This past week my high school swim coach, Dave Pells, passed away. He is someone that I thought of often over the years. The things that I do and the person that I am today are shaped in part by the influence that he had on me. Aside from my parents he was the most influential adult throughout my teenage years. I am grateful to him for instilling in me – hard work, grit, respect and the desire to be successful.
None of the training was easy, he was demanding, he wasn’t interested in excuses and we worked HARD! When I look back now I have no idea how I did it for 5 years. The early mornings, the practices after school, the constant wet hair… it amazes me that he brought out this kind of dedication in me.
After the announcement of his passing in a high school FaceBook group I was amazed with the number of comments and memories from both fellow swimmers and his former students. He was tough as both a teacher and a coach but the stories of how he believed in people and helped people believe in themselves made me smile. I am proud that I had this man in my life. I am honoured that I got to learn from him and be part of his legacy.
My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and children. As well, my gratitude for sharing him with us. His many hours a day with us, were hours away from them and that is appreciated.
Rest in Peace Coach