It took me more than a year to figure out how I wanted to live my life as an ex-newspaper hack, but now I'm on a roll.
Today was my first day as the new assistant 7th grade girls basketball coach at Charlotte Country Day, one of this region's most acclaimed prep schools. We had our first coaches' meeting and it was exhilarating to be part of such a positive, energetic atmosphere. I lack the the day-to-day coaching experience of many others in my position, so I am looking forward to learning from my colleagues at all of the grade levels here. Everybody I've met has been extremely nice and welcoming. I am so psyched for practice to start next week and the season to begin in mid-November.
My buddy Rob Judson, who was one of my references, told me: "Welcome to the insanity." Obviously, he remembered me writing often that pretty much everybody in his chosen profession (and now mine) must be at least a little insane.
Rob also gave me this excellent piece of advice: "Treat the kids as you wanted your kids treated, and you will be a great coach."
This is something I always wanted to try, and believe me when I say I'm looking at it as more than a lark. This could be the start of the Next Stage I've been looking for. Who knows?
It will nicely complement my work at the golf course - another thing I had always wanted to do but couldn't when I was covering games, traveling around the country and trying to help my wife raise our kids.
OK, so put these two jobs together and I'll make slightly less than Elin Nordegren Woods will in the divorce settlement. Doesn't matter.
Life is supposed to be about having rewarding experiences and meeting interesting people. I was lucky enough to do that during nearly three decades as a journalist. And I'm feeling pretty darned lucky again right now.