Wednesday, May 2, 2012


The year I learned to love team sports, was the year that I began letting go of all that my parents had never done for me, and all that they'd done to me. For example, they didn't let me play even when I made the cuts in high school. And I got to let go of my bitter what if they had?s.

So props to the bros who first believed and took a chance on my noobness. A first taste of playing like a team and playing to win. And later, a stark glimpse of what it costs to not trust and cover each other and play as one.

Growing up means mom and dad can't be excuses anymore, for me not going for it or anything. Walking on to the team that season and having to earn my place--it was the year I began unlearning Mom's insistence that raw talent was all that mattered. Sugar and gold and clay alike need grueling. Working my way off the bench into the starting lineup, earning that white jersey, man, I had the time of my life! It was a godsend, a healthy distraction, the blessing of busyness, to keep me forward facing and forward moving the two seasons. I believe in team sports! ... Bullieve? :)

So CUNY's athletic program, like its academic program, is a total joke. So we were a ridiculously large, ragtag rookie team. But in Division III we played--with Heart. The mental toughness you had to muster in order to be in that gym, for those hours--such a gift. A safe space. A sweet mercy for that autumn. If I flaked or was late to stay in bed and cry, they ran suicides.

No, you man up. You never turn your back on your teammates. And if they turn, you don't let their jealous hate sabotage you.  The ones who execute, not the ones who try, are gonna be the ones in the game. If coach and captain say you stay, stay your ground. See what a long way you have to go, and know that learning this, too, is progress. Persevere.

Jen & Me-Oak; awesome coaches

Know irrelevant voices from the voices you should listen to. Leaders are those who went before you, who brought you on seeing who they could make you, who you would become. Trust them. Do the discipline of forsaking entanglements for now to fight, and play, and practice. Worries will wait. The coach who dug down deep to draw out diligence and competition. The value of now. This point. This play. Grace for yourself and for your family; it is, after all, a game moved along by mistakes. Don't think yourself above errors.

You never rise to the occasion, you only fall back on your training. So bring yourself, your whole self, your mind your strength your game, to the table. Every time. Be all there.

My cute lil Pokemon

There is more, much more, that volleyball tangibly taught me. But asked why I give my Saturdays now, I say, you only can give what you've first received.

1 comment:

  1. Really liked this post E, it made me really happy for you. God's really been building you up in the midst of a lot of other things that seemingly have been tearing down. Your journey, and your perseverance through it all really sets you apart as a person.

    It's not easy, but keep at it. God's brought you this far already, and I trust he'll finish the work he started.