Virtual State Meet Refletions:
As many of you know, I was really looking forward to being on deck as a coach again this year. Last year was chaotic, hectic, busy and fun but in a totally different way. What I missed most throughout the entire meet was spending time with everyone not only coaching your events but catching up on life stories. So, to be part of early discussions about the possibility of cancellation even several weeks before the announcement was made was very nerve wracking. We knew that it would have a lot of implications for many people. What we didn’t know was that when we made the decision was that the most of the country would be shut down by the time we would have swam State Meet.
For the past two weeks it has been Hannah, Rowze (my photo-bombing long-haired Weimaraner!) and me at home. We have gotten out and been active and luckily Scott is still working. Still, it is lonely and I miss the interaction on deck with all of you, my kids at The Sports Club, and all my fellow coaches. I’ve picked up the phone a lot more in recent weeks to connect with people and as always text conversations are flowing. When Jim and Dianne and I in some random conversation (there are many – if you walk away you can often miss 30 texts!) started brainstorming the idea of a Virtual State Meet we had no idea what path it would take.
Today as I sit here writing and recovering I feel like I spent the weekend at on deck except for the fact that my feet don’t hurt from standing all weekend! My body aches, my brain is a little foggy, and I have that same feeling of what comes next? The best part to me is that it truly felt like a team atmosphere and even though we weren’t all together all weekend we participated in something with each other. We cheered each other on, we encouraged each other, we laughed out loud at each other, talked a little smack, and brightened each other’s weekend. For those of you that didn’t participate and just watched all weekend I hope that you learned a little more about what this team is about – family – the MAC family. And I have to say that being on deck at State Meet is exactly the same experience, nothing to be afraid of but more of just the same silliness, the camaraderie, friendships, learning more about yourself, and having fun. If you had told me I’d be doing videos in my bathing suit on a piano bench with a bowl of water just a few months ago I don’t think I would have believed you. It brightened my weekend tremendously. I enjoyed every minute of watching for the pictures, videos, and spending time on our Zoom ‘Cocktail Hour’. I can’t wait for our next event, whatever it may be. I think this was my favorite State Meet ever – I know I’ll never forget it – thanks for the memories everyone.
This team never stops amazing me! It truly is the best job in the world being one of your coaches! When Dianne, Kris and I first started putting this event together last Wednesday (just 5 days ago), I thought we would be lucky to have 20 people sign up. Much to my surprise… we had 56, in just 36 hours. That is amazing. During the event, it was such a great distraction from all the crazy going on today. So many hilarious and creative Facebook posts… several times I truly “laughed out loud”. From a coaches perspective, it was fun to see everyone embrace this event in true MAC style. Together.. we are strong! #MACSTRONG #BAN
I think it is safe to say that the team has come out of this weekend stronger! I wasn’t supposed to be at the State Championship in Kentwood. I was supposed to be in France with the Brighton Choir Program. I remember sitting in the Michigan Masters meeting last year when they chose this date and being devastated knowing that I couldn’t attend State Meet with the team.
As the 2020 State Meet approached and our France trip got cancelled I thought for a moment that I might be able to attend the meet but the closures and restrictions came swift and heavy. Needless to say, when Jim presented this idea for our virtual championship, I was all in! Special thanks to Coach Jim for his wonderful idea! This weekend felt just about as great as it would’ve felt having actually been at the State Meet with this wonderful team. Our MAC family was able to connect in a way that I would guess few teams are doing across the country. The situation that we find ourself in today can be very scary and anxiety producing but this weekend showed just how together we are not only as a team but as a family and most importantly a support system.
The 2020 Virtual State Meet Championship was one of the most fun events I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of, despite not swimming. Working with Kris and Jim to bring this to life felt just like being at State Meet and constructing/adjusting relays! Deciding which events to participate in felt just like picking my State Meet lineup. And most importantly, checking Facebook every 5 minutes for new posts, watching videos, and commenting on videos/pictures felt just like catching up and cheering for our team on the deck! I even got to critique some strokes along the way! Thank you MAC team for providing a wonderful release and getaway from the sometimes frightening and uncertain reality that we find ourselves in today.
I’ll say it again, we are a stronger team now than we were on Friday before 3:00pm! This team’s strength, fight, and resilience are unmatched! We are MACStrong and a #BAN!