“Coach I” from a Student’s Eyes


“Coach I” (Photo provided)

A tall, athletic woman stands by the wall of the gym. Sweat glimmers on her brow from the heat, her lips pursed in discomfort. One arm sticks out, propped up on her hip. The other hand holds a small timer, which ticks down from 45 seconds. Her finger taps against it in a steady rhythm, each tap signaling that another second has fled. Bright blue eyes follow her athletes as they sprint back and forth, boring into them so intensely that they could almost drill a hole. Every movement of her head causes her long, wavy, blonde ponytail to sway from shoulder to shoulder, looking a lot like its namesake: a pony’s tail. She brings her gaze from the sprinters to the timer. As the timer reaches 15, she suddenly hollers “Fifteen seconds!” This noise seems too loud to have come from her, as it echoes around the building, mingling with the sounds of heavy breathing and pounding feet. She brings her gaze back to the runners. The timer finally reaches 0. She clicks it and blows the whistle that hangs around her neck, causing her athletes to taper to a standstill. She kneels and puts the timer down, pulling off her Northwood jacket to reveal a blue shirt. Retrieving the timer, she stands back up and checks it. She returns to the position she was originally in, with her hand on her hip, the only difference being that she now lacks a jacket. After a few moments, her hand leaves her hip and strays to her neck, not this time to the whistle but to fiddle with her silver cross necklace. Again, as the timer reaches 15, the shout bursts from her like a bullet, prompting her runners to return to their starting positions. The timer reaches zeros and the whistle shrieks, forcing them into a sprint once again.

– Contributed by Courtney Fairchild


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