What volleyball has reminded me about life: 3 Lessons.
Updated: Oct 25, 2022
After a pretty long pause of about 10 years, I recently started playing volleyball again. Suddenly my love for the sport has been resurrected.
Since I started in September, I have been playing about 2-3 weeks times a week and needless to say my body has been feeling it. I've had to really prioritize sleep, nutrition, and be more organized lately just so I can fit it all in. Other than the fun I'm having of being on the court and running around with new friends, it has reinforced so many life lessons for me and I really wanted to share these with you.
Life lesson 1: Participation in life is the key to happiness.
The funny thing is that I remember specifically learning this back in 2012 and again it had to do with volleyball. I remember discovering this shortly after having moved to Amsterdam (from Canada) and I was living alone in a tiny bachelor apartment trying to figure out how to "life" in a new country away from everyone and everything I had ever known. I was feeling a bit down and out of sorts since I didn't really have a routine or a settled feeling. About half way through the year, I joined a volleyball team and it connected me with a part of myself that made me so comfortable and felt so grounding. I remember coming back to my building and declaring to my new friend that participation is the key to life! haha. We had just been learning about participation from a physiotherapy perspective when working with patients and how important it was to understand this to help clients achieve their goals.
I think Covid likely drove this message home for many of us as well, as we realized how much connection, support, pleasure, purpose, and energy we get when we are engaging or participating in the world around us.
Life Lesson 2: Live your values
Joining this team has got my mind buzzing and the sheer joy it has given me has been a huge reminder to me about what it is I value in this life, or at least, at this point in my life. Values are so important to understand about ourselves when we want to live a life that feels good and purposeful. But it's important to note that values are not always fixed and they can totally shift and change over time. It would strange actually if they didn't!
Values are so important to understand about ourselves when we want to live a life that feels good and purposeful.
My current values are:
Exercise and moving my body
There is nothing like moving my body regularly and vigorously that helps me stay relaxed and feeling energized. I often forget this.
Having fun and doing something just for me.
It's been a while since I've have done something for no other reason than that I enjoy it. I feel sad to admit it, but it's true. Pure enjoyment is a good enough reason, in fact it's probably a better reason than most. Funny how we so often forget that.
Skill Development and Growth
I love to challenge myself and see how I'm improving. With every practice and game I can work on something and see myself become stronger and more capable.
Life Lesson 3: Individuality and teamwork are both important and both need my focus.
I think that most sports serve as the perfect reminder of the balance needed between teamwork and individuality in life. Of course, I want to develop my skills as much as possible, a lot for my own self-satisfaction, but also to help my team. Equally however, volleyball's success is reliant on the team's ability to communicate and work together in unison. With each player taking care of their own areas while also being able to pick up the slack for each other if necessary, the team can do it all. If this isn't a metaphor for symbiosis between humans I don't know what is. We all need to take care of our own area of the court, but we rely on others as well. We need others to do their own work, so we can do ours and, we need to help each other out so that we can all thrive.
We all need to take care of our own area of the court, but we rely on others as well.
My mentality has shifted BIG TIME in the last 5 years when it comes to these ideas. I know now that the most successful people are the ones that reach out, build community, seek help, help others, and work together, while simultaneously making sure that they are showing up as best as they can. It's a dance, sometimes we'll lean more and other times others will lean more on us. This has served as the reminder for me to stay open, stay humble, keep learning from others and to keep doing my best.
And lastly, but certainly not least, it has reminded me of what my Fu*k YES looks like.
My Fu*k Yes - as opposed to my mild okay/sure..., I guess so, and why that's so so important, but perhaps that is for another email...
Thanks for reading and hope you have a lovely day.
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