How Frozen II Helped Me Through the Hardest Coaching Transition of My Life
You’d think that I’d be a little more embarrassed than I actually am to admit that the lessons from a Disney movie and soundtrack helped me through the toughest move we’ve ever faced as a coaching family.
But I’m not.
I’ve always been the type of person who processed things with music.
A Taylor Swift song helped me through a miscarriage. In high school, country songs helped me deal with heartache and break ups. During the uncertainty of coach’s job searches, it was always worship music that calmed my nerves.
So, as I sat in the movie theater (back when that was allowed) watching the premiere of Frozen 2, only a few months into the hardest transition of our coaching life, I couldn’t hold back the tears as I related all to well to the struggles of the characters.
“Again, you’re gone, off on a different path than mine
I’m left behind, wondering if I should follow
You had to go, and of course it’s always fine
I probably could catch up with you tomorrow.”
When Kristoff’s song “Lost In the Woods” started playing, I couldn’t help but see the parallel.
Almost immediately after accepting the job, coach did what all coaches do, and what he had done every other move prior. He went hundreds of miles away, leaving me to do everything that needed to get done to sell and pack a house, all while taking care of our three young children.
Looking back now, I can see that he had become overly confident in how much I can handle and how much of the burden I could shoulder. After a few heart to heart talks, he scaled back his expectations and timeline for improving his new program and helped with more of the details on how to get his family by his side at his new school.
“I won’t look too far ahead
It’s too much for me to take
But break it down to this next breath, this next step
This next choice is one that I can make
So I’ll walk through this night
Stumbling blindly toward the light
And do the next right thing
And, with it done, what comes then?
When it’s clear that everything will never be the same again.”
Not to be dramatic, but Anna’s song “The Next Right Thing” described how I felt about leaving a town and a school that we loved, willingly, in order to move up the ranks to head coach.
I didn’t want to leave, but I made the promise over a decade prior that I’d go wherever he went. As coaches’ wives, we are the support system, always. Just like they don’t really have an off-season, neither do we. And it can be exhausting.
But, I have come out of my typical “moving funk” years ahead of normal. All because I kept moving forward, doing the next right thing, even when I didn’t want to or didn’t feel like it. Unpack that box. Accept that invitation from a new neighbor. Decorate that room. Explore your new surroundings. Ask for (or accept) help.
Seriously though, not that I don’t believe the magic of Disney fixed all the problems, it was (also) the work that I had been putting in over the years of this coaching lifestyle that got me through it.
Every time we moved, I learned how I could handle the situation better. I realized tips and tricks that made the process more streamlined and bearable.
I also came to understand the power that comes from the support of this community, women who can fully relate to what I was going through and lean on when I couldn’t stand on my own.
Most importantly, I knew I had survived transitions before, and came out the other side happier than I could have ever possibly imagined.
So, I knew if I held tight to my faith in coach and in God, eventually I’d feel like Anna in her song “Home” (even though it was deleted from the movie).
“Bless this happiness we found
Bless this good and solid ground
Jess Gilardi is a lacrosse coach’s wife who recently moved to Long Island when her husband became a head coach. She has three kids, ages 7, 6, and 3. She was a mental health therapist in the school system before becoming the full time chaos coordinator for the family (a.k.a. stay at home mom). She does manage to fit in a little work here and there. Outside of lacrosse and family, she loves Jesus, the Tracy Anderson Method, and empowering others. You can follow her crazy adventures on social media, Instagram @jessgilardi and Facebook as Jessica Gilardi.