Set 1″ — Lesson 1
For seasoned athletes, in spite of age and a relentless clock, the critical is to stay the training course. There needn’t be an expiration date stamped on the psyche, either self-imposed or by general public affirmation. Place one more way, if a single enjoys a healthier thoughts and entire body, if joints still flex with relative relieve and comfort, it really is achievable to play right up until Medicare kicks in, and for many, well beyond that venerable age. For its a lot of devotees, it really is a sport for the ages! The match of the higher net, a remarkably fantastic, vigorous and aggressive activity, when performed effectively, when played by the policies. The uninitiated want only view school volleyball or specialist seashore or Olympic volleyball.
To illustrate and to cite an exemplary situation in point, Steve and Gigi have played for ages, because 1974 to be accurate. The excellent match proceeds to eat their disposable leisure time. For them, it’s a variety of obsession, and 1 that has ongoing unabated for much more than 40 a long time. Now at age 72, Steve, and sixty eight, Gigi, they are even now in its grip.
Obsession is an apt description. In a way, it all began at the bell, a phone bell, and like a existing in between extremes, it appears often to race in between foreboding and hopeful anticipation. Spurred by that opening bell, they shortly turned prizefighters fired with passion, roped in, initially by the idea, but in the prolonged operate, eaten by the sport itself, obsessed.
The ringing telephone was loud and insistent. Steve refused to transfer. Obtrusive with annoyance in her eyes, Gigi put down a guide and walked speedily, practically ran to subdue the obnoxious factor.
“Shall I just get it?” she questioned with extravagant sarcasm. “Yes, hullo!”
Steve paid out no focus at initial, irritated by the instrument’s persistence, its electrical power to interrupt.
“Oh, hi John. What? Yeah, we are both wonderful, just hanging out. How’s Joan? That’s very good.”
Steve’s focus moved slowly, as did his gaze, to a conversation that was 1-sided and cryptic. Her eyes widened. She turned. She paced.
“You think we ought to do what?” Gigi requested into the instrument, a concern wrapped in incredulity, yet with a rising level of exhilaration. Enthusiasm appeared to improve the present working by way of the wire.
“What,” he mentioned. Who is that?” The query fell flat as if inaudible, trivial.
“Be part of a league? Couples, co-ed. Yeah, I played a minor in higher school. Steve? No. I will not believe so. Possibly at picnics, or in the backyard with family.”
“What did I do in the backyard?” he requested. One more feckless query, no reply envisioned or presented.
“That sounds just excellent,” Gigi stated with increasing pleasure. “The place? And it commences in January? That is following thirty day period! Yeah, yeah… exercising, anything we can do as partners with pals. Alright, great! Alright, we will speak on Monday and you can permit us know the time and routine.” She hung up the phone.
“Was that John O’Connor?” Steve requested. “What ended up you talking about? What league?”
“I just adore the thought,” Gigi replied. “Yeah, it was John. You and I, the O’Connors and the Keegan’s are heading to engage in volleyball in a co-ed league. The six of us. We start subsequent month. We’ll engage in at a north side college. It truly is around Sherman on Eco-friendly Tree Highway.”
“Hold out a moment,” Steve commenced. “We have by no means played. We don’t know the game. Do they have rigorous guidelines? Are the other teams in the league seasoned, talented? How are we likely to do that?”
“Ach… will not fear,” said Gigi. “I played in faculty, and we are going to learn. We are going to get far better. It will be wonderful exciting. We are going to have exercising, time with close friends. It’ll be fantastic. volleyball positions am truly seeking forward to this. Are not you?”
“Volleyball,” he said, a sturdy be aware of apprehension in his tone. “A league,” he continued, a hefty sigh punctuating. And that was the sum overall of any objection or argument he may have offered in opposition. But, in the privacy of his feelings, there was this: “I’m married for, what, four or so months. I’m just obtaining employed to issues. Now I am in a volleyball league. How lengthy will this previous. My god, life’s a runaway freight train it moves along way too fast!”
In spite of an inauspicious commencing, reluctance on the portion of at least 1 participant, their volleyball-playing career, one particular that would previous for 40 a long time and beyond, commenced in 1974.
It was in early September of that yr. Six novices appeared on a wood-plank flooring at the gymnasium of a north side Milwaukee university, some anxious, some relaxed and confident. They lined up, a few in front and 3 in the back row. They understood that significantly. The opposition won the first services. The ball was a meteor, some thing shot from a cannon. A single of the 6 made contact with the ball, palms up, lifting the volleyball a handful of toes skyward. It dropped to the flooring, between front and back again rows of players. Even the ball seemed ashamed.
A shrill whistle wrenched their collective focus from the shock of the serve and its feckless receipt to the referee’s ladder of authority. “Unlawful hit,” the referee shouted. She descended, appeared at each and every of the 6 in flip and asked, “Has any of you ever performed volleyball just before?” The issue was wound in a thread of astonishment.
“Uh, not genuinely. I suggest, some of us performed a tiny in substantial faculty, but that was a whilst in the past.” The reply arrived from Gigi.
“Effectively,” the referee began, with a nod of apology to the opposing crew, now standing and staring at the neophytes, arms akimbo, a look of supreme annoyance on their collective expression. “The first point you ought to know about league volleyball, and the rules that implement, is that you get a provider with your arms outstretched like this, palms clasped collectively in some way.” She demonstrated the “passing” strategy, tossing a volleyball to each and every in flip so that they could discover the correct arms and hands configuration. “And when you established the ball to your hitter, you may not capture and throw the ball, but instead… effectively, let me display you.” She demonstrated the “placing” approach.
None of them recalls that initial outing with any feeling of joy or fulfillment, as they were destroyed, unremittingly. They expressed thanks to that kind and client referee, and then to the opposing staff members, as they slunk absent from the courtroom that first, fateful evening of league volleyball. They might not have scored a one level, until their opponents made an error. Even that likelihood is misplaced — most likely by layout — to the component of memory that guards one’s fragile psyche.