I love volleyball. If you know me, you will know that. I have played since I can remember (so probably back since grade 6). Once I started, I loved it and there was no turning back. I was one of those crazy ones that played in school and then Alberta Volleyball Association so basically, almost, all year round. Everyplace I move to, I try to join a volleyball league. When I lived in DC, I played with NASA folks. That was fun. As a friend put it 'you are the superstar of the geek squad'. You won't find me in a gym. You won't find me running outside somewhere. Nope, my exercise is volleyball. Especially cause there are many a hot men who play volleyball. That would be epic. To meet a guy playing volleyball. Tall. Wonderfully awesome at playing. He could be the power to my setter. We could sit and talk for hours about our volleyball wounds and achievements. And he wouldn't care that I look like a fate worse than death when I play because that is just how awesome he is.
However, my body hates me for it. After you have broken/sprained/injured as many parts on the body as I have, it slowly starts to say 'screw you, stop hurting us'. Getting ready for volleyball is a process I call 'mummifying' myself as I have to wrap one knee, I have a tensor knee brace for the other, I have a tensor ankle brace for one ankle as well as have hard ankle braces for both ankles. If there was something for my hip I would use that and now my should is starting to give me grief. My fingers are all crooked and bent from spraining them so many times and guaranteed I lose a couple of toenails during the season. So then why do you ask that I play the sport - BECAUSE I LOVE IT!!! A friend once told me 'if you were a Dr. Seuss character, you would be the Sorax'. Ha ha ha. Very funny. And now my cousin is starting to understand the plight - the one week when I was on my way home, I texted her (I was the passenger, not the driver) asking if they had any frozen veggies. Her first response 'is it for a body part?' Maybe I was just hungry......
So when I moved back to Calgary for the umpteenth time, I joined the same volleyball league I have always played in while living here and I found a team right off the bat. They are always looking for girls as you need to have two girls on the court at all times so we are a rare commodity. But there is always that initial hesitation of wondering 'am I not going to be good enough to play with them' 'am I going to be better than them' (that thought hardly, if ever, crosses my mind), 'am I going to be too loud for them' (that thought crosses my mind in almost ever situation I find myself in) and 'how badly am I going to injure myself this season'. But it usually always turns out to be wonderful and awesome.
I have been playing since September 23 and I can tell you that every game I have played, I have been stepped on at least once. Whether it be going up to block and getting landed on, going to set a ball and somebody *kindly* stepping in to take the ball for me, diving somewhere and not getting out of the way fast enough, you get the picture. At least once per night another body is contacting my body. Or my body is hitting the ground. When I was playing the grass league in DC, a couple of friends came to watch and my one friend said 'every time I looked up, you were dirtier and dirtier, yet the rest of your team clean'. That is commitment yo! And no, volleyball is not supposed to be a contact sport. Unless you are playing with me. Then you better watch out. Cause I run into everything - body or metal. Or wall. Nothing is off limits.
The team I play with are so fun. We are competitive yet have fun on the court. Not Russian style of volleyball at all (you let the ball drop you get shot). The ball drops and I am usually laughing at something. I don't know how to explain it - it is kind of like you have to be there to watch and understand. There is a guy I play with, if the ball isn't anywhere near the net for the power or middle, he thinks it is for back row and will come guns a blazing to hit it. Into the net. Almost 90% of the time. And then usually a body is on the ground as front row doesn't get out of his way. Or sometimes I will just burst into laughter as if I throw the ball to the person serving, I will envision hitting somebody in the head with it (I am not a violent person at all but I find it most funny when people get hit with stuff). They also have the most bizarre of conversations in between plays. And during plays. And highly inappropriate statements that just makes the evening all the more better. That makes you laugh and blush all at the same time. I like them. They are a good bunch of people.
Volleyball is the one place life doesn't exist and whether we win or lose, it is a fun time. It is also the one area of my life I feel that I succeed at and can give it my all and get rewarded for it. The feeling I have when I set the perfect ball and the power kills it right into the ground, *sigh* it is heavenly. And in those plays that I find myself on the ground, curling into the fetal position to stop getting landed on, or am running hell bent to get a stray ball, I love those moments. Makes me feel like I am doing something and helping out. I go balls to the walls. No holds bar. Anything goes. And my body does not agree.
Moral of this blog: F*#k It and if you are going to get stepped on, make it count and laugh it off. In any aspect of your life. Not just volleyball.