Class has begun the same way for the last two weeks with my juniors here at Regis Jesuit High School (Denver, CO). “Cómo estáis chicas?” (How are you all?), to which I just receive the monotone “ughhhhhh” from 26 young ladies. “Maestro there are only 6 weeks left, we are so tired!”, to which I respond, “I know, chicas, me too.” It is a tiring school year. ASC is tiring. I wake up early to coach (soccer) goalkeepers, usually around 5:30 am, to make sure I am at the pitch on time to set up and give a very intentional and dedicated practice to players. With intentionality comes effort, and with effort comes exhaustion. I wake up and coach, then I teach, then I coach after school, and if we don’t have our ASC community night, or a match, or something I’ve volunteered to help out with, I go home and eat and then go to bed right around the 9:00 PM mark.
The days are full, which is exhausting. The work is demanding, which is exhausting. Trying to be present with my dear friends (whom I used to call housemates) after I am already exhausted, is exhausting. Trying to keep up with my family and friends back home in Kansas City is exhausting, too. However, there is a difference between exhausting, and unfulfilling. I can’t stress enough just how amazing this year has been. I have fallen in love with coaching goalkeepers all over again and have even begun volunteering my time with FC Barcelona’s U.S. academy which is located here in Denver. So many blessings have come from this year, this busy, hectic year. Having full days is blessing. If we truly believe as ASCs that we are trying to find God in all things, then we have to be doing A LOT of things. I often find that being involved is just giving myself as many opportunities as possible to encounter Christ throughout my day. If I were to have it easy and only teach a class and sub here and there and not volunteer to do more, I would never encounter God, or at least not see Him as easily.
I think of a very important Gospel quote from Luke that my soccer coach in high school said to me on a Kairos, “To whom much is given, much more is expected.” It gives me chills every time I say it. God has given me so much this year but look at what the reward has been. I have a full-time job teaching French next year at this incredible institution. I have the honor of spending 2 weeks in Quebec City to do professional development so that I can be better prepared to teach my young men this fall. I am taking a group of junior girls to Belize for a service trip for 12 days in June. Coaching varsity soccer has renewed in me my dream to coach goalkeepers at the college, and one day, professional level, and if I hadn’t been placed in Denver I would never have made the international connection of working for my Spanish club coaches, which I hope will help me to achieve my UEFA coaching licensure in the years to come.
This ASC year, as exhausting as it is, is so, so worth it. I wouldn’t trade the long days, short nights, and exhaustion for anything. If I weren’t tired, it would mean I wasn’t pouring out enough. Being tired has made all the difference. I’ve come to find that when I empty myself out, I leave lots of room to be filled: filled with graces, filled with love, filled with knowledge, filled with joy, and most importantly, filled with fulfillment.
Thank you ASC, for filling my life with so many blessings.