03 October 2008

Billy Rides Again!

I’ll get to the title later, but first of all I have to get something off my chest…

Owwwwwww! &%@* I’m sore!

My first yoga class was a success and I am proud to admit that I was able to twist and contort myself into several strange positions. I bent my body in ways that bodies don’t typically bend and today I wear my badge of pain with honour. I would give myself a big thumbs up, but that would probably hurt too much.

For all you yoga naysayers, don’t knock it until you try it. While I found the relaxation bit at the end a little hokey (due mostly to five minutes of Tantric chanting from the instructor), the rest of the routine was awesome. I can definitely see how my body, balance and posture will improve over time…not to mention my repertoire of cool party tricks.

And now on to the exciting details of today’s post…

After limbering up with Yoga I was well prepared for a triumphant return to volleyball in the evening. Yes folks, the Billy Whitmore Experience is back and better than ever!

Unfortunately, last week I had to miss the team’s first game of the season because I was on a plane returning from Saskatoon. Because of my absence, the team did not meet is required quota of two female players on court at all times. Thankfully, one of players was able to bribe a gal pal as a last minute substitute and not only did the BWE avoid a forfeit, they also managed to win all three games in their entire match. Thank goodness, because I was feeling pretty horrible about not being there!

Last night I was back in the saddle and reunited with the team for our second match. I was a little concerned that I would be rusty after a month-long hiatus and also by the fact that I haven’t played indoor court volleyball in years. After the summer season, I had grown accustomed to the unlimited ceiling and soft sand of beach volleyball. I was a little concerned that my brain wouldn’t register the change and that I would find myself still leaping and diving for the ball…not as much fun when you’re landing on a hard gym floor! As a precaution, I got myself some kneepads. I’m still undecided as to whether I like wearing them or not; they kind of make me feel like a Transformer, although some would consider that pretty “badass”.

Another unexpected surprise about court volleyball is that the net is much higher than the beach volleyball courts that we played on during the summer. Trust me folks; it’s hard enough being 5’2” and I don’t need any more vertical obstacles to remind me how short I am. I was worried that my serves wouldn’t clear the net, but thankfully the Lord of volley was smiling down on me. I served like a pro and was able to get a straight run of five consecutive serves in every game. My bumps/ returns were also spot on; I seem to have finally stopped scrambling under the ball and swinging my arms. Once again, however, I still struggle with playing net. Perhaps it’s my wonky depth perception or just being over eager, but I always seem to get directly under the ball and end up volleying in straight up rather than propelling it forward. I still have to learn to back up a little when playing net and getting slightly behind the ball in order to volley in forward. At any rate, I think I have improved a ton and played some of the best volleyball of the year last night. The team was equally wonderful and we are definitely improving on calling the ball, setting up plays and giving each other space.

Once again, the BWE pulled off a solid three game victory and we are leading the ranks at the moment. Who knows, if we keep this kind of play up, we may end up in the championships this season. It’s all for fun of course, but it’s hard not to get a little competitive when you realize that your team is pretty decent and has the potential to go further. At any rate, it’s always awesome feeling to return home after a long day of work and play with a big dorky grin on your face, basking the afterglow of a game well played and, hopefully, victory!

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