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High school volleyball team - go Panthers!
Do you get flashbacks? There you are, just minding your own business, when a memory from your past overtakes you and all you can think about is why in the world canoeing was a required class for you in college? Or what ever happened to the cat-paw printed sweater that you wouldn't leave the house without in grade school? I've never done acid, but I have to tell you, I get flashbacks all the time. Interesting little visits from the past. 

Lately, I've been attracting these momentary travels through time by picking up an old pasttime that I haven't done seriously since high school - and in involves copious amounts of spandex. That's right, folks! Volleyball!  I played all through middle and high school for the Panthers (and various club teams) and loved it so, so much. The sport itself is great fun - lots of energy, a quick pace, and cute uniforms. But what I really connected with was the team spirit. As an only child, it was the first time I really remember feeling like I had siblings - people I may or may not have always liked, but who I would sacrifice for and work together with to achieve a goal.  See those girls up there? Yep, sisters, baby.

I was injured my junior year and my "career" was pretty much over. It was a hard blow for me - I didn't have any prospects of playing seriously, of course, but I just missed being a full-bodied member of the team. I've played a couple of times since - travelling or in college - and it's always been a very emotional experience full of nostalgia for a great time of my life.

So, with the move up north I decided to jump back into the court and take up volleyball again. South Bend has a great complex called Outpost Sports with tons of sand courts and a variety of leagues. Matt and I convinced a couple of friends to join and voila! I'm whipping out my spandex, practicing digs, and getting sand everywhere you can imagine. It's been so fun to relearn the sport (beach is so hard!) and build a new team (I'm working on some cheers). But the best part is coming home with sore muscles and wild hair and flashing-back to years past and happy memories with my team. Rematch sometime, girls? Call me...

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