The LEAP Student Blog

Ashlee Pederson - Mt. Spokane HS

Author: Ashlee Pedersen
Grade: Senior
School: Mt. Spokane HS
Mascot: Wildcats
League: Greater Spokane
Classification: 3A

Ashlee PedersenAny high schooler can go out and play sports, but not many get the opportunity to be coached by their mother. My mom has coached me in track for the last three years and is again this year. It has been an amazing experience and although it has had its ups and downs, I would do it again in a heart beat.

My mom was extremely successful in her athletic career, even though now she admits she would have done a few things a little differently. I have always looked up to her and appreciated her accomplishments. She went to Central Valley High School in Spokane Valley and set numerous records in track and basketball. After high school, she went on to play Division 1 basketball and track. With those experiences she can relate better to kids who are in the same situation. During her college career, she trained very hard just missing out on qualifying for the Olympic Trials. Now, she shares all of her wisdom and tricks with me and it makes me the person and athlete I am today.

Not only is my mom my track coach, but she is also a teacher at my high school.  Some might think that having your mom at home, school, and track would be too much, but I enjoy it. Sometimes we argue a little bit, but it never lasts long. At home we act like any other mother and daughter. We have times when she has to tell me what to do and give discipline and other times when we can relax, goof off, and go shopping. At school she helps me with anything I need, like if I forget to get something signed or print something from my homework, she will help me during her free period. At track she acts like a coach. A very funny, demanding coach. Whenever I run I feel like she has high expectations of me. When we have marks to hit on the track in practice, I try as hard as I can to hit the mark every time. She knows what will make me better. I trust her. It would be easy for me to slack off sometimes or just ask my mom if I can take it a little easy because I am tired, but with the way my mom raised me, I would never do that. When mom tells me to do something, I do it. There’s no asking why or compromising, I just do it. If I try my hardest and can’t do the task required, I know she won’t be mad; I just hate the thought of disappointing her. I love my mom to death and don’t know what I am going to do in college without her.

Even though my mom is a great coach, she is an even better person to be around. When she coaches track, people love to talk and joke with her as if she is just another athlete. My sister was also on the team until she graduated in 2011. We had many good times together with mom. One time my relay team left the state track meet to get lunch before we had to run. On our way back, the traffic was awful and it was just minutes before we had to check in for our race. My mom has always been sort of a “worry wart” and we always tease her about it, but on that day when she thought we were going to miss the race, she was hysterical. Almost in tears, she called our other coach who was driving the van we were in at the time. In the very stressful moment the other athletes and myself were practicing our British accents and asked, “is coach upset with us?” in the heaviest accent possible. That somehow made my mom laugh, calm down, and enjoy the rest of the meet. We ended up making our race and getting 2nd in state. It was a very funny moment and great memory. There are many more unforgettable memories that I have shared and treasured with my mom. I couldn’t thank her enough if I tried. 

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April 2014

4/2/2014 Ashlee Pederson - Mt. Spokane HS

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