Being Better Than Second Place

Visiting Some Friends in Louisville, KY

April 29, 2019

This past week I took a vacation to visit some friends in Louisville, Kentucky. It was a trip I had booked and paid for months before everything shit the bed in my financial situation. I needed a break, so I was relieved to have something like this to look forward to.

But I'm not like most people when it comes to vacations. I need to do something active. The idea of sitting on a beach for a few days sounds super boring. My main reason for this trip was to visit some old friends that had moved away, but I chose this weekend because of a series of volleyball tournaments spanning a course of 3 days. I love doing anything competitive and the idea of playing competitive volleyball for 3 days was my version of going to Disney Land. 

The first night I was thrown into it playing against some really intense teams, but I adjusted quickly. After a couple hours of playing, I found myself in the championship game, playing for the win. But, we ended up losing the last game putting us in second place. Second place ain't bad.

The second day was a much bigger event. Starting at around 9am and ending at 5pm, it was a fully day of volleyball. This time it was a mens only tournament. I've never seen anyone hit the ball so damn hard before. But again, I adjusted and found myself in the finals, a second time. And again, we lost, placing ourselves in second place.

I enjoy the game and the competitiveness more than I care about winning, but when you're that close to winning, it almost feels like a tease. You start thinking silly thoughts. You start fantasizing about what that would mean to win and it sets you up for disappointment when you don't.

So much so that on the third day I found myself in the finals again. And right before this game, I can feel my heart pumping. Already I'm talking myself out of the fight. I didn't want to lose again. But my mind was already convinced I was going to lose. I had disqualified myself mentally because I felt like a person who wasn't a winner.

Thankfully, volleyball is a team sport. My friends pumped me up and we pushed through for a win. Finally! 

But there is something to be said about my experience with playing volleyball. How we can come close to having what we want, but we self sabotage ourselves right before we get there because we don't feel like we deserve to be in the winner's seat. 

Sometimes all you have is yourself so it's important to be that team in your mind. Adjust to the competition, don't be afraid of taking hits and then hype yourself up and bring home the win.

(wal•do) — Person
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