The Schulenburg Lady Horn Volleyball team will be playing for the STATE CHAMPIONSHIP tomorrow morning! The first time in the school's history!
How amazing is that?! I know that while coaches push their athletes and train them - they all have one goal in mind: State Bound. However, Schulenburg's Lady Horn athletic program has come up shy for....well, forever! But all that's changed this year, and it's so exciting to see it happen! Although I couldn't go to the State Semi-Finals yesterday afternoon, I was able to watch it on the computer - those girls looked totally in control! I would've been freaking out. Seriously. It's STATE for the first time ever! But they kept their cool and won in 5 sets. Talk about a nail-biter! Although I don't know most of the girls on the team (they were like in elementary school while I was in high school!), I'm very proud of what they've been able to accomplish thus far. No matter the outcome tomorrow, they've made history! I'm also so excited and thrilled for coaches Donald and Melissa Zapalac. They've been coaching Lady Horn Volleyball since I can remember, and they do such an amazing job! They've definitely earned it and all deserve to be in that match tomorrow. I can't wait to watch.
However, this also surfaces so many memories of my high school athletic years. From simple district games (every game is important!) to the Regional Tournament...they've all been on my mind the past few days. Am I jealous? No. I'm so happy for those girls and I would've loved to have been able to play in the State Tournament, but I have my own memories, and I wouldn't trade them for anything. It also brings up my love for the game. I absolutely love volleyball. So, it's kind of crazy that I passed up a chance to play collegiately, isn't it? Well, I don't know. It was such a hard decision to make as high school graduation loomed over me. My family and I toured Oklahoma City University (Go Stars!) with the possibility of playing on their team, but I had reservations about it. Did I really want to move to Oklahoma? Did I really want to pursue collegiate volleyball? Did I really want to continue on the path that so many thought I'd be taking? Why wouldn't I?!?!
Well, that's a little harder to answer than I thought. There was just something in me that wanted more. I wanted to be more than volleyball. Let's face it, what happens after college when volleyball is over? I wanted to invest in my future - my entire future. I wanted to live my life and do what was going to make me happy. Did I hurt people in the process? Yes. Did I waste my parents' money during all those years of club volleyball? Probably (and I'll always feel terrible about that). But those are memories that I cherish dearly. And I made great friends along the way! No way would I have been as good as I was in high school if it wasn't for playing club ball. And my memories wouldn't be the same. So, to my parents, I am forever grateful and thankful for all of the time and money that went into club volleyball. I know I disappointed them with my decision not to play collegiate volleyball, and that still hurts. But I absolutely love where I am in my life and the people in it. If I would've gone to Oklahoma, my life would be completely different. But now, I have a job that I love in a field I've always been drawn to but only decided to pursue these past few years. I have an amazing and loving husband that I cherish and adore. I have a supportive family unit that I love more than anything. I have an amazing life that I wouldn't trade for the world! And I know it's impossible to know what my life would be like right now if I had chosen OCU, but that's all in the past now. It's been a rough past four or five years with so many ups and downs, but I've become a stronger person for it and am on my way to bigger and better things! It's all part of the learning process and growing up. But everything I've ever done, accomplished, and failed at has played an important role in shaping me into the woman I am today. Have my dreams changed? Yes. Have my goals for myself changed? You betcha. It happens. Life happens. Life changes. Constantly. But do I still think about it from time to time? Absolutely. Do I still love the game? You better believe it! But do I regret it? Absolutely not.
Some things are hard to explain, and that decision not to play is sort of one of them. But I wouldn't trade where I am in my life for anything. And I could play that oh so popular 'What If' game, but I won't. What's the point? I'm not unhappy. I look forward to where my life will go from here, but I will always have those amazing sports memories to reflect back on and cherish. Let's face it, there were some great moments! I loved the adrenaline that a 5-set match brought. I loved game days and the feeling that the world seemed to stop during game-play. I loved the warm-ups to music in the gym. I loved the coaching staff and things they tought me about life as well as the game (I think about Coach Zapalac from time to time, and I'm so thankful to have had such a great coach all those years! He really taught me a lot, and he believed in me in ways no one else had ever done...it's a relationship that's hard to explain, but those athletes with a love for the game they're playing and great coaching to help along the way know exactly what I'm talking about). I loved all of it (well, not 'all' of it...those workouts and mile-runs during two-a-days were NO fun!). But it was high school, and life goes on past high school, despite the thoughts of several people who think high school was the best time of their lives. I refuse to allow that to be the best time of my life. Life moves on. With or without you. It's up to you if you decide to move on with it. But that doesn't mean I have to forget those great moments! I will always have them to reflect on, but I love my life. I love where I am. And I wouldn't trade it for the world. Oh, memories. What great things!