About two months ago, I hosted a potluck for my USAV (USA Volleyball) women's team, Spiked Punch. (What can I say? Volleyball players love puns!) As an icebreaker, I asked everyone why they like volleyball. There were some really great answers on how everyone got started, and why everyone continues to play as an adult. For some, it was peer pressure. For others, it was parental pressure. Some started playing out of curiosity.
I started playing because my dad's girlfriend at the time had a roommate who played in college. She told my dad all about club volleyball, college scholarships, and why it was such a great sport/opportunity for girls. He was sold, and signed me up to tryout for my very first team.
I was in 5th grade at the time, and it was quite overwhelming. I remember wearing one of my dad's t-shirts with a "volleyguana" on the back, some super long spandex shorts (all the way down to my knees), my dad's kneepads, white crew socks, and my cross trainers. I was so scrawny those days! Everything was baggy, and I'm certain I looked like I was dressed by my father. Nowadays, I can't even imagine wearing those things! Volleyball fashion has changed so much over the 18 years I've been playing, but that's a topic for another post. ;-)
|Oh, yeah. I love it so much that I used to coach it! |
(Photo by Christopher Anderson⁄The Gazette)
I'd barely learned about volleyball in elementary school gym class, so the thought of trying out for a sport I'd never really played, with a bunch of strangers, at a school I'd never heard of before, and being the only non-white person there was terrifying. I was even more awkward those days, and was kind of shy. Imagine trying out under those conditions! Fortunately, I wasn't the only beginner, and even more fortunately, I made the team. In fact, everyone trying out for the 12-and-under team was selected.
So, I joined the team, and thus began my love affair with volleyball. There have been plenty of bumps in the
road (puns!), like with any relationship; however, the important thing is that I've kept up with it (for the most part). I took some time off last year, dislocated my shoulder in February, but have finally begun to feel like myself on the court again.
Volleyball makes me happy. It's a release from the stress of the day. Plus, it's an awesome workout that allows you to burn hundreds of calories from just one match! Bonus: It makes my fitbit happy. It helps me meet new, interesting people, and allows me to be my true competitive self. It's awesome!
Oh, the cherry on top? Even though men play, and there are coed teams, it's an awesome girl power sport! I've met so many remarkable, confident, and strong women while playing volleyball. It pushes me to want to be a better woman as well.
What's your favorite sport? Why do you enjoy playing it?