joy of sport

i began swimming competitively at the age of six. in high school, i earned all-american honors as the lead in the washington state champion 400 freestyle relay. later, i was voted most inspirational and, as a senior, team captain. i then went on to compete for the university of washington (NCAA division I) and central washington university (NAIA) where i earned academic all-american honors and was voted team captain the year my team won the national championship.

i had some really great coaches along the way, including my big brother, scott, who helped me realize much of my potential at an early age. i wasn't always one of the better swimmers at that level (i trained with and competed against a couple of olympians), but when my heart was in it, and with the right coaching, i did okay, learned a lot about dedication and hard work, and realized how strong i could be.
i put myself through college by life guarding, teaching swim lessons and coaching summer league swimming and waterpolo to some incredible, zany, hardworking, talented kids between the ages of four and eighteen. i helped them go from being nearly last in the league of about thirty teams all the way to second place. i am still in touch with some of them, and they are still amazing.

after college i was chosen second alternate for the USA's northwestern region women's water polo team for the goodwill games.

though i worked for many years in the apparel industry as a designer, i often describe my coaching as the best, most enjoyable and rewarding job of my life.

in the last year i've taken up running in earnest and have done well competing in 5K, 10K and 10-mile races. i hope to one day run a half-marathon event.

well, thursday was my first day as a volunteer assistant coach for the topsham travelers kindergarten through 5th grade cross-country team of about 50 kids. i get to coach thirteen, or so, 5th graders, which thrills me, since i love tweens and teens. they're such rascals.

since calvin is not capable of participating in sports, this opportunity for me to coach, encourage and inspire children and to see their joy of sport is especially welcome. i get weepy just reading that sentence.

thursday was a total blast (thanks mary for taking care of calvin)! i had so much fun in the warm spring sun before some gorgeous, leaden clouds moved in and we got totally soaked just as practice was ending. i got to hang out with a few other great women who are also volunteer coaches. i led the entire group of kids in stretches, gave them high-fives, employed my ear-piercing finger-whistle with great effect, encouraged the fast and slower runners, praised them, gave a few tips on pace and form, taught respect and good listening. i wish somehow i could find the time to get a more regular coaching gig. it fills my heart with joy. maybe some day. for now, i'm simply gushing ... and terribly grateful.

caught in the downpour!


  1. So happy to read this, Christy!! You look and sound so wonderful!!!

  2. SO great to read of the joy coaching is bringing you!!

  3. Having taught 7th graders for 22yrs, I love that you called middle schoolers “rascals” perfect. And love even more how happy you look in this picture.

  4. Sorry tha was me, Maggie Skafidas and wewere on a paying advisory group ar Martins Point years ago.

    1. yes! I remember you. thanks Maggie! xoxo

  5. Coach Christy♥️. Andie

  6. Way to go with your running, Christy--and if you have done a ten miler, a half marathon is not far behind. I ran my first in 2018 after never having run more than 18 kms in training, and got my fastest time ever, probably because I was SO DARN HAPPY and not wearing a watch-just running for the sheer hell of it. A half is an excellent distance--you can train for it without sacrificing the rest of your life (though sometimes that's exactly what one wants--to take a good long break!) and you can run it without stressing your system. ENJOY your runs, and al the best to you and Michael and Calvin. Danielle from Zurich