October 30, 2013
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Today it the day when is volleyball season officially over for me, even though our practices ended last week and we had our last game on Thursday. With returning my light blue jersey with number 23 this I know that this is over. No more practices, no more games, no more serves, no more hits and sets… I look out the window. I see beautiful fall colours - yellow, green, red, orange… It is cold outside. The winter is coming. The fall slowly ends, so the fall sport season doesn’t have another choice but ended too…

When I came to my new American school, I knew that I want to play some sport in my free time after school. I didn’t really what it would be, I just didn’t want to get super lazy while I am here as an exchange student.

I didn’t choose cheerleading because I’m terrible in dancing and remembering choreography. Field hockey? Ehh not really. I knew that I would have to run a lot and that’s not exactly my cup of coffee, so no. I have never heard about Cross Country so this was one big mystery for me and I decided that I want it to still stay mystery. No. Only sport that left was a volleyball. Why not?

Volleyball was the only fall sport that I had experience with. Not the best experience, really but what beginnings are perfect? I used to play volleyball in my school when we had PE. That means twice a week. This was the only sport we played whole year (okay, sometimes we danced zumba when we were in a small gymnastic hall). Playing with my classmates was really nightmare. They sucked so much (I know that I wasn’t the best, but at least I tried). They didn’t even want to play. You could tell that just looking at them - they did everything but playing volleyball. And they acted like a small children. You would think that you are on a visit in a school for mentally disabled…

I said volleyball because I knew how to play. How does the rotation work. When the ball hits the ceiling on its way over the net, it is “out”. When you serve you can’t step on the serving line. When the ball falls on the line, it still counts as “in”. I knew the basic rules.

Volleyball season started a few days before school did. I was surprised that practices are every day (except for Saturdays and Sundays). When I went to my first practice I was sooo nervous. Really. I didn’t know a single person there, my English skills weren’t the best and I was just scared. But very soon I made a lot of friends and finding out that I am not the worst or smaller one increased my confidence.

Varsity had practice in the big gym and Junior Varsity (JV) in the smaller one. I was practicing with JV, but few later, I don’t know how it happened, I started practising with freshmen. The 3rd team, the freshmen team. It doesn’t matter how this happened. I’m 18 years old junior who is playing with freshmen. Because I look as 14-15 years old girl, no one really cared that I’m playing with younger playmates. Our team was really small. Once when we had a game away, there were exactly 6 of us, so if we were missing one, we wouldn’t play. So I think that I can say, that I saved my team for not playing.

Practices were fun, but the real fun began with our first game. It was our first game, we lost but we enjoyed so much! Totally we had 7 games, we lost 5 of them and won 2; I served the winning point. Twice. This intensified my passion for this sport.

It doesn’t matter that we lost almost every game. Yes, we had games when we didn’t play very well. Our penultimate game was so bad. It was horrible. It was on monday and mondays were never good for us. Our coach Jeff told us that he is disappointed. That was the first time ever when he told us something like that. But our last game was the best game we ever played, even though we lost.

I’m the girl who prefer books than balls. Fact that I found another side of me really suprised me. Playing with another school. Wearing John Dickinson’s jersey. Being concentrated and waiting for the ball. Hearing people from my school screaming: RAAAMS! GO RAAAMS! and your friends calling my name when I served. It is something unbelievable. I never thought that I would feel the enthusiasm, that I would find a passion for playing volleyball.

I’m sitting in my volleyball hoodie, thinking about these past three months… Thinking about what it gave me. New passion, new friends, new self-knowledge.

Goodbye, volleyball season, I will miss you.

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