The Lion's Tale

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Embrace your weaknesses

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Embrace your weaknesses

photo courtesy of Freed Photography

photo courtesy of Freed Photography

photo courtesy of Freed Photography

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I’ve played volleyball for the past six years. And for the past six years, I haven’t been rather good. It’s important to play sports, sure. But I think it’s even more important to play a sport and be bad at it.

When I first started, I was afraid; it hurts when you first start playing volleyball. Your arms get red and bruised and you’re sore since, at least if you’re me, you don’t have any upper body strength. Also if you’re me, this fear is justified because you won’t go two practices without being severely hit with a volleyball, and then you start to wonder if you’re really cut out for it, given your lack of coordination.

Looking back on my seasons with the team, though, I don’t think I would have had the same experience if I hadn’t had the same challenges and difficulties. Had it not taken me three years to work my way up to an overhand serve, I probably would have had the chance to play more. But, I also wouldn’t have learned the value of independent and almost monotonous learning, of trying something again and again, even when it feels utterly frustrating.

I’ve also learned to be a team player. While I may not get to run onto the court often, I’m louder than ever when I shout encouragement to my teammates from the bench and get caught up in the excitement.

This same love for just watching a game and being part of a team wouldn’t have happened if I wasn’t given this time to observe in the middle of the most dramatic rallies. I have learned enthusiasm. I have never once not felt part of the team.

I’ve benefited from the two-hour a day exercise during practices. The drills have made me stronger and work harder. I can laugh and be serious at the same moment. All of this happened without me once considering myself actually skilled at the sport.

I’m not promoting joining a team and never working for it. I’m suggesting you take a sport or any activity at all that you like, but know, seriously know, you’re not the best at and stick with it for a few years. You’ll reap the benefits of the activity and the time that you spend inside your head working at improving will be one of the most worthwhile experiences of your life.

This story was featured in the Volume 36, Issue 4 edition of The Lion’s Tale, published on January 25, 2019.

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