Tonight was the first time I have played volleyball with friends since June of 2013. I swallowed gallons of panic and fear, took thousands of deep breaths, pulled up my tattered knee pads, and hit the court. Baris, Marina, Mark and Rino made me feel really welcome, and beyond elated, to return to my beloved sport, and most of all, beloved friends. I still have a long way to go before fences are mended, but for me, taking the first tentative step is always the hardest part.
It was amazing to see how well everyone else plays–I forgot how good my teammates are! We had a series of about four plays that were so well-coordinated…time slowed down and I forgot to think about ANYTHING. I forgot how awkward I feel, how fat I am right now, how my left eye waters constantly for no reason, how I’m dizzy, how much I screw up, and how much I have to fix. When you play well with your team, you feel accomplished and proud. It builds you up. And when you don’t play well, your team encourages you and helps you rebuild. Either way, you leave feeling invigorated and happy. I hopped in my car and sang the whole way home (Feel Alive by One Republic and Sweet Nothing by Calvin Harris).
I’m still fearful that lots of folks won’t want to see me or play with me, but I need to get over that. Returning to the sport I love and the friends I adore is far more important than fear. I’ve got the strength and courage now to hit it again.