I have long had a favorite quote that goes something like this:
“In fifty years it will not matter how much money I make, the size of the house I live in or all the material things I may have, but if I have made a difference in the life of a child.”
I have been coaching gymnastics for the majority of my life and one of the most rewarding aspects of the job, is seeing the students you once had all grown up! Last year, while at a competition, I looked into the crowd and recognized a face – a face I had not seen in years, yet I knew this face. It was the mother of one of the gymnasts I had coached from 1987-1991. My thoughts raced as I tried to figure out why she was there. Come to find out, her daughter, now in her 20s was coaching too – another familiar face in the gym and I hadn't quite put the pieces of the puzzle together yet.
As I put the pieces together, I approached the young coach and said her name. It took a moment but she quickly said to the group of girls she had gathered around her, “girls, this is my coach!” It truly warmed my heart to still be considered her coach and to see her love for the sport has lead her down the path of teaching, too.
I get such a thrill to hear of my students successes, the paths they take in life and to know that I did indeed make a difference in the life of a child.
PS – Sometimes its the kids that make a difference in our lives. This particular gymnast was such a neat kid and I loved her name – enough so that I named my youngest daughter after her. They both get such a kick out of it, too.