Assignment #1 FD

First Draft

Sports never appealed to me as a kid. I preferred watching television over playing outdoors. When I was eight, I tried playing soccer with my classmates at recess. Not far from my expectations, it didn’t end well: I was not able to pass the ball or dribble with the ball. Leaving with humiliation and regret, I did not see myself playing sports again. A week later, I was asked to play. We stood on the field like soldiers as we were eager to be picked. There was a hierarchy in our class. From the top (the best in class) to the bottom (the goofiest), we picked out the teams. Being the last to be chosen, I was not synchronized with my team, like a dinghy floating further away from the cruise ship. I was given the opportunity to shoot and score a goal, but missed the shot and fell to the ground, my team in shame as they ran back to defend. I really hated sports from that moment on. But my eight-year old-self would be surprised as to how athletic I am now. 

Summer of June 2016,

Light shone into our apartment as the soft wind greeted me. I was watching television when I encountered an anime called “Haikyuu” which was all about volleyball. In the first episode, the main character was fascinated by a volleyball match he saw on television. The story then progresses to when he joins the volleyball team and is made famous by his school team, which sparked my interest in sports. I gained some confidence playing sports and one day my friend asked me to play basketball with him. A crossover following with a backspin to a layup, I scored most of the points for my team. I felt joyed and powerful with every bounce of the basketball and every swish I heard, maybe a couple of airballs along the way. I went up for a block when all of the sudden I felt unease on my foot.

crack, as I fell to the ground in agony.

Injuries are the worst, I couldn’t play for a few weeks. Fast forwarding to 2018 as I grew more passionate about sports I got scouted by my coach. When I took my first step into the gym I was astonished by the number of people who were eager to be on the volleyball team and frankly, I was a little puppy lost in a dog pit. Although I was frightened by their presence and their physiques I was also welcomed by many fellow teammates who eased my stress. Seeing them hit the ball on the first four days really gave me a glimpse of what volleyball is, and that’s when I wanted to join the volleyball team. First I had to improve my overall body to be able to jump and hit hard enough, next I needed to focus on the basic elements of volleyball from an easy 3 step approach to being able to pass or set the ball to my team. 

Unfortunately, Covid-19 occurred and although this means I don’t have to attend school in person, this also means that all high school sports were canceled because of distancing. A year passed and my urge to play volleyball finally came to a stop as I walked back to the same gym and met familiar faces and new faces. Junior year and we were all just wearing masks and our jerseys on our first welcome back game with other teams. Senior year comes and our team was finally looking strong, we even made it to the semifinals as we were close to setting a new record as to how far we could make it to the tournaments. Last game with my team, the last touch with the ball, and the last whistle I will hear in my high school year, I realized my chapter was coming to an end. We had a sports banquet and to my surprise, I was called up to get the coach’s award. It was not as big as the most improved or most valuable player but at least is something. 

I remember all the memories I made with the team and all the special bonds I had with a handful of the team outside of school. Remembering setting up grass volleyball at a park outside my house and playing until we were not able to locate where the ball was. The best part of this comes after the day when our bodies are sore but no matter because we would repeat the same thing over and over on weekdays and weekends. Summer of my senior high school and fresh college I was invited to join what is called Vikings nine-man volleyball. I gladly accepted after a few persuasion and when I first arrived I realized it was completely different from how I played volleyball in high school, we played on concrete, and the net was lower but overall the rules were completely different too. 

When I first learned about the rule I thought it was a joke, but when we got onto practice games, I realized that they were not joking. The first day I saw someone grab the ball and threw it down onto the other side of the court which was legal in nine-man, crazy. I quickly adapted to the game style as I made it to the gold team, the team with the least experienced player and amateurs but that’s okay because I got to meet really cool people. Our first tournament took place in Philly and it was at a parking lot outside of a stadium. With the sun blinding us and overwhelming our minds with the heat, I felt like I started to hallucinate. Everyone else seemed to be sweating and smiling. The first game was on and I was really nervous because we usually went against each other, but now we went against other popular teams. Throughout the day, I made a lot of memories and lots of moments that I could still think of in detail.

On the way home, I looked out the window as I blast my music so loud that I could not hear the road and honks. I was able to think back to the old me, who was afraid of taking the leap. 

Teachable moment: Even if you are scared or out of your comfort zone, take the leap and try new things that might one day be something you are really passionate about.