Corona Virus Quarantine Day #143: Holy Sports High Batman! August 10, 2020
Today was glorious in so many ways. I was in my sanctuary again teaching the game I love so much to people who are over 5 feet tall and also, not my own children or my children’s friends. (not that I don’t love that…but I have missed these “big kids”) I have to tell you it was pretty stinking awesome.
I did not sleep well. I was so excited and also a bit nervous. I had no idea what to expect with what is becoming the new norm (have I mentioned I am learning to hate these two words when used together). The gym looked cleaner than it ever has. The kids were as excited as they’ve ever been. It was incredible.
As far as the volleyball goes, I was impressed for a first day out after a long hiatus from the sport. I, of course, know these girls have been playing at their clubs for months but…it hasn’t been a normal spring or summer for any of our athletes.
My goodness, it was good to see them in person. As I type this I can tell you that I am coming down from the high I felt this morning. Not in a bad way, just in a, I got so excited and now I’m realizing how tired I am kind of way. Either way it’s a good feeling all the way around.
I seriously felt like a kid on Christmas.
It was awesome.
The new norm of high school sports is that we cannot high five, we cannot huddle. Our hands are sanitized coming in and leaving the gym. Our temps are taken. We can’t all practice at one time because we only have one gym, two courts and we have over 45 people. We cannot congregate during water breaks like normal. In a normal year the girls would get a drink and laugh together. Now our water bottles are spaced around our gym so there are 6 feet between them all as they drink their water. They are masked the entire time we play. We need more water breaks than normal. When camp ends the doors, nets, “high traffic” areas and balls are sanitized.
Reading eyes is going to become a skill I possess. The ones I know a little better I can tell, even with their masks when they need a break, when they are smiling and when they are frustrated.
Now more than ever, body language is key. We cannot communicate in the ways we did in previous years. We need to support each other in different ways. This was obvious in our first drill today!
Also, and this may sound weird but I’ll go ahead and say it anyways….my body or skin or maybe both feels physical pain without hugs. For example, when Coach Bob, our freshman coach walked in, it literally caused me pain to not run and give him the biggest hug. I saw several sophomores who played for him last year experience the same feeling. I felt their pain, both emotionally and physically. Right there with them. This no hugging thing is beyond bizarre for me.
Two of my alumni were in the gym today…also SOOOOO weird to not hug these two young women who are like children or at least little sisters to me. That part of this is supremely hard for me.
This is going to continue to be hard. BUT…..I’ll take all of this if that means these kids get to play. Here are some things I learned today…mostly serious…some silly:
- You can NEVER take the competitor out of someone (I speak mainly for myself right now). I just don’t ever see myself not wanting to be on a court in some way or another teaching kids to compete. I LOVE to compete. It makes me feel alive. So I know that these kids are feeling that too. Good LORD it felt good to do my thing today.
- The great ones adjust. We’ve been saying it to the girls all summer and I can’t think of a time it has been more true. If we really want to prove our greatness, we have an amazing opportunity to do that right now.
- Our kids need school and sports. I know this is a hot issue right now and I’m not looking for a debate…but as someone who climbs in the trench and will continue to do so everyday during this pandemic…I have first hand knowledge of what these high school aged kids need…and this is it.
- If there ever was a time to learn to live in the now…it’s right now. This is absolutely outside my comfort zone. I am pretty terrible at living in the now actually but, real growth happens when we are uncomfortable…so I guess I should grow a lot as a person in the year 2020.
- I may not have skin on my hands at the end of this semester. Seriously, I must have sanitized and washed my hands 30 times today per the rules to play it safe.
- My mask has been off for a few hours now, but it still feels like I am wearing it.
- If COVID teaches athletes or anyone anything it should be that we should never take an opportunity to play for granted. We never know when those opportunities will be taken away from us via pandemic, injury or illness. We should walk out onto the court or attack the day with the idea that it could be our last.
- We should all be more grateful for the things we do have rather than the things we do not. I can’t stress this one enough.
- Everyone should play the game like they are owed NOTHING. The opposite is in fact true, we, the athletes owe the game something…our best effort, because the game is just that awesome and the game can’t be cheated.
- When you leave your kids for the first time in 5 months someone will inevitably have an epic day (see below).
So play on my friends. This isn’t a perfect situation and there are still many unknowns. But…I know one thing. If the game is being played…I’ll be there with bells (and a mask) on!
This guy who so badly needs a hair cut lost his FIRST ever tooth. Oh man was he excited!
He wanted to leave the Tooth Fairy a present so he selected one of his favorite things…gum so she could blow “bubbles bigger than her face” and a basketball trading card. He was pretty proud of himself. His siblings may have been the best part. They all came in separately to see what he left and were genuinely so excited for him. It was pretty sweet!
Fletcher is learning to be more helpful around the house and listening to Finley teach him how to wash off his dish before putting it in the dishwasher was a thing of beauty. Finley is such a gentle, sweet and patient boy. He makes a pretty good teacher.
Not sure how I took no pictures of my in the gym today…I was too excited to think about pictures. I will correct that tomorrow.