This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

We Are The Champions

I have been thinking about this blog post for some time. I wanted to write this with a great ending and I am happy to say that I can.

What do I speak of, you ask? Why, the sport of Wallyball!

Wallyball is my favorite game to play. It is similar to volleyball but played in a racquetball room. This makes for an extremely fast-paced game, where the ball is bouncing off the walls at angles quite fast.

There is a set skill to it: hitting sections of the wall to take advantage of the angles, hitting it out (two walls, or the ceiling, or the opponent's backwall), spiking in a small room, etc. You can read more about this fun game on Wikipedia and to clarify, this is DOUBLES, so two vs. two:

My long-time wallyball partner, Carlos and I have played this game since 1999 when he casually asked if I'd join him for this game. I had no idea what to expect and being that I wasn't a sporty gal then (but you better believe I am now), I wasn't very good either. And I stayed not good for a few more seasons while Carlos patiently played by my side. We would lose nearly every single game...quickly.

But at some point, I think in part due to my passion for volleyball and running, came a competitive spirit in me and I decided to try harder. And who better than to learn to play than with Carlos who is AMAZING to play wallyball and volleyball with. He gets to everything he can and strives for everything.

That's what made me a decent wallyball player -- I go for everything in hopes of keeping the ball alive. Carlos did it, another wallyball bud Sterling played that way, I was going to play that way.

And by golly, Carlos can get to anything and make it work. He is the most reliable player and on top of that, he plays like a pool player: always thinking about his next move. He is also aware of where the opponent is and PLACES the ball where they are NOT. It is truly amazing to watch him play and I feel extremely privileged to be his partner. I can't tell you how many times I am just WOWed by his moves.

I love this game so much because I am pretty good at it. Not great, mind you, but really good. So good that me and Carlos won the league tournament today. We played a team that is our big rival, who beat us last year and I believe the year before.

And today's match was the final between our two teams: we lost to them during the season games; we beat them in the first round of our double-elimination tournament; then we lost the next round with them -- they, in the loser bracket and us in the winner bracket; and then that left today's final match -- loser vs. loser to become the champion.

Carlos and I took the first match: 11-8 (points to 11, by two) and lost the second: 8-11. Each point was fought for and we would earn one at a time. It was long, grueling, and by golly, you would have thought we were playing for a million dollars. Neither side would give up and we were just breathless after each long point.

The third match was a tough one for me mentally. My female opponent would hit my 'blind' spot -- the same spot she would score against me because I couldn't get to it. I knew it was over for us but I repeated "we will win" "we will win" in my head.

The score was 7-10 -- we were 7 and they were at game point...only one more point and they are the champs and I soooooo didn't want that. I served and earned one point -- 8-10. And again, my female counterpart hits it to that spot I can't get to. Serve goes back to them. We get by a close loss and Carlos serves and earns another point in a rally. His next serve -- a miss from the opponent. Great, I think -- at least we are tied. But I am so ready for him to pick up an easy point on his kick ass serve and low and behold, he comes back with an amazing serve and they miss again -- and just like that, WE WIN!

I was soooo happy -- I grabbed Carlos and hugged him hard. Then I hugged my opponents, which I'm sure they didn't care too much about -- but they deserved a big hand for giving us the best game of our years of playing. I had the biggest smile on my face for the rest of the day.

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