Almost every Sunday from November through March I head to the gym to play a little coed city league volleyball. Now, I’m not an expert at the game or anything. I make my fair share of mistakes every game. But the point is to play a game, get some exercise and have fun. We’re in the “B” league so it’s not like we’re playing for trophies or anything.
While our team isn’t the best in the world, we’re not horrible either. We play the standard formations, don’t serve from crazy locations or make deceptive “calls” while passing. We try for the bump, set, spike the majority of the time. It isn’t always possible and we don’t always have the best spikes either, but we try to play to have fun. And we try to play by the rules.
Like any other sport, it gets competitive. People get excited and riled up in the action. Recently, we played a team where a girl on the other team literally screamed out loud at EVERY spike their team attempted. Even when we’d make the dig and return the ball. They didn’t even get a point and this girl screamed like she just won the Super Bowl. She was a screamer. Every. Spike.
The week before that, we played a team where the best “spiker” on their team would palm the ball and literally throw it in whatever direction he wanted as hard as he wanted – including directly in one of our players faces. Then he celebrated. (Classy, I know.) No, it’s not legal to palm the ball, basically grabbing and throwing it. But for $200 in small town SD, you don’t get refs, just score keepers…and the hope that you’re honest with yourselves. Again, this is because we’re playing “B” league volleyball, just for fun.
The “just for fun” part is what I try to keep reminding myself. Again, being competitive, it’s easy to get caught up in the action. I know I make mistakes. I know our team makes mistakes. We get frustrated with ourselves. I get frustrated when the other team’s we play don’t follow the rules or get cocky because they’re winning. That’s when I try to remind myself, we’re doing this for fun. It’s not for the wins or loses. We’re not Olympic athletes with anything to gain from winning. There’s a tournament at the end and we all get to play in it. Just so the ultra-competitive get to feel like there’s something to play for other than the fun of it.
Personally, after a recent back injury that had me limited in activity for the majority of 2014, I’ll call it a win every week I get to play and not go home with back pain. So far, I’ve won every week, just some soreness here and there. And I get to have some fun and exercise.
Non sequitur football update: The Seahawks beat the Packers which means I don’t have to hear from any Packers fans for the next two weeks about another win. Then the Patriots beat the Colts. I’m officially rooting for the Seahawks to repeat and beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl.