When I started coaching cheerleading 17 years ago, it didn't occur to me that I would make so many treasured friends along the way. My first year of coaching I coached a high school program, and although that wasn't a great experience in itself, I did become friends with the Drill Coach, and to this day we are still dear friends. But beyond the school there wasn't really much opportunity to meet other cheer coaches.
My first year coaching, 1999, was also the year the Washington State Cheer Coaches Association was formed, and it was the first year of the WSCCA coaches conference. The WSCCA and I have "grown up" together in my coaching career. I started serving on the board in 2004 and have served each year since.
The surprise to me was that, somewhere along the way, serving on the WSCCA board and attending coaches conference, I made a group of dear, dear friends that I cherish deeply. Everyone has different "zones" in their lives, and I have a different set of friends in different areas. I never thought that I would become so close to the coaches I work alongside on a board.
This last weekend I had the opportunity to go to Las Vegas (yes, in hotter-than-Hades August) to celebrate the 50th birthday of a fellow coach. A group of six coaches, and my coach friend's daughter and niece, had a wonderful time enjoying the pools, the entertainment, and most of all, the company. I wouldn't trade that group for anything and I'm so glad I had that weekend away with my friends. I am truly blessed.