“It’s mine. I’ve got!” My teammates yelled from all over the court. I ignored them because I was too busy chatting with someone off the court. “No wait, it’s not mine. Virginia! It’s yours. Get it. Get under it and lob it back. VIRGINIA!”
There is something about hearing your name screamed as though it has 27 syllables that will snap you back to the reality at hand. I would turn, just in time to have a volleyball bounce off my nose.
For years I had dreamed of playing sports. I longed for it. I yearned after it. I was hungry to be an athlete. I knew I could play sports, I could succeed at any sport I wanted to try. I just knew it.
Unfortunately for me, I lacked one major attribute to accomplish this goal. I lacked talent.
In the playground hierarchy I was picked last when we play kick ball or baseball or any sport during recess. I was dead last. I find it funny to read of others who found themselves in the same predicament. If we were all being picked last, who was ever picked first? I have yet to read a book written by someone who was picked first. Anyway I digress.
Maybe it was because I wanted to be good at something, anything I didn’t care what. But I still lacked the ever-illusive quality of talent.
I tried playing basketball. That was a huge joke. I was short, very short. The only way I could make a basket was to stand underneath the basket and throw the ball directly up. Because what goes up must come down…and it did right through the basket. I wasn’t often asked to play. Okay I was never asked to play. Because I had no talent.
I then set my sights on volleyball. Surely this “girl” sport was one I could do well. I mean I am a girl after all, how hard can it possibly be? A lot harder than I thought, let me tell you. This time I was fortunate. My school was small enough they had to have me to make a volleyball team, I was in without even trying.
I had so much trouble serving the ball; my coach had me practice every day serving on the back wall of the school building. I tried and tried to serve it the right way. Finally I managed to succeed.
The first time I served the ball and it made it over the net, there was great rejoicing on my side of the net. My team members rejoiced. My coach rejoiced. Even I rejoiced.
Then they wanted me to do it again. You see I had served the ball over the net…barely. It dropped right on the other side of the net. I have yet to be able to duplicate it.
I went on to play volleyball throughout my junior high years and some of my high school years.
I started to notice a trend though shortly after graduating from high school. I tended to find it much more enjoyable to talk with others play or watching the game then I did playing it myself. How did I discover this?
It wasn’t hard really, you get hit in the face with the ball often enough you eventually put two and two together.
So now I sit on the sidelines and talk to my hearts content and do not have the ball unnecessarily meet my face. Life is much better this way.
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