Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I am such an old lady.

Volleyball has always been a passion of mine. Even as a child it was part of my life; every Monday night on the mission station, everyone would assemble for a few rounds. And by "everyone" I mean EVERYONE. Sometimes we had 12 people on one team because, you know, everyone needs to be included from the littlest little girl (me) to those who would soon retire from the mission field (I can't mention names here). I learned then what the term "missionary volleyball" means. (By the way, I've always wondered: is this an internationally known term, or just one we made up based on our observations?) I made the team in 9th grade when I was on furlough and learned a lot that year. Played every year after that and was captain of my team my senior year. After we got married I played in various leagues with my husband who shares the interest. And of course when the Olympics came to Hotlanta, we immediately got our hands on volleyball tickets.

I enjoy watching professional volleyball. In fact, in my college days in Cali, I would go to the beach to catch Karch Kiraly, Sinjin Smith, and Steve Timmons in action. If you follow professional volleyball now, you'll recognize those names--they are the announcers. The announcer's chair: the place where professional athlete's go to die; find yourself behind that mike and you know you're a has-been.

And I know I'm a has-been too, but every once in awhile when there is an opportunity to recapture my glory days, I grasp the opportunity and hold on for dear life because I know my glory days are becoming more and more distant with each passing year. This past weekend we were presented a glory days opportunity. A friend of ours from church plays volleyball every week, and he invited us we invited ourselves to join him. Mark was certainly more enthusiastic about the whole thing. Me, I just pictured myself being the person who would bring the term "missionary volleyball" to everyone's mind when I stepped on the court. That is, if "missionary volleyball" is indeed an internationally known term. If it isn't, I would have just been the loser who stepped on the court to ruin the game.

I have to say after not having played in 10 years, we didn't do so badly. We kept up pretty well with all the young'uns out on the court. And there were some young'uns...some in college even. (Since when did I become so old that I refer to college kids as "young'uns" or even as "kids"?) The old lady part came afterwards. Mark made the remark that we were going to pay for this when we tried to get out of bed the next morning, tried being the operative word. I blew it off with a mocking laugh. And then I proceeded to harrass him after the game every time he winced in pain.

So now you see why I have had to hide my own pain. Yeah, it hurts to move. And my poor tender arms may or may not be bruised for life because they haven't bumped a ball in a decade. And my knees hurt from diving after the ball. At least I dove after the ball. (Do you think I would look goofy wearing knee pads for sand volleyball?) And yeah, it is painful trying to get out of bed in the morning. But I refuse to admit these things to my husband. You better believe I'll hide my old lady self this Sunday when we do this all over again!


TeacherMommy said...

Yes, you're ancient. And you only THINK you're hiding it.

Of course, I've had bad knees since I was 16, so imagine just how decrepit I am!


Kathleen said...

Ha ha, TeacherMommy. I'll be sure to come to you for cheering up when I'm feeling old and down! ;)

Annie H. said...

Ok, finally found something we DON'T have in common... a love for volleyball. The physical sensation you're describing? That was me trying volleyball in my 20's. I distinctly remember the pain, the bruises, and well... the embarrassment of not being able to get the ball over the net. Kudos girl to an athletic spirit and not giving up on that life long love of yours - pain and all. :) I admire you!

CrossView said...

Wow! I admire your courage for even getting out there. I was on the middle school volleyball team. We were the champs! I'm happy to take the no-pain route and re-live those days in my memory.... =P

But since you did have that courage then I'm with ya! Don't let him see that pain! The "I told you so's" hurt worse.... LOL!

And I've never heard the term "missionary volleyball"??!!

John Roper said...

I'm glad to see you're still playing, Kathleen. Your post brings back some great memories. I stopped playing a few years ago. Missionary volleyball is just too rough!

Well, actually I probably could be convinced to play again in the right setting. But my spiking days, which never were terribly good in the first place, are officially over. =-)

dclouser said...

I never knew you played volleyball, Kathleen! From where I'm sitting you're far from being an old lady, so get back out there and keep playing!

4 Lettre Words said...

Reminds me of when I tried to go across the monkey bars last year with Sam. Remember how easy stuff like that was??? :o)