Ok, so not really, however, since listening to Joel’s motivating and encouraging sermons on the radio, some of my clients have thought I have gone bonkers. You see, I am an All-Star Cheer Coach and although I coach kids, their parents are my true clients. The parents are the ones that trust my staff and I with the 2 most important things in their life, their kids and their money.
For the most part, I have amazing parents and amazing kids, however, this is not a pre-requisite to being in our program. In fact many would say, I am more about trying to save our kids rather than coach them. You see, since listening to Joel Osteen, I don’t want to turn anyone way.
You can’t pay me? No problem, come to our gym anyway!
You smoke pot? (something I am totally against.) No problem! Come to our gym anyway!
You are failing in school? (you must maintain a C average to be eligible) No problem! Come to our gym anyway!
You get my point.
Some would say I am running a for-profit business behind a non-profit mentality. I have had many of my “amazing” parents sit me down and ask me if I am crazy. When I say amazing parents, I am referring to the one’s who work full time jobs, attend church, volunteer for various gym events and yes, are able to pay every month. They ask me, “Why am I allowing this “riff-raff” in our gym”? Why am I allowing this drama, these moments of strife among our kids? Why do I give second chances, third chances? My off the cuff answer is, “I don’t know, I just am. I am being led in a way that I can’t articulate.”
I knew, however, this answer was not good enough. Not good enough for the parents, but not good enough for myself. I knew this required some serious insight on what I wanted for our gym, for myself.
· I am choosing to see the best in people, no matter how flawed they are.
· I choose for my actions to be more powerful than my words.
· I am choosing to go without so others can go with.
· I am choosing to be the influence that some kids need because they don’t get it from home.
· I am choosing to be that one person, maybe the only person that will not give up on these kids.
· I am choosing to show them there is more to life than the streets or drugs or even bad attitudes.
· I am choosing to show my “amazing” parents that being amazing for their own daughters or sons shouldn’t be enough. Our will to help others must be far-reaching, in a sense, we must prepare to see a miracle in becoming the miracle. (Joel Osteen)
I am hoping that by giving these kids a chance, they will in turn be better. Better athletes, better students, better daughters, sons, sisters, etc. And when the true miracle takes flight, I see better parents. Parents that begin to show up and yes, pay up.
I had a parent tell me once, “it isn’t fair that you give these kids a free ride. I work hard for my money and I pay my tuition, everyone should be held to the same standard!” I answered, “I agree, so how do we go about that?” Do we show them how it is done? Do we help them by showing them? Or, as Christians are we ok with denying them because of their current position in life? Can we see what they are capable of? Can we somehow get them to believe in our vision of them? Is it possible to love them into being a better person? Are we ok with letting them believe that because of who they have been, there is no chance of them being who they can be? Can we be the miracle that changes their life by becoming the miracle? (Joel Osteen) Is there a time when we must say, this child must come before the almighty dollar? I believe there is.
I was pregnant when I was 19 years old. I was single and raised my daughter for the first three years by myself. I gave myself one year to be on welfare. I refused to have my daughter see me rely on something that I was able to create for myself. I did exactly as I had intended. I was off of welfare in one year. I was working full time and creating a life that my daughter could be proud of. And although I said I did it by myself, I must be honest, I also had a loving, supportive, family. So, really, did I do it by myself? I had a mom to help me with anything I had questions on weather it was cooking or diaper rash; I had a dad I could call when I needed help with my grill or changing the oil in my car. I had an amazing family network nearby to help with babysitting. I went to church almost every Sunday from the day I was born and I have always felt that God gave me everything I needed to succeed. I also started working when I was 14 years old hauling garbage with my older brother. Not the most glamorous job, but it paid pretty good. From that point on, I have always held a job. I currently hold 4 jobs. I write this part because yes, I did have help, but I also did the work. My actions continue to speak louder than my words. So, yes, we need the inner drive to help ourselves, but we also need the drive to help others. We must prepare to see the miracle in becoming the miracle. (Joel Osteen)