Almost 15 year ago exactly, I tried out for the Young Junior High school volleyball team. I had no idea if I would make the team or not, but I am certain that in my 12 years of life there was nothing I had ever wanted more. Except maybe to be a Double Dare contestant. Or to set the all time record for number of skip-its in a row.
I remember the way my heart pounded as I raced across the courtyard to the gym. And by race, I mean walked briskly enough to be right there when the list was posted, but not fast enough to mess up my perm or displace my bow. The list went up. Girls were screaming. There were tears of sorrow and of joy as delicate pre-teens learned the fate of their 7th grade year. I scanned the list with bated breath. And there it was. Megan Vincent. Proud to be a Young Eagle.
I have so many fun vb memories, even from the horrible Jr. High years. I remember the early morning practices in 7th grade, because the 8th and 9th graders got to have the gym in the afternoon. I remember moving on to High School and wondering if I would make it there. (I won’t mention how much I sat the bench during my senior year on varsity…a state championship team including 4 who would go on to play Division 1 College ball…let’s just say that I definitely saw more bench time than court time.) That sucked at times for sure, but I loved the game so much. I was happy just to practice, just to be involved. I remember the way my heart broke when we lost our very last game. I knew I would never be in the sport like I had been for the previous 6 years.
Then I moved onto ACU. I sort of wanted to play college ball, but ACU didn’t offer a scholarship, and 18 months after that I got married and moved to Cali. I transferred to APU and thought about walking onto the team. This goes down as one of my regrets. I chickened out. I Got scared of failing and not making it. I never even pursued it, even though I thought about it constantly and felt twinges of sadness every time I saw a player. In 2001, I made a connection through church and landed a volleyball coaching job. For the next 4 years, I coached the Freshmen and then the JV team at a private school. I loved being back in the game. I loved that I could still hit, even when I was pregnant. A good game could still get my blood pumping. I loved my girls. It was a fantastic job for those 4 years.
Now, it’s 3 years later. I pretty much have not played at all. However, that is changing. Our church has a group that plays every Sunday night, and it is so much fun. We played for 2.5 hours tonight. Some games were easy, some were intense. Only the die-hards played until the end. It felt so good to connect with the ball and put it down on the other side. It’s so satisfying to pick up a dig. There is a tiredness that can only come from sports that my body craves. Competition is something I have always enjoyed. But the part that makes my heart the happiest is the fellowship with others over a game that I love. It doesn’t get much better than that.
15 years later, I am reminded once again how much I love volleyball. Even though I sometimes pee in my pants when I jump.