Christopher is an odd name. It may not seem like an odd name to you at first glance but it really is. Think about it this way, how many ‘Christophers’ do you know? Hold on there for for a second! Before you start counting let me be clear, how many CHRISTOPHERS do you know, not how many CHRIS’.
As far as I can tell there are only a handful of true Christophers out there. I belong to the illustrious club that includes Christopher Robin, and Christopher Columbus. The rest are just Chris.
That is what makes Christopher an odd name to me. It is one of those names that instantly gets shortened. Almost every time I introduce myself as ‘Christopher’ the person responds back with something like, ‘Nice to meet you Chris’. Over the past few years I have gotten a little forceful about responding back. I want to make sure the person realizes that I go by ‘Christopher’ not ‘Chris’. Some people are a little taken back by the correction. Some are downright confused I would bother to distinguish between the two names. From from time to time I even get this question; ‘What’s the difference?’ To which I always respond with the immortal words of Mr. Data, ‘One is my name, and the other is not.’
Over the years I have taken on a few roles that are so encompassing they manage to supersede my name. ‘Dad’ is one of them. My children do not call me Christopher unless they are trying to be funny. Whenever they call me by name it always sounds weird to both them and myself.
Over the summer I picked up another title that for a number of people superseded my name. I became Coach. Now I am not in the least an athletic person. I wish I was, perhaps one day I will be, but right now I am not. Right now what I am is a somewhat portly guy who is more comfortable with his 3DS than any piece of gym equipment.
Yet we decided that this summer we wanted Simeon to be involved in soccer again. Last year he participated in the free volunteer lead Hammonds Plains Preschool Soccer. We loved the price point but the person who tried to run it seemed unsure of how to corral preschoolers. This summer after some discussion Meghan and I decided we would try something similar in Lower Sackville. We started the Sackville Preschool Soccer for 3-5 year olds.
I don’t know much about soccer. But I am pretty comfortable with toddlers. So I donned my finest sports shorts, and puma t-shirts and in the eyes of a dozen or so preschoolers this portly, nerdy, gamer, pastor, was transformed in to ‘Coach Chris’.
On our first soccer night I was so nervous. Probably as nervous as I was at my wedding, when Meghan went into labour, and when I first started preaching. I was totally outside of my comfort zone, and unsure if any of the kids that registered would come. But they came and we played ‘soccer’ (almost) every Thursday night for July and August.
The kids had fun, and so did I. I felt stretched and challenged to consider ways I could become more physically active. Meghan and I are planning on joining a gym this September. Hopefully next summer I can be ‘Coach Chris’ again and maybe by next year I won’t feel quite as self-conscious doing so. Maybe by next year I will look a little more the part. And if I look the part more maybe I will have enough confidence to say, no no that is Coach Christopher.