Thursday, January 13, 2011

For the Love of the Game

Sore, tightness, cramping joints, hands swelling.   Oh how I miss this feeling.   The post-workout feeling after playing a couple hours of volleyball.    Last night I played in a co-ed pick up scrimmage at Windy City Fieldhouse with my friend Jenn and some former collegiate volleyball players and I had an absolute blast!   Aside from me having gone a year without playing I was so glad I didn't pass up the opportunity.

We played a total of six games on a men's height net since both teams had men playing.   I forgot how "short" I am, especially when I am up against a 7 foot, 11 5/8 inches net.   Luckily my position does not rely heavily on height and being small and short has actually worked to my advantage.

Throughout high school and college I was the setter for my teams.   The setter is much like the quarterback in football or the point guard in basketball, and in my opinion, is the greatest position in volleyball.    The setter is in charge of the offense.    They decide who should get the ball and when.    It doesn't matter how good a team's hitters are if it doesn't have a setter that can consistently deliver a good ball to hit, then a team is at a disadvantage.    Sometimes it was mentally draining being a setter because if you get down the team gets down, you are responsible for keeping the team together.   

Watching my set
Me Blocking (Far Right)

Playing last night has really made me realize how much I miss and LOVE the sport.    I miss the excitement of setting up a perfect "kill."    The shortness of breath after a long rally.    The way the ball feels when I am dribbling before I serve.    The challenge of finding the "holes" on the court to catch the other team off guard.   I miss it all.

What is there not to love about volleyball?    Going out and playing was of course hard on my body and I am paying the price today, but the two hours scrimmaging has made my volleyball itch reappear.    Volleyball makes me feel alive inside and is a part of who I am.    I want to play and join a league again.    I want to put on my spandex, tall volleyball socks, knee pads, the ankle guards and play.    Not just for me but for the LOVE OF THE GAME.

Misty May-Treanor (Left) and Kerri Walsh (Right)

"I don't really keep track of numbers.   We don't even think about that stuff.   That's not why we play. We play because we love it." ~ Misty May  Beach Volleyball champion

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