I haven’t always been a runner. Heck, I joined the track team in high school,because I had a crush on my older brother’s friend and he did it. Shout out to Mike, who I believe is married now so you know I picked well. He actually ended up dating my friend but I’m not bitter at all…
Anyway, my main sport was volleyball. I grew up playing it, taught by my mom, and cannot remember a time I wasn’t either waiting to play on the school team or actually playing on it. There were not all the young teams for 6 year olds where I grew up, yet I think I started going to the older kids practice at that age.
It was simply fun though, I was not training to be a child prodigy.
When I entered 7th grade, I was allowed to play on the junior varsity team. I was tall for my age and had been coming to practice for a while, so the coach took a chance on me. I took to the sport and soon learned how to actually play.
I loved it! Playing with other girls (older girls!) who treated me like an equal, like a friend, was so fun! Middle school is an awkward time, I was gangly, chubby and just felt weird in my body. Those girls made everyday fun. They knew so much more than me. They had boyfriends! They were in high school! It was all very exciting.
I think what I remember most were the bus rides. After I got over feeling shy, sitting with someone new was something I looked forward to. They liked to talk to me, to tell me things. I was really naive and innocent (relatively speaking) and they both liked to share their stories and also see what someone who had limited knowledge of relationships, boys or life things thought.
I guess I should have known that this would continue all my life. Not only do I love to talk, I love to listen.
When I got older, our team got better. My peers in school became my teammates and our senior year we won the league. Again, what I remember most was singing on the bus. My friend and I sang is this really vulgar song each ride both to shock the younger kids, but also because it was hilarious. The bond we all had was the one thing I miss about team sports.
The one thing.
After high school I was recruited to play D2 at Daemen College in Buffalo, NY. However, by that time, my heart was waning. I would love it one moment and then just not want to be there the next. I ended up transferring schools at the end of that year, so that ended my volleyball career.
I now work with a woman at the gym who plays on an adult volleyball team. I enjoy listening to her stories but am glad that part of my life has passed. I will always enjoy watching the sport, it’s so beautiful. However I know that I would not want to play again. I do not regret my decision to stop.
See you out there!