Sports have always been a part of my life in one way or another...
As a younger child, I remember going to watch my aunts & some of the ladies from where I grew up play softball during the summer. In the winter, I would sometimes get to go along with my mom to her Tuesday night bowlng league games (which she is still doing.) I always thought that both of these were really neat to watch.
As a little bit older child, I got to start playing on a summer league softball team of my own. I think it was like 3rd-8th graders at the time that I got to join (the ages changed a bit not too long after this, I think). I remember really liking it, but also being fairly nervous around all of the older girls too.
As a junior high age child, I very briefly attempted basketball (it was not for me!), tried track for a couple of years, but found one of my main loves when I was introduced to volleyball in 6th grade. I also continued playing softball both in school & during the summer & at some point started playing on 2 different summer teams for several years. It was busy, but it was fun!
As a high schooler, I continued playing volleyball & softball. I was definitely had a more successful volleyball career & even "started" on varsity for parts of both my junior & senior years (there always seemed to be 3-4 of us vying for the same 2 spots), but even if I didn't "start" I almost always got to play part of the game (unless a sprained ankle had me sidelined.) My high school softball story was a bit sadder, except for my sophomore year on JV, I rarely got to play outside of getting to be a designated hitter for 1 game of a doubleheader. Summer softball was always more of a favorite for the sheer fact that I actually got to have some "field" time, plus it had the bonus that most of the people on the teams were my friends outside of the sport too!
As a college person/adult, I have really gotten away from my playing days A LOT! Oh, I'm still up for the chance to play anytime I can get it, but there just don't seem to be quite as many opportunities around my current area as there were in the area I grew up. Especially not for women, which really irks my inner "feminist" at times :) I have missed it, but I can honestly say that I haven't missed the "busyness" of that kind of year-round schedule.
Last year, though, I volunteered as a 6th grade volleyball coach & I LOVED it! The coaching angle is quite a bit different from the player angle, but it does still let me get that taste of it & occassionally I still get to "play" by having to teach the skills to the players ;) Well in the new year, I will begin my journey as an "official" coach since I was hired to be a 7th grade coach this past fall. I'm excited about the upcoming season, but terrified by the prospect that I will officially be "in charge!" But as I have learned from my first 30 years of sports experience, I'll just have to take it one step at a time, learn the ropes, and just remember to breathe! :)
I wonder how important sports will be to my next 30 years?