First of all, I kind miss you. Like, a lot. It has been so long that I even miss the floor burns I had in the most random places but also hurt so bad. But I will never miss setting the net up and taking it down because I still strongly believe that all nets should be the ones that can come down from the ceiling with a turn of the key. There was a time that you were my everything and in a blink of an eye we are no longer together and sometimes I feel kinda lost.
I can still remember the thrill of winning match point after the longest rally. Everyone on the team had made a spectacular play and you could never catch your breath. But that was okay because you were still screaming at the top of your lungs because you freaking did it, you won. I can also remember being on the other side of that net, hanging my head in defeat. Sometimes the Sport Court that you were on was surrounded and all eyes were on you.
I can still remember opening up my bag after a three-day tournament weekend and swearing to myself because I forgot to wash my kneepads. Because it always became obvious that next practice after the tournament in the huddle who had and hadn't washed their kneepads and you would get called out. And who could forget the love/hate relationship I had with my ankle braces because they took so much time to take on and off. And then the battle of making sure they were comfortable the entire time they were on.
I miss that sore, but rewarding, feeling I got after good practices. The kind of practice that pushed your boundaries or where you finally got that deep corner ball up. Or the practice that you finally fixed your swing and hit the most epic line shot.
The thing is volleyball, you taught me so much about who I am today. I learned how to deal with time management and loyalty. If I could go back I would give it my all at every practice, even if it had been a long day that I just wanted to be over already. I miss the sting of getting an up from a brutal down ball. I miss traveling the country with some of my best friends and building relationships that still last today. I miss putting on my uniform and feeling a sense of pride and determination.
Volleyball, you gave me more than I ever thought imaginable. You gave me self-confidence, a coach that ended up being my biggest supporter, a healthier lifestyle, a fire to succeed, and memories that will last a lifetime.
I miss you every day volleyball and that is never going to change. Thank you for unforgettable experiences and people along the way. It's been a journey and I hope you continue to give other people the same joy you have brought me.
An ex competitive volleyball player