Have You Earned It?

September 27, 2011
By Anonymous

Have You Earned It?

Persevering through a tough situation and coming out on top is one of the greatest feelings I’ve ever experienced! It is always a thrill to know- whatever circumstances you were under-that you conquered the challenge and were not defeated by it. The situation that I went through was nothing close to life or death, but coming out of it triumphantly made all of the confusion and pain entirely worthwhile. In this case, teamwork played a very large role in being able to push through what happened. My team was able to do this because we pulled together like we never have before to conquer our “enemy”: the team on the other side of the volleyball net.

We were tied one set to one when the incident took place. The game was very intense and thrilling, one that always gets my adrenaline pumping. We were in the third set, up by five points, and on a roll. The fans from both teams were ecstatic and making a noise loud enough to wake up the dead in Asia. As we were setting up our defense, the hit came. It was a middle hit manipulated to land directly in between the six spot in the back row and the three spot in the front row. As I dove to the floor to save the ball, my body met the shiny wood with a slam. But the best part was when my elbow contacted the ground a split second later. All you heard was a “bang”, and then total silence. The entire gym stopped their wild cheering and watched I horror as my team huddled around me to see if I was o.k. The perspiration glistening on my face was a mixture of sweat and tears, but soon those tears turned into laughter. (One weird thing about me is that I laugh whenever I get seriously hurt.) My team helped me get up off of the ground and supported me as I made my way over to the bench. This act of teamwork was just the beginning of our journey that evening.

There are many factors that make up a team; and one of the most important things is how well that group of people is able to cooperate and work together. One other important factor is how well the team members know each other personally. To be able to work well with other people, it’s almost mandatory that the people know each other on a personal level. It makes for a much happier team, especially a team composed of only girls. Fortunately for me, my volleyball team has a lot of these good qualities. We have discovered that we have amazing chemistry when we all work together. Along with having this chemistry, we are all very good friends. So, when you combine good chemistry with strong bonds of friendship, you come up with a very solid team, which is what I like to think we are. All of these characteristics that make up a good team made their debut on the night I got hurt. It is truly amazing how out team pulled together when tragedy struck.

One other detail that makes this story even more amazing is the fact that I am the only setter for our Varsity team. This is not for my glory, but for the one who stepped up to fill my spot. While my team was helping me to our bench, Coach put in the swing setter (‘swing’ means that she is a starter on JV and a sub for Varsity). She hadn’t played in a Varsity game yet, but that didn’t stop her. She courageous took up my position and ran all the way with it. After adjusting to the game, she performed amazingly! We ended up losing the third set do to the confusion of my injury; however, we came back with an outstanding rally in the fourth set. With some Ibuprofen quickly rushing through my system, and some padding for my already blue and green swollen elbow, I was ready to hit the court again – not literally, though.
This is the point where our persistence as a team paid off in a very big way. We played the fourth set point-for-point with all of our hearts, and because we were able to persevere through the injury, we won the fourth set. Now that each team had won two games, a tie breaker was needed to determine the winner of the match. Our opponent’s team captain and I had a coin toss and we ended up in serve receive, which eventually worked out for us.
The fifth and final set started off with a bang! We got the first point right off the bat, which automatically boosted our level of morale and energy. From that point forward until the end of the game, we played with the greatest fluidity I have ever seen in a team! You could’ve likened it to a river flowing gently down a mountainside. All of us pushed and pushed ourselves until we got to the final point. Those last few points were very intense, but were worth it in the end. Because our team pulled together in the way we did, the victory became ours. As you know, this victory did not come easily to us, but instead we earned it by working had for every individual point.
This experience taught me a very important lesson about teamwork and perseverance. It taught me that a team isn’t truly a team unless every member is willing to give 110% of themselves toward a common goal. I also learned that when you have trials in life- no matter how trivial- and you push through them like you would push down a tree, that in the end, the reward is so much greater, because you know you earned it.

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