Disaster, Sparklers. Disaster. I knew I wasn’t exactly coordinated, but I thought I could at least hit a volleyball over a net without injuring myself or others. Evidently not.
As with so many instances of poor judgment in my life, I was influenced partly by a couple of friends, and partly my own naivety. Note that I’m the same person who couldn’t make it onto her school tennis team… in middle school. So clearly I don’t have the best record with whacking projectiles in accordance with the rules of one game or another. But I thought that surely I my coordination and competence had improved since those days of awkward juvenile failure. I mean, c'mon.
Not so much, as it turns out.
As far as volleyball goes, this was about as laidback as it gets. We were playing three on three in one of the several sand volleyball courts that dot my campus, some of them in incredibly random places.
Landscape Architect: Do you know what the space behind the business building needs?
President of Collegiate Matters: [chewing on cigar] No, my dear fellow, what?
LA: A volleyball court.
PCM: By George, that’s brilliant! I can’t think of a better way to spend tuition money! [In the excitement, the president’s monocle falls off and rolls across the floor.
Luckily he has a supply of spare ones in his desk.]
[Just kidding. Please don’t take away my scholarship.]
By some trick of fate, I ended up in the center position for the start of the game, which left me directly in the line of fire any time the other side hit the ball over the net. In the interest of full disclosure, the majority of us were slightly inept. But I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say that I stood out among the bunch as particularly fail-tastic.
One of the girls on my team, seeing our disorganization, thought it would be a good idea to call out the name of whoever she thought should get the ball whenever it was lobbed over to our side of the net. The idea was sound in theory, and helpful at first, but as the game progressed and we became more tired, it eventually devolved into simple trolling. She was particularly fond of calling out my name, even when the volleyball was leagues away from me. Thankfully, we weren’t keeping score.
Eventually the game wore down as we all trickled off to our various meetings and other responsibilities, but not before I managed to hit the ball into the net at least a dozen times. Of course, there were a few glorious moments in which I sent it soaring through the air in a high arc, but the majority of those times the volleyball wound up landing behind me. The thud as it hit the ground rang of failure.
So, what have I learned from this experience? First, that I would do well to keep away from sports teams. All sports teams. Second, that it is possible to lose even if you’re not keeping score. And third, volleyball is only good exercise if you are actually playing, not just standing there and alternately making a mad dash for the ball when you think it's within reach and being pelted by the ball when you're not paying attention. I blame our lack of ridiculously tight spandex shorts—everyone knows they're crucial to successful volleyball.
Do you have any hand-eye coordination? If so, we're jealous.
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