it’s crazy when i think about how much has changed in my life since i first started playing volleyball. exactly a year ago today i played my very first game of volleyball and i instantly fell in love. it’s embarrassing to say this, but i started playing because i was obsessed with this volleyball anime, haikyuu!
when i signed up i had no idea it would become one of the most important parts of my life. at first i started with one night a week, and before i knew it, i was playing four nights. i attended an adult camp, learned all about the techniques i should be using, and studied my form closely after that.
this sounds so dramatic when i say this, but volleyball was what got me through my breakup. if i hadn’t have had this sport to throw myself into, i don’t know how i would have dealt with all the lonely nights. even more so, i made a ton of friends who became an essential support group for me during such a difficult time.
i’d be lying if i said that this season was easy for me – because it wasn’t. there was a lot of self-loathing, as i tend to expect nothing but the best from myself. in addition to that i experienced a lot of friction with some of my teammates which spilled into some of my more social volleyball relationships and i ended up realizing a lot of my friends just weren’t the right fit for me and the person i was. it was extremely disappointing, but in the end it taught me a lot about myself.
there were even moments i thought about quitting volleyball completely because the social strain was too much. but i decided i couldn’t let anyone take it away from me, the game had become way too important. even with all the issues, i still gained some really amazing people who still stuck by my side. so i focused on those stellar people and the love i have for the game.
and it turned out to be totally worth it. exactly a year (minus one day) later, the team i’ve affectionately known as flying penguins won the wednesday night spring ’19 season. it’s funny how things come full circle in that way. after gazing longingly for so long and envying those who wore the shirts, i finally had one of my own. honestly, when we scored that final point i started crying because this was something i wanted for so long and endured so much to achieve.
ultimately, i’m going to have to cut back on volleyball for a little while to focus on the musical i was cast in this summer. playing only one night a week will leave a hungry feeling in my heart, but i’m glad i got to enjoy this victory before i had to start on the next chapter of my life. you really never know what will become important or where life will take you, but that’s the best part, isn’t it?