I spent nearly 3 years coaching Parkville United. I coached at Parkville High School for 2 full years: 6 seasons & 3 sports in total. And I coached with Pipeline Soccer Club for about 1 season, though the intent was to be there much longer. I hear from my PHS girls all the time, God love them. I've made 4 of their games this season and they still play as the family I taught them to be. They play with heart and character, and their new coach has fallen in love with them just like I did. The girls are some of my biggest cheerleaders when it comes to getting better. And PSC, despite my short time with them, keeps me on the team email list. At first, it made me sad reading team updates, but I've grown to love it. I feel connected in a good way. I still can text or email Aaron to discuss team happenings and offer perspective on girls of that age. Even though I can't be there, it feels like they wish I could, just like I wish I could. I also occasionally get to talk to my former adult league teammates. Some of them I coached with, some of them were just teammates who became friends. Just last week I got to see one of my former teammates -- and one of the few females I've ever easily connected with. They're far away and in a different world than me, but they're all still there.
During my battle with TOS I've struggled in a major way with my identity. Because my health has robbed everything from me, I've stopped knowing who I am. Sometimes when strangers ask what I do for a living I'll answer coaching, rather than explaining I'm disabled. It's just easier; if I say I'm a stay-at-home-housewife people assume we have kids or are trying, and that's also not a conversation I want to accidentally fall into. But the fact is I'm not a coach anymore. I officially haven't been since April 2013. And I haven't played since June of 2012. I managed to coach during my early TOS struggles. Playing was always out of the question. Not just no playing -- no exercising at all.
I have been an athlete forever. It is one of the core foundations of who I am. Or who I thought I was. I have totally stopped feeling like that's who I am and it has resulted in a deep confusion of wondering who I am, if not what I know.