Home is where the heart is

August 31st, 2014 | Uncategorized

I took a walk along the shore this past Sunday to finish off a week full of summer camps, Ehoops, and coaching. We were given a rare two days off throughout the week and after getting acclimated with Belfast on Thursday it was nice to take some time to myself (except for when Erin and Pippen came running after me) and just enjoy the beautiful coast line.

It was a tough week for my family and I as my grandmother passed away on the same night that I began coaching my U16 junior Elks. It was even tougher seeing my father (best friend) upset. It’s a sight I’ve only seen twice in my life and that was when my brother went to college and when I departed for Ireland. As I sat and stared out in the water, I wondered how I dealt with it all and I thought about a quote, “Home is where the heart is.”

There is an effect that kids have on me that really brings out the best of me. Whether it is during Ehoops trying my best to play soccer or at a summer camp in Rathfern/Tullycarnet playing Unihoc (indoor hockey), my heart seriously attaches to all the young people I meet. My action packed week helped me become so comfortable living in Ireland, even though I was far away from home. After my grandmother’s passing it really hit me, during my first practice as ‘Coach Ronnie’ with the u16 Elks, on why I was so comfortable with living in Ireland and being away from home.

As I sprinted up and down the court with more enthusiasm than the famous Jim Valvano and began to learn each one of my players names (escalator Enya, jolly Joanne, mashy Michele) I knew I was home. As I encouraged them throughout practice, took them drill by drill, and used their mistakes as teaching points I felt the happiness running through my heart. I was so comfortable with being here because I love coaching, interacting, and getting acquainted with all different types of young people.

There is a saying that when one person passes another is born. This hit a little harder for me this week and in each kid I met I could see new life. They can be prepped to become whatever they want to be, they have a whole life in front of them and so many steps yet to take before they figure out what their true calling is. It’s why I love working and interacting with young people so much; they have so much potential for learning and evolving into the best person that THEY can be.

So as I sat and stared down the coast and said goodbye to my grandmother. I also said hello to my new home because it is where I get to do what I love most, changing kids’ lives.

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