This weekend I coached a swim meet…barely. I haven’t been feeling my best for the past couple of weeks. Started with what seemed to be a quick stomach bug, minus the quick part. I truly have yet to see my digestive system recover.
Tested negative for everything so I mustered some energy to go coach a session of a swim meet. I was eager to see my kids swim and it is the last meet before state!
If you’ve ever had to hear me bitch about my co-coach (key word CO-COACH) then I’m sorry…you are going to need to sit through another.
Do you ever come across a person who bothers you no matter what they do? The kind that I’d literally ANYONE else did the same thing, it probably wouldn’t bother you; but because it’s this one person it drives you nuts? Well that person is Derek (for sake of anonymity I changed his name).
Ok, I don’t unreasonably dislike him. There are many reasons. The dude is filled with toxic masculinity, toxic christianity, ableism, falls right into societal gender roles. Which I mean…have you met me? Even just seeing me I feel like you’d have an idea of what to expect from me. And I don’t let him get away with SHIT.
I’ve had talks with our head coach about the obvious favoritism of the boys in the pool, referring to our girls as “troublemakers”, calling me a “cripple” when on crutches (in front of the kids), mocking autism, and the many many other things and we have gotten nowhere. Not to say our head coach is a bad human for not acting on it…however, coaches are in a position of power over developing kids. So this pisses me off. Not to mention that he takes a power trip and the severe power imbalance reinforces to our kids that they indeed, are not equals.
One of my biggest fundamental values as a nanny and coach is to maintain a balance of power. This is not to say I lack authority, but I allow my kids to equally correct my behavior and ask any questions as I am a safe space to have serious discussions.
I really, really dislike this dude if you can’t tell yet.
Let’s talk about this meet. This day was my second day back to the pool after a gnarly stomach bug. I was out for a week and a half due to a compromised immune system. Our head coach is out with covid, and another was on vacation so that left us with three coaches to cover this meet. That meant that I had the dishonor to coach with Derek.
I was tired and not feeling good so attempting to bring energy for the swimmers was already difficult. It became nearly impossible when I walked into this fuckery. The first thing I saw while walking in was everyone unmasked, which apparently was a “last minute” decision. Me, being immunocompromised human, instantly became highly anxious. Then I got on to the pool deck and was met by our young women complaining about his coaching.
Among these complaints were comments about his lack of sympathy, lack of knowledge and just being a dick. One of our swimmers who is 13 is very talented. She swims so fast that sometimes her mind can’t keep up with her body. As a result, she often has struggles regulating her body post-race. She hopped out of the water and was out of breath, in tears and pain. This isn’t uncommon in young athletes who know how to push themselves physically. They simply haven’t been given the tools to be able to deal with the mental stress that is a result of the physical stress.
This asshole goes and talks shit to our other SWIMMERS about the fact that she was crying. WTF. Anybody with half a brain would understand that it is super normal. Even in adults. SO SO SO many adult athletes cry post race. The scary part is that Derek wants to be a youth pastor.
Just gag me.
Then he starts to criticize me for being the only person wearing a mask. When he does this shit, I often just walk away mid conversation. I don’t even let him finish. So, when he opened his mouth to start in on the mask, I took a stroll in the opposite direction.
Throughout the meet he also finds ways for people to stroke his ego. I never feed into it because it just is so fucking dumb. This whole meet I had to listen to him say, “I could still keep up with this heat”.
Ladies, never stroke a man’s ego. Again, normally I would just not respond but this time I was feeling spicy. I decided to humble him. I said, “Did you ever qualify for state?”
I knew the answer to this, of course. He actually is the least qualified of all of the coaching staff to coach. He paused a minute and responded, “No…BUT”. I cut him off and said, “Interesting”, and walked away.
I know he knows I dislike him, and he just fakes kindness (emphasis on fake). But I am done. I will no longer play nice. I will exist in the same place, but I refuse to have any conversation outside of swimming business.
I just hate that we live in a society that raises our men to be this way. I can’t deal with this. It truly becomes so exhausting.
Not to mention him telling one of our swimmers that he would show up to practice wearing makeup if they beat a meet record. Why are we still acting like it would be embarrassing to wear makeup as a man? As if they aren’t plenty of men who wear makeup. What pisses me off more is that you are going to allow the swimmers to laugh and make fun of you for it, which further reinforces the idea that men shouldn’t wear makeup.
I am going to tell you right now that this was just a bunch of ramblings. I don’t even think I want to go back and edit this. It probably is a mess of a rant and that is A-okay.
I do want to know if anyone has any subtle power moves to humble men? Or really any dumb humans in general. Please do share!
Thanks for listening as always. I have taken a huge step back from writing about world conflicts as I process. I do plan to write when it feels right. Lots of stuff happening state side that is very triggering for me in the moment, but I promise an update is coming!
I hope everyone is doing well and taking care of their stupid, fucking, mental health.