I knew the first year in Detroit was going to be difficult but I didn’t know it was going to be this difficult. Here we go again – moving to a new city, not knowing a single person, isolated. The kids didn’t know anyone and they missed their friends and I am trying desperately to find activities to keep them busy. I was literally trying to find them friends. Derek was never home because the entire staff was new and they were trying to rebuild a program, so he was either at the office or out recruiting. Before the season started I already knew the team wasn’t going to be that good. It is the reason why the old staff was fired and a new staff was hired. The new staff was supposed to resurrect the program but that is not usually done in 6 months and you don’t see results until the following year. There is nothing to look forward to. No hope for a winning record. No hope for post season play. Basically just get the year over with. When you are going through a losing season everything gets magnified. Anything that is annoying is 10 times more annoying. If you are feeling isolated and trapped you feel ten times more isolated and trapped. If you are angry you feel 10 times angrier. It also goes the opposite way in a winning season. If you are winning nothing gets you down. If you are winning you can handle whatever life throws your way. Unfortunately we were in the midst of a losing season and I felt trapped, isolated, and annoyed times 10!
I started to ask myself – “was this all worth it?” Look at all the sacrifices the children and I have made. We have been dragged all over the country isolated from family and friends. Just when we get comfortable somewhere and start to make friends we pick up and move. If I had known 13 years ago when we got married that after six moves and seven job changes we would end up where we started would I do it all over? My husband was a coach when I married him and I knew full well what I was getting myself into but that doesn’t mean that beyond this mountain we were about to climb I wasn’t hoping that there might be something on the other side. If I was going to go on this journey with you and end up being the one that picks up all the pieces after the falls I wanted something in return – financial security or to be close to family/friends or stability. We had none of these things. He could have just stayed at the high school level. We could have eliminated all the moves, all the stress. We would be surrounded by our friends and our kids could have grown up in one town instead of being ripped out of their comfort zone every few years. We would have stability and financially we would be making more than we are now. I really didn’t know if I could continue to do this anymore. It was alright when it was just me but I was not going to put my kids through this every few years if there was no reward. I am a registered nurse. I could get a job anywhere and Derek could get a high school job. We could get jobs close to our families, be financially secure and live out the rest of our lives there. I started running these alternatives by him and I know he wasn’t happy. But, I also think in the back of his mind he felt he couldn’t argue because all he had to do was look at our situation. Look where we were after following his plan. I was trying to come up with ideas because I figured anything was better than what we were living now. I think my husband felt like someone kicked him in the gut when I threw out these ideas. Even the thought that he may have failed his family and the thought that I wanted him to give up his passion tore him apart. It is a tough business and we know many people who have gotten out of the profession because they just couldn’t make it to where they wanted to be and I think my husband was thinking maybe he could be the next victim.
I brought up my ideas about him getting out of the profession one time and I never said anything about it again. I was angry and needed to rant and I know coaching NCAA Division I basketball is his passion. I am a nurse but I never felt like it was my passion. I don’t wake up with this burning desire to do a dressing change or suction out a trachea so I admire people who know what their true calling is. I would never step in between a person and what they were put on this earth to do. I truly think that coaching is God’s gift to my husband. Not just his skills as a recruiter and strategist but his skill as a mentor to young men. I admire him and that is why I married him. And he knew that I would always support him and that is why he married me.
We survived our first season in Detroit. We finished the season with a 7-21 record and I shoveled a record 30 inches of snow in my first Michigan winter. I don’t know if Mother Nature has a vendetta against us but it seems that every place we have moved has had the worst weather on record in years. We were told by native Minnesotans after experiencing our first and only winter that it was one of the worst winters they have had in a long time. You know if a native Minnesotan is saying that then it must be bad. When we moved to Las Vegas and experienced the desert heat for the first time we were told, “This is one of the hottest and longest summers we have had in a long time.” For our one year stint in Atlanta it snowed for the first time in three years. The whole town shut down because of 2 inches of snow. Now in our first Michigan winter they break the record for amount of snow accumulated in one year. We didn’t purchase a snow blower when we moved to Michigan because they are expensive and we didn’t want to invest that kind of money if we were not going to be living in Michigan long. At that time I thought it was going to be a short stay, so needless to say my husband and I, and even the children got our workouts by shoveling snow that first winter.