I Missed the Signs Until the Middle of the Storm

It’s silly when you think about it. I missed the signs. Me. The coach’s wife, who wrote about The Camp Curse and encouraged other wives on ways to maneuver through the weeks of chaos, missed the signs of The Camp Curse in our home until we were in the middle of the storm.

I suppose I’m rusty since we missed our fall season. Perhaps I missed the signs of The Camp Curse because we aren’t experiencing a traditional preseason camp. Regardless of the reasons, after an incredibly frustrating week of miscommunication, I had an “aha moment” this morning that has flipped my view on the chaos were dealing with these days.

Remember, seasons of chaos will come and stresses will remain. But that doesn’t mean we need to embrace the storm.

The Camp Curse

Here’s what we need to remember when the chaos arrives about The Camp Curse. *If your husband is in the middle of preseason practices and your water heater breaks you’re dealing with this year’s camp curse on your own.

There’s a commonly known phenomenon you may have experienced known as the “Camp Curse.” It strikes more severely some years than others, but it’s hard to avoid. The Camp Curse is the unwritten rule that when the coach is away at football camp, whatever can go wrong will go wrong. We’ve come to expect that as soon as preseason practices begin, some type of disaster will strike.

camp curse

A few of our most memorable Camp Curse moments:

• One year, Ordell and I both ruined our cell phones on the same day. I tossed mine into the washing machine with a load of
laundry. He dropped his in a puddle during a team challenge at camp. • Another year, I woke up to discover both cars had flat tires.
• As my sons and I were running out the door en route to the first game of the year at a new school, I encountered a mouse in the
garage. Any other time, I would have screamed and refused to enter the garage, but we needed to get to the game. I have
never felt as brave as I did in that moment. I scooped up that mouse and threw it into the yard. When we arrived at the game,
the boys bragged to a college trustee how brave I was, much to my embarrassment, but we all had a good laugh. The next day,
Ordell taught the boys how to kill mice and hide them in the trash.

When preseason camp starts, you can expect utilities to fail, appliances to break, kids to break bones, and friendships to explode I’m a believer that stress attracts stress. For this reason, we try very hard to keep our preseason camp weeks as low-key as possible

* This section is an excerpt from my book Lessons from the Sidelines

This Year’s Camp Curse

This year our Camp Curse chaos included a flat tire on one car, a dead battery on another, and a lot of misunderstandings in conversations leading to sharp tones, frustrations, and unwillingness to continue conversing. But here’s the thing, we have to continue to protect the home team. Protecting the home team requires clarifying conversation. But when you’re in a cycle of frustration where you don’t want to be around each other that makes it challenging to fight your way out of the middle of the storm.

Here’s the Lesson to Avoid Missing the Signs

Coaching families recognize that the athletic season is stressful. I think we forget that stress increases when we’re wading tnto new situations. Right now, everything is new and there are so many extra layers to consider with every decision we make that it’s exhausting and overwhelming. Add to this the constantly changing rules and it’s difficult to manage day to day with a sense of routine let a lot an athletic season.

Remember that in the big picture this season is a small moment of your lifetime. Give yourself grace as you go through the season this year. Don’t take on extra responsibilities. Focus on getting through the weeks and maintaining your health as well as the health of your family.

Make the choice to exercise, eat healthy foods, enjoy the warmer weather, and celebrate the small progresses you see from the team.

We’ll get through the chaos, and on the other side of the storm, we can look back and make a note that The Camp Curse takes on a new look when you’re out of your routine. For now, let’s recognize that the chaos is real, and it’s something we need to push through. It’s football season, and with the season comes some level of chaos, even when you play in the spring.

What to read more from Lessons from the Sidelines?

Lessons from the Sidelines front cover final

As the wife of a football coach, Beth Walker encourages women whose families are in the public eye to pursue their own callings even as they support their husbands’ careers and ministries. Through her own personal stories as well as interviews with other women who are also living just outside their husbands’ limelight, Beth shows it’s possible to do both.

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