Saturday, November 12, 2011

Are you an athlete or an athletic supporter?

When I first moved into the Truman Show seven years ago, I was invited to come and play church volleyball.  It had been years since I'd played, and I was actually thinking about making some friends so I agreed and showed up to play.  I was placed on a team, was stupidly asked what position I play (um, I'm 6 foot 3...I'm totally the team setter and don't know how to block at all!) and stood on the court ready to play.

I can dig if I have to.  I can set if I need to.  I can "spike" if that's what you want to call it.  I am generally good for a couple of blocks a game.

I stood on that court ready to receive service.  The ball came soaring over the net and a woman on my team, whom I later decided was the graveyard shift conductor of the crazy train, kicked the ball instead of trying to use her hands.  The volleyball purist in me was outraged and as soon as I rotated out I picked up my stuff and I left the gym, never to return.

Fast forward 7 years.  I live in a new house, new neighborhood, new ward.  I volunteered to play on the women's volleyball team because I really don't know anyone and was doing a little bit of reaching out - I stepped out of my comfort zone to be social and thought it would be good for me.  It was a frustrating experience, but I still had fun.

I realized that I am like my dad.  I am too competitive when I have something personally at stake.  If I am on a team, or cheering for a particular family member on a team, my blood will boil, I'll yell and rant and rave and I'll give it my all.  A vested interest gets me going and ready for action.  Now, if I have no vested interest, I could care less who wins or loses, but put me on the court and....

Fast forward to last Sunday at church.  I was asked to fill-in on the co-ed volleyball team in a region round robin tournament that was held last night.  At 7:00 pm I showed up at the church ready to play.  So did the five other people on my team - three men and three women in total.  We walked into the gym into a literal herd of people.  There were 40 men and women milling about, none of whom really seemed sure as to what was going on.

It was soon discovered however that the organizer of the round robin tournament wasn't as thorough as he should have been.  He had 4 teams show up when he thought there were only enough people for two teams.  After a lot of buffoonery and "" it was decided by this guy that one, it was our mistake in showing up, not his mistake in lack of planning; and two, that the teams could just easily combine because you know, it's really easy to work 15 people into a 6 person game.

So I played.  The opposing team had two very tall, very cocky young men, probably 19 who by the looks of them, thought that they should have been playing on a nationally ranked NCAA men's team, not standing in a church gym playing with their moms.  I am proud to say that on the first play of the game for me, one of these young men went up to spike the ball into my face and was hit by the shock of his church volleyball career when the tall, 30 pound overweight diabetic mother of two blocked his hit and returned the ball into his face.

Take that, church volleyball!

Throughout the next two matches, I blocked those two boys or dumped it right past their attempted block of me three more times.

Not bad!

Once the game was over I was asked to be a line judge for the next match.  I agreed.  While standing in position, I saw some scuttlebutt between some members of the team I came with and the team we had just played with.  A few minutes later I was told that the old men on the team, who went by the nicknames "Merlin" and "ponch" (because who doesn't want a cool nick name for CHURCH volleyball) had asked that the men on our team not play.  They would keep our women (me, the tall girl and our setter because we were better than the ladies they showed up with), but that they didn't think it was fair for our men (who were taller, younger, stronger and better looking) to play on their team because "they hadn't been to any practices".

So, in grand church ball fashion, people got offended and because I didn't want to stay anyway, I left in a huff with the lot.  Well, I wasn't in a huff, I just felt that I got jipped out of some exercise so I came home and did my Jillian Michaels video.  I do not recommend doing an aerobic exercise video at 8:30 at night.  I didn't sleep.  All night long.  And I messed up my blood sugar and at 2:30 this morning my number was 22 - that's like diabetic coma low and I thought i was going to DIE!  Seriously.  It was terrible.

Anyway - the whole point of all of this?
It's CHURCH BALL.  If you think you are so awesome at church ball that you cannot share the court with someone else then you are just dumb.

1 comment:

Four Hearts Haven said...

Gregg must have inherited that same competitive gene that your dad got. However, I am also glad that he has learned, like you, that Church sports is supposed to be inclusive rather than exclusive. I can't even get him to play Church ball anymore because of the stupidity of some of the other players. I guess it is okay though since we are not as young as we once were.


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