowing down, and I know I need to hit the gym again and get my routine back…

Anyway, I spent my day at Upland Tennis Club because my former community college coach and one of my dearest mentors runs it with her husband and I’m fortunate enough as her favorite (just kidding, maybe!!) to join her whenever I want. Aside from a good practice, I was surrounded by kids the entire time. Noah, one of her sons, gave me a second chess lesson (which I truly believe will make me a smarter person in general), I babysat them as they swam in the pool and I wasted practically my whole battery life trying to catch a video of them shooting a basketball as they jumped in the water (I said, “Do it for the snapchat!”…they probably tried like fifty times), and I was asked to coach a summer camp session later on in the day! It has been a full year since I last coached private and group lessons, and although it felt foreign again at first, I eventually settled into my comfort zone. I was reminded of how challenging it is to teach children, especially younger ones, tennis or anything at all. But as trying as it is, it’s simply the most rewarding occupation out there, and it altogether confirms my calling as a teacher. I’m really looking forward to being somebody’s educator, mentor, and friend… someone that they can go to when they need help for whatever.

That feeling when they say “Excuse me, Coach Mar…”– Ah. I live for that. Not for narcissistic reasons, but knowing that I can help answer someone’s question and make life a little bit easier for them. Being a kid isn’t easy, but I believe that the world exists from the fuel of joy that children bring to all of us. That’s the stuff that gives me a fresh breath of life, an ecstatic shot to my veins, and a heart full of happy sunshine.

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