Next weekend, I will be driving across the country and moving to Bloomington, Indiana. Why, many of you ask would I trade in the beautiful, perfect weather and never ending options of food for a college town in the middle of nowhere in Indiana? Welp, I landed myself a job at Indiana University, a Division 1 program, to be an Assistant Swim Coach. This is kind of a big deal, to have no prior experience with coaching and to get this amazing opportunity. It’s just something I can’t pass up. For those of you that don’t know, Indiana University is steeped in swimming history. Throughout the 60’s all the way up to the early 90’s, they dominated the NCAA, winning multiple NCAA Championships, sometimes consecutively, as well as 20-Big 10 Titles. This was all done under the most innovative coaches of swimming, Doc Counsilman. He single-handedly created under water taping for swimming and coached one of the most famous swimmers ever, Mark Spitz. Spitz was also the most decorated Olympians in a single Olympic games until the record was broken by Michael Phelps. Now, Indiana University is trying to restore their swimming program to its former glory and I get to be a part of it.
So this means, complete career change, moving across the country, leaving all my friends, family, and community behind. I am freaking out to say the least. But something like this doesn’t just come along every day, so I am going to take it.
The pros are they have 2 beautiful, 50 meter Olympic size pools, one indoors and one outdoors. Their own weight room, a nutritionist, and physical therapist. Can I go back to school and swim for them? You can bet that I will be taking the most advantage of these tools as possible as I pursue my own dreams in triathlon. Plus, I will have more time to train and concentrate on making it to Kona!
So, over the next week and a half, I hope to see as many of you as possible. I plan on having a going away party next Friday the 22nd before I hit the road. No words can describe the sense of community and family that I have come to experience over the past 3 years through Team and Training and all of the people I have come to love. I am not kidding when I say you are all the best friends I have ever had in my life. It astounds me how many people follow my endeavors and cheer me on. This is only a temporary gig for about 2 years. Then perhaps I can come back and get involved with a California swim program or start my own triathlon coaching company. In an article I saw yesterday it said, “You need to stand on the top of Road Closed [sign] if you’re going to lead others to do the same.” I don’t know exactly what the heck I am doing, but I am more excited than ever to pursue this passion of mine and make it into a career. The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. Please stay in touch everyone. I will still be back for races in California and to visit you all.
So much love, Barbara.