Awesome # 14: Being a Contributing Member of a Team

My debut as an amateur volleyball player was, to be honest, quite laughable. My performance was terrible – I couldn’t serve for the life of me, I had atrocious aim, I lacked “technique” and my ability to drive the ball back over the net was severely insufficient, regardless of my effort.

I often miscalculated the ball. This probably has something to do with my lack of coordination and eyesight equivalent to that of a platypus. I often missed it altogether, but on the off chance that I did make contact, I did so with either misdirected, or, too little force, and I could never manage to “bump” it just the right way. As a result, I’d suffered many bent fingers, stinging wrists or face-fulls of ball.

That is if I didn’t panic and duck at the last minute as the ball flew at me.

Sensing exasperation (both my teammates’ and my own), I desperately wanted this to change. I wished for the strength and the coordination to make a proper serve, as well as the courage to not only hit the ball, but to dive for it for all it’s worth. I wanted to be able to lose myself in the game and contribute something to my team. Even if it wasn’t much, it would be more than I was doing.

Shortly thereafter, to my surprise, I found myself suddenly making beautiful serve after beautiful serve. I even found myself able to “bump” the ball with something resembling aim. It was like magic. The week prior, I was stuck in the serving position because of my kind and patient team’s “unlimited re-try” policy on failed serves. That week, however, with the help of my teammates, I remained in the serving position because we were gaining scores and I had something to do with it. And since that noteworthy day in athletic history, my volleyball skills seem to have improved exponentially.

Being a contributing member of a team is my awesome for today.

For 2 hours yesterday, we played game after game of volleyball – as we do every Sunday afternoon – in teams of Inuit versus qallunaat. Though I’ve felt like a contributing member of my team for some time now, I was inspired to write this post of awesome when, yesterday, I contributed more to my team than I ever have before.

That just feels awesome.

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