Lynn Rothenhoefer - August 14, 2017
I’ve been doing my job for some time. Going into my 18th year at Rosemont in fact. One of my strengths is preparedness. As good as I’ve gotten at “flying by the seat of my pants,” I am by nature a prepared person. I have learned to be prepared generally gives you the ability to anticipate things (good or bad), and allows for greater flexibility and capability in dealing with those things that don’t go quite as planned. So, despite my experience and preparedness, even I was caught off guard by the amount of changes that occurred especially this summer but even within the last year.
One year ago, I was trying to finalize placement of a new Assistant Director of Athletics after my trusted and capable right-hand person left after five-years with us, I was dealing with some health issues, and well preseason was upon us. This year, despite starting the searches two-months earlier I have just placed three fall head coaches, a new Sports Information and Communications Director, a new (but returning) Assistant Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Performance, we will have two new certified athletic trainers, as well as the elevation of two previously part-time head coaches to full-time as part of our Athletics Strategic Plan. I am not ashamed to admit even I did not anticipate all this “newness.”
I can’t tell you how pleased and excited I am to have these new professionals who I truly believe will further the Rosemont mission, the Rosemont Athletics philosophy, and ultimately the student-athlete experience. Don’t think for one-minute though that the settling in process and getting everyone on board doesn’t keep me up at night and in many moments, seem rather overwhelming. Again, I freely admit many days of those experiences over the summer and even still. As creatures of habit, humans generally like stability, the expected and the norm. Change inherently is unsettling. Constant change makes it difficult to build a foundation.
So, when I prepared to forward my annual letter to incoming and returning student-athletes this year I reflected on what quote I would close the letter. I didn’t use any, which is unusual for me. Truth be told I was in a bit of a rush to get it out. Shocking, I know, with the events of the summer I listed earlier, but I had picked one that upon first reflection left me with a questionable and rather melancholy feeling. The point of this piece though comes specifically from that quote, which stayed with me and I continued to reflect on it.
"Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end,"
I think it was the “end” word that got me. My point was to motivate, inspire, and build excitement for the new year. The “end” sounded so final. With such a huge change, I will be undertaking this year; the freshmen coming in, and even the returners that are that next year closer to graduation and another anticipated change, the great big world out there. I hesitated for even myself to find that comforting let alone inspiring or motivating. Then it occurred to me, (not to get too cliché) but life IS a journey and there is always a story that comes before and after every circumstance in which we find ourselves. That which leads us to this point, and that which will follow what we do now and what we learn from that process.
I can assure you I would never have chosen to make as many staffing changes as I did this summer even now. Fact of the matter is, we don’t control everything in our lives and change is probably one of the reasons why. Often, we might not make some decisions we are forced to, which help us grow and learn. Each new beginning is an opportunity to realign ourselves with ourselves, and others, or not. To take advantage of opportunities; to evaluate and to become more of who we are supposed to be. I also realized that after visiting with Kate Corcoran (former Assistant Athletic Director) on Friday, texting with Ben Gluckman (former SID – retired) much of the summer, and texting and talking to Erica Lemm (most recent former Assistant Athletic Director) weekly that just because that chapter has ended we are all starting a new one that becomes an inextricable piece that carries on to the rest of the story.
So, then from the ancient (Greek) stoic philosopher, Seneca to the 90’s American rock band, Semisonic when we, “…go out to the places (you) will be from… when we gather up your jackets, move it to the exits… I hope you (will) have found a friend.” And, therefore, find meaning and cause for excited anticipation in beginnings ends and beginnings starts, and may your journey carry on.