With work picking up steam again this week, posting became neglected. At the same time though, I returned to coaching rugby. I had a smashing time as a first year rugby coach last season, and I’ve been waiting keenly for this season to get started. The young players took to the pitch for our first practice this week and we show signs of having a great crew. The hour and a half I spend at each practice, outside, helping kids learn about this great game, is an immediate injection of balance. For 90 minutes nothing else enters my mind but being active, creating smiles, building team and learning skills. There is no work, no pressure, no deadlines, no planning for the future, no yesterday, no tomorrow. Now, I am not about to lobby for this as the primary means to balance. Complete mind and body engagement on activities such as coaching, or playing sport are a key ingredients to balance, but cannot serve as the complete menu to off-setting whatever else one engages in.
Nevertheless, it is an integral piece of my balance currently. While my inner workings may sometimes lament that the hours I put into coaching rugby each week could be spent on reducing my work load, I quickly counter with the seemingly obvious: I am more productive when I’m doing much more than just working. Further, I’m learning, and that’s rarely a negative endeavour. While I have been fortunate to coach a range of sports, and some at very involved and committed levels, I am still rather new to coaching rugby. The intense and practical learning I engage in while coaching such a multi-faceted sport keeps my brain ticking and my mouth smiling. Even more importantly I am helping and witnessing new rugby players learn skills, learn to cooperate in a new environment, learn how to win and loose at something you’re new at, and learn a life-long activity that values camaraderie. Trying to guide athletes is not a new challenge for me, but it is a challenge that always brings new experiences. New experiences help bring balance to the challenges we enjoy. I am excited about the season ahead and all the learning that will go on.