Volleyball is Medicine for My Soul

Some of you may already know this about me: I have become a volleyball and magazine junkie over the years. My daughter, who plays volleyball, recently severed a tendon in her ankle during a tournament and had to be in an almost one-month-long volleyball hiatus. No jumping, running, and even be in a boot, then a brace for a total of 4 whole weeks. Although she participated in every practice and tournament during her recovery, she didn’t play at all. As a family, we all suffered from withdrawal, and this weekend’s tournament where she made her come back in Atlanta put some things into perspective for me. On our flight back, I thought hard about what it was that I loved so much. Actually, the love and admiration for my daughter’s athletic life actually is not only about her. Sure it is about her but not completely. It is also about me. I get so much from her sport.
 
Because of her, I get to travel. Especially since we are so deprived due to COVID, I will go anywhere without question. It doesn’t have to be Paris for me to be super excited. I never thought I would get excited about going to Hampton, but I am! 
 
I get to watch her in action and put to use everything she learned during practices and workouts. This part reassures me and shows me the value of the money and time I spend on her training. 
 
I get a little more spiritual as I pray hard before each game that she will not get injured and her team will do well.
 
I get to cheer for everyone on her team, and before you know it, my voice sounds like a villain in a mafia movie. I like to think more like Demi Moore, but really it’s more like Marge Simpson. I will take the change. 
 
I get to see how her future coaches coach and what they expect from their players so I can embrace for what is ahead.
 
I get to watch the older girls in her club play and see the aspiration in my girls’ eyes as she admiringly watches them with me. 
 
Once in a while, I catch a coach get a yellow or red card for protecting and fighting for their players. (Always fun!)
 
I mingle with other parents and sometimes even make new friends.
 
I don’t have to cook, clean or even check email, and I am getting better at wrapping ankles, taping knees, and icing post games.
 
I spend one on one time alone with my girl and hear all about the details of her life and thoughts in and outside of volleyball.
 
I get all my steps in, times 100.
 
I get to sit in hotel lobbies for hours, people watching as the girls hang out and bond.
 
I relearn how to follow walking instructions on Google maps. Ohhh… that way is north!
 
I get to make a plan with my little player on everything she needs to work on for the next tournament. I like to plan!
 
Most importantly, I get to live these wonderful memories that likely will never be relived again. The next tournament will be slightly different, and she will be a little more grown, and I’ll be a little closer to the days where there will be no more tournaments. So I am not blinking. Keeping my eyes wide open. Grateful for every day I get to do this.
 
 
So really, volleyball isn’t just for my girl. It is also medicine for my soul. Here is to all the cheerleading families out there regardless of what sports your kid chose.  I see all of you, and whether you know it or not, we are on the same club.