Leaving

In the summer of 2002, Mike and I were sitting on the back deck of our home outside of Chicago. It was a beautiful summer evening, and I was unsettled and upset while we sat there and talked of our future. We both knew that change was in the air, we were just uncertain as to what type of  life adjustments we were facing. Within a matter of months, Mike began his coaching career, and I had to leave our newly built dream home behind.

Nine years later, on a beautifully clear, crisp winter evening, we were again outside discussing our future, unsettled and upset. This time, there’s so much more to leave than our newly remodeled home.

This time, we’re leaving a little beat up, a little scarred from a season of turmoil. When we left Chicago to begin a new career in coaching, there were endless possibilities and limitless hopes and dreams. Our departure from California carries with it the harsh realities of a sometimes brutal business. Nevertheless, we press on towards the call that we believe God has placed in our hearts.

When I sat on our back deck back in 2002, I was terrified to let go of all that I was comfortable with in order to face a career full of uncertainties. I loved our new home and all of the special little amenities that made it uniquely ours. Tonight, it’s Mike that is reluctant to let go of the house that we have so nearly completed, with all of the distinctive touches he looked forward to sharing with his coaching staff and players. He isn’t facing a career full of uncertainty; instead, he’s all too aware of the abrasive side of this profession. But let go, we must. So, with the full moon shining, the party lights glittering, and the music cranked up, we cried…and let go. Minnesota won’t be able to offer us a January evening warm enough to sit outside, but I imagine there are rich experiences awaiting us if we remain open to finding them. So Minnesota? Here come the Singletarys… We intend to be a blessing and look forward to all you have to give.   Vikings

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Comments

  1. Arn Arnesson says:

    Here is Sports Illustrated’s current photo stream regarding the Bears-Packer rivalry. The photo below is of the one man that even Chuck Norris can’t top.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/multimedia/photo_gallery/1101/nfl-inside-packers-bears-rivalry/content.3.html

    Don’t worry about the Minnesota move. Every step is a good step so long as one keeps one’s faith and persists.

  2. Mrs. Crawford says:

    My love and prayers are with all of you as you make the move. I expected this to be the next move but feel badly about you having to leave you’re newly decorated house.

  3. Beverly says:

    Hi Kim,
    I know it must be hard to leave the nice weather there in California and all that you did to make your home
    more beautiful and comfortable, to be able to entertain Mike’s players and staff. I can remember how I felt leaving Pleasanton, CA in March of 1985 and moving back to the suburbs of Chicago for the 3rd time. Pleasanton was a lovely new community. We had bought a brand new home in a very nice neighborhood
    and had made new friends and leaving was hard. Kelly & Scott had to go back a couple times even after we moved to S. Barrington, to visit friends and their old neighborhood. I also remember crying when we left Canton, MI,(1982) where we had been for almost 4 yrs. to move to the west coast (Pleasanton), but every move brought with it new places to explore and new friends. In 18 years we had moved a total of 7 times. When I look back now I am so grateful for all those moves, for the friendships acquired along the way, the people I have met and the opportunities I have had, the cities I got to explore. I am most thankful for all the quality friendships those moves created…. and you, Mike and family are at the top of that list. ” I know the plans I have for you,” saith the Lord, ” plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11. Minnesota will present new opportunites and more new friends 🙂 Love you, Bev

  4. Not Bart Starr says:

    Can you comment on this CNN article about the difficulties retired NFL football players face?

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/01/25/pearlman.football.concussions/index.html?hpt=T2

  5. Kim says:

    I read the article and the author’s opinions are certainly pointed. In it, he raises three or four huge issues that face the NFL, but I can only comment on our experience. When Mike played, he took his off-season training very seriously, increasing his flexibility and strength with each additional year. He is of the opinion that players’ neck strength would help eliminate many of the concussions, along with a renewed emphasis on the fundamentals. Since college programs have limited the number of hours that coaches can spend with the players, there is less and less time to focus on tackling techniques. Therefore, they enter the NFL without solid fundamentals, and the game is faster and more intense than at the collegiate level. I don’t want to get into the author’s opinions about greed, etc. He is entitled to his opinion. It does, however, seem that things are escalating out of control a bit.

  6. Anonymous Reader says:

    I’m wondering if there could be a totally different way of tackling that someone has yet to invent. Here’s what I mean. You know about the martial art called akido were the opponents weight, size, and speed is used against him as the opponent makes his or her charge? Here’s what Wikipedia says about aikido:

    “Aikido is performed by blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it head-on. This requires very little physical strength, as the aikidōka (aikido practitioner) “leads” the attacker’s momentum using entering and turning movements.”

    Instead of the direct or even angle on hit and tackle, perhaps there’s a way for football players to concentrate on learning fine technique akin to aikido to bring an opponent down and perhaps even throw them for a loss.

    I think Coach Singletary is absolutely correct when he speaks of technique. Economy of motion applied precisely within the limits of the body’s mechanics should be an essential part of everyone’s training in football from Pop Warner leagues on up. So, I may, if were Coach Singletary, I’d have my defensive players learn aikido in the off-season for stretching and for fine tuning body awareness to help them improve their play AND, most importantly, avoid injury and disabilities later in life. Might you pass this thought on to Coach Singletary please?

  7. Kim says:

    That’s a great idea, anonynousreader, but you tiptoe into very murky waters when it comes to mandating players’ off-season workouts, etc. The concept would have to catch on individually in order for more players to see the benefits. He has been approached by many people that practice alternative strength exercises and routines, and he simply cannot enforce impose anything on the players during the off-season, when the players do their core strength training. Nice suggestion, though.

  8. Anonymous Reader says:

    Thank you for your answer, Mrs. Singletary. I didn’t know that about what may or may not be mandated so far as off-season workouts go. I’m starting to think fans might get a lot more insight into professional football if they think more about what coaches wives have to say than many of the journalist football pundits. Perhaps more wives of coaches might write blogs too and add another point of view than the usual found on television.

    One other thing, I read about an organization called “Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund”. Seems it was started by Jerry Kramer, the great guard for the-I’ll whisper the name-Green Bay Packers or, if you prefer their name not be mentioned, “the team to the north of Chicago beyond Milwaukee”. Perhaps in time your blog might provide a graphic link to that organization or other organizations which assist players after retirement and through debilitating life issues whatever they may be?

    Lastly, I have the feeling that there’s so much that fans simply do not understand about the lives and sacrifices that are made by coaches and their families. I think the NFL and fans of football will have a lot to gain from your insights and, as his time allows in preparation for next season, those of Coach Singletary. Thanks for taking the time to offer your comments. I realize you are quite busy as well.

  9. AnneMarie says:

    Hi Kim,

    I wanted to let you know what a blessing your blog has been to me, as I’m a college football coaches wife. It’s just nice to know I’m not alone and your words have been such an encouragement to me. I will pray for your next move to Minnisota and I hope it’s one where God richly blesses you.

    Much Love,
    AnneMarie Sanford
    (Western Kentucky University)

  10. Kim says:

    Well thank you! I appreciate the encouragement, especially from one who can relate :-).

  11. Paul Braoudakis says:

    Kim, this is so well put. I could actually FEEL your angst mixed in with the kind of excitement that only God can provide to a heart that’s open to Him completely. Selfishly speaking, it’ll be good to have you in the Midwest again. The combination of Mike and Leslie working together again is very exciting to me. God is going to do amazing things through you guys. Buckle up; the best is yet to come!

  12. kathy Currey-Kronick says:

    Kim,
    As a college coachs’ wife, for 22 years, I remember saying goodby to some wonderful places I did not want to leave. I did learn there are good people where ever you, but some areas are nicer and some homes are the better.

    I wrote a book, recently published, about this ‘adventure’ it might provide some comfort by sharing,
    “Mrs. Coach-Life in Major College Football.

    We were at Stanford, Long Beach State, Cincinnati, and UCLA the same weather and geographical areas you are experiencing.

    My best to you.

    Kathy (Currey) Kronick

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