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Posts tagged ‘Recreation’

Volleyball… I’m Improving. Maybe?

Oops. Again. So that blog every other day thing hasn’t really worked out yet, but this is better than never? The day gets away from me pretty easy. I won’t let it happen again (yes, I will).

I mentioned earlier that I was playing in a volleyball league. Or well, I mentioned that I was a bad player in a volleyball league and that is still accurate. I haven’t been able to make it to a lot of the games until recently and last week’s got cancelled due to impending weather: a tornado warning. I guess I truly am a Kansas resident now because when I was a kid I used to pack up my belongings (dolls, a blanket, the cat) and start heading to the basement at tornado watches but now it doesn’t faze me. Granted, If I was living in the rural area my parents are moving to I would probably cry every time the wind blew particularly strongly,  but tornadoes don’t usually touch down in the city (knock on wood.) I was ready to head over and play until the second it got cancelled. The cancellation meant that my out of shape self had to play six games on Sunday instead of three.

Tornado warning

It was murder. I exercise the same way I write this blog: sporadically. I was not ready to play six back to back games against teams that contained largely big and powerful guys while all I had to drink was beer. This shows you how bad it was because I never complain about beer. I plan to blog about my recent trip to the Boulevard Brewery later but we got free samples of beer there. I didn’t like all of them, but I drank them all down. I may not be committed to much, but I like my alcohol. So that’s something, I guess. The rest of my team seemed more enthusiastic about the beer the whole time, but they were similarity fatigued. So we lost a lot, obviously. However, I did figure out some things I was good for during these six brutal matches.

A Participant: I showed up ten minutes late because I was heading to the court from a different location and I got lost, so the first game had already started. There were only five other girls there so they were thrilled to see me because I was another body and technically I could be helpful. It meant I played every minute of all the games but at least I was needed. One thing I am still not good at is directions.

Server: I have a decent, pretty reliable serve. I cannot serve overhand, I cannot put much power into it, but I can consistently make it over the net. This was obvious because of the two out of six games we won, I got half the points in one game. We actually looked really good during that game, another girl and I scored all the points. Unfortunately, our spectators showed up later when we lost 15-2. Hey, I just realized that if we won two out of six games that’s winning 1/3 of our games. It doesn’t sound so bad that way.

Volleyball defense

At no point did I look this cool and focused.

Comic Relief: I screech when fast serves come at me, instead of yelling that I have the ball I yell “I think I got it”, and sometimes I just call out “oh shit” instead. Plus, I dance around to the pop music blaring any time I get distracted. This can be bad because, yes, a ball did come flying at me when I wasn’t paying attention. But I actually hit it better than some of the ones I was prepared for.

Drinker of The Beer: Well, everyone can do this pretty well. Next time we play I will be Bringer of The Beer, which is probably more of an asset from the team’s point of view.



Chess Pawn

The pieces weren't quite this big.

While strolling around the Irish Fest this past October, I stumbled upon a giant chess set. It was sitting in a little clearing, shaded by trees, put out by people that were selling mats for chess. I didn’t know people needed special mats for chess, but I didn’t know much about the game. I’d never liked playing chess. I called the knights horseys, and I always got bored and made my own system of rules which consisted of me being able to move wherever I wanted. But I wanted to play with the giant pieces because they looked fun and I am a five year old. I challenged my father and got slaughtered, even though I had three people helping me. These three people were middle school girls that wandered over and by the end of the match I doubted they actually knew anything about chess, but still.

After playing this time, I found it fascinating. My father and I kept playing every night for a while after that. We even bought one of the mats that has a picture of the Irish countryside on it. We never use it. I suck at chess. I have no offensive strategy, I play the computer and loose sometimes even though its set on a really easy level. I call the whole game ‘chest’ now which could be vaguely dirty, but it’s only because my mom can’t pronounce it. She’d ask “who won chest?” in the same way she says “I’m going to the lieberry” and the name just stuck. I still call the knight a horsey and now I call the rook a dalek. The way my piece looks just fits it, especially when it slides across the board while I do my best robotic “Exterminate! Exterminate!” The only thing nerdier than loving chess and loving Doctor Who would be getting the Doctor Who chess set. Which I want badly.

I love chess now. Even without the mind for strategy, there’s something so interesting about it. It seems like it should be simple to move pieces and capture others, but it takes thought. I love the feeling I get when I capture the queen, or am one step ahead of an opponent. I jump and scream and run around like a loon the few times I’m able to beat my father.

I saw a large queen keychain a fellow volunteer had at the thrift shop I volunteer at and asked her if she played. Her face lit up and she talked about how she just beat a group of old men at the park earlier in the week. So I’m guessing she’s better than me but we’re playing this week when we volunteer. I’ve been trying to practice, but I’m probably going to get killed. I’m excited about it anyway and if I don’t improve soon I’ve been thinking about getting some books from the lieberry to learn about strategies.

Asipration for today: Try a harder level of chest.

Does anyone else play chess or other games of strategy?

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