For some of you, it is already Tuesday, so forgive the lateness of the hour. Much on my mind these past few days, some of it humorous and some sad; some that makes me laugh out loud and some that just makes me shake my head.
It is funny to me, sometimes, how certain things that I was taught while growing up have stuck with me. I'm not referring to lessons taught by my parents or by "life" in general, because certainly one would hope to learn from life's experiences and to take our parents' advice to heart. No, I'm referring to something more specific, and possibly more ingrained in my head. I'm talking about things I learned on the Court - both volleyball and basketball, that were drilled into my head over the many, many years I played. (How many years? Well, at the risk of dating myself, I started playing basketball in 5th grade and played through college - so that is ... carry the one... add two.... 12 years of organized ball. For volleyball, it was a few less because I didn't start playing until 7th grade and was cut from the 8th grade team. Yes, cut. From the team. I was seriously gangly and uncoordinated and that's a whole other Oprah.)
But I digress (as usual.) An example of something taught or learned on the court that has stuck with me. Class. I can see you out there scratching your head and trying to figure this one out, so I will help you along. My high school coach, who is a prince among men (and has a pretty darn good win/lose record under his belt) always said that "Class shows." What did he mean? He meant that even on the court, in the heat of battle, class shows. If you are seriously dismantling the other team, you don't leave your starters in. If you are up by 20 points, you pull back the full court press. That is not to say that you roll over and play dead, but you try not to beat up on the other team when they are bruised, bloodied and barely making it down the Court. This little lesson came to mind last week during my rec league game. (That is right, I said "rec league." Although we pay referees to keep the peace, we play for nothing more than a t-shirt and the ability to say that we "won" the Burbank women's summer (or winter or whatever) session of the league. Seriously.) So we are playing this team that always gives us a hard time, and they are up by 20 or 25. And they start a full court press. In a rec. league. game. In. Burbank. Yup, class shows.
Tonight I had the opportunity to have several of my past sporting lessons come roaring back to mind. I was picked up last season to play volleyball, off of the "free agent" list. Last season it was the "non-comp" league which meant only underhand serves (who even remembers how to do that?) and lots of slop. Lots of slop. This season, there were not spots left in non-comp, so the Rec League office encouraged our team to move up to competitive. Different night and we get a referee, and we get to serve overhand. To say that we have been sorely over matched in the games I have played so far is an understatement. We have several players on our team that, although they try very hard, probably are completely out of their element. I'm worried that one or two of them will end up with a six-pack across the face the way some of our opponents hit. Tonight our problem was communication. It was drilled into me at an early age that the setter always has the second hit, unless they call for help. If you are a hitter in the front row, you would be getting into position to hit and staying out of the setter's way. If you are in the back row, you should be setting up to cover any block that comes back over, or again, getting out of the way. This is something that people who have been playing "rec league" ball simply do not understand. We've got people standing there watching the ball drop, out of position, not taking the second hit when they are in the setter's position and I'm just standing there, listening to 10 years of coaches' comments and yelling going through my head. Coach Bartlett (high school volleyball coach) came to mind when I served one in the net. She always said that if you are going to miss on a serve, miss long because at least then you've got the possibility that the other side will play it. If you serve it into the net, you've taken away that possibility.
Funny how life keeps circling around.
I spent the weekend in Vegas, hanging out with about 250 rabid scrapbookers. I know some of you are wondering what that means, but some of these women really could be described as "rabid." You would think that the teachers of the classes hung the moon and stars and if you don't sit close enough to them you will somehow miss out on the star shine or sparkle. Crazy. Women fighting over seats in a room and piling into huge lines (seemingly on the verge of pushing and shoving) to spray alcohol ink on a piece of paper. You have to view these things with a bit of levity and a smile, lest you run the risk of becoming embroiled in the passion. It really is funny to watch sometimes.
I'm sure there were other things I wanted to comment on, but as the night gets longer and I've got work in the morning, I should go. More meanderings later.