I have never been a sporty person. I’ve always been the spectator watching from the sidelines. No matter what the sport you could find me somewhere in the crowd cheering on my friends. When Peyton joined the intermural team I decided to come and support her and the rest of the team. Sitting alone in the stands for every game I sat and cheered and represented the Bumpin’ Giraffes with all my might. I think I may have thrown off the other teams by cheering so much. After watching game after game I started picking up on the rules of the game. Then Peyton thought it was time I came with to open gym.
The first time at open gym was rough. I completely sucked. Volleyball, I underestimated you. I thought this game was all about skill and while skill and practice are important, this game is more about the mentality of the game. You get in your head and sometimes it’s hard to escape your own playing insecurities. This was hard to get past at first. Still, we kept going.
Every week we returned back to the gym and back to the friendly faces of the open gym volleyball people. With each time we came, I improved and we made more friends. The less I got in my head about trying to win, I instead focused on pushing myself to just have fun.
With this new tactic, the game became less of a sport and more of a fun hobby. It may sound strange, but there is nothing else I’d rather do on a Thursday night then go to the rec and play a sport I suck at with a bunch of awesome people.
Now we hang out with the open gym people outside of volleyball. Whether it's peppering on the quad, playing Frisbee, going out or seeing movies. Volleyball, I thank you for introducing me to a great new group of people that I can call my friends.
As I write this I am sitting in a gym watching a volleyball tournament cheering on some of my favorite people! I may suck at playing the game, but I am damn good at making sure my friends feel supported on and off the court.