6. Progress

Well, working with the Lex program so far has been a blast.  I remember, of course, that the reason I committed so much time to this activity in the first place was because it was fun. It’s easy to lose sight of that, as responsibility replaces engagement for so many coaches as time goes on.  And indeed, someone does have to take responsibility for the various mechanics of tournaments and teams.

Now I’m happy to tab the odd tournament and help out here and there, certainly.  I’d rather tab a well run tournament that judge at a horrible mess of one, as a rule.  But I have to focus more on having fun in this activity.  I don’t get paid to do it.  In fact, I refuse to get paid to do it, despite having been offered payment for it many times.  The only time I’ve taken money out of forensics was at camp, and even there I made less than the two weeks of work I skipped for it would have paid me.

But the main iron in the fire for me in debate is to have fun.  I wasn’t having fun for the last few years, and it had nothing to do with the people around me, but everything to do with what I was doing and what I wasn’t doing.  I could have probably just left altogether and been OK, but so far I’ve been happy with where I am and what I’m doing; coaching great kids who’re having some real good early success, doing interesting work in interesting new fields, and so on.  Hell, I already have three cases in my head ready to be written depending on what Jan/Feb is.

So it’s going to be a tough year; 2010 will grind on for much longer than the end of December, for me.  It will not always be easy.  I may yet have to abandon a tournament, suddenly, midstream, and horribly.  But I’m glad, at last, to have rediscovered the fun in it.

So that ends this exercise in navel gazing.  I’ll be back to sporadic posting about nothing in particular.  But I’m glad to have this out there, for the people who read it to see.  It started so negative, but ended on an up note, I hope.  Which is what I hope for the year, the decade, the life to come.  I’ll have down days and sad days and days where I can’t do much.  But at the very least, in a perversion of the Kantian logic in debate rounds, I can begin to treat each day as an end unto itself, not as a means to serve another day.