Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Negative and Positive of a busy Schedule:

Volleyball ends in just over a week. We ended up coming in 4th in our Conference. That means, we get to play a team we already beat in the quarter finals, and then move on to play in the finals on our own court. In fact, we only have 5 games left. All of them are home.

Volleyball is something I find great joy in. A successful hit, play at the net, or serve, gives a feeling of real accomplishment. I can make my body do this. After working all day, it's also nice to be able get my blood moving. The schedule has always been playing every Sunday with Q, Drew, and Plosk. For the past two months that has not happened. I have been a coach. Even though I'm around the sport for an hour and a half minimum per day, I am limited to setting, or serving at most. It is completely unsatisfying. I enjoy coaching but feel too much the spectator. I need to get back to doing things for me, playing for myself and my own skills.

I like being a coach, but I am forfeiting so much of myself to do so. I had an emotional upset last Friday because I felt as if I couldn't work on my own writing, my grad applications or anything that will move my life forward. Work and coaching are so draining and although they are important, more important things have taken the back seat. I need to focus on my book. And I need to write my grad essays. My recommendations are situated. Now it's my turn. It has been so difficult these last two months. As much as I'll miss volleyball, I will breath easier knowing it's over, and I can get back to my regular gym schedule and work towards my future. I'll have 3 months. The clock starts November 1st.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


This past week has been incredibly busy (this is not new) but perhaps even more busy than I had been previously. Because of this, I feel my body becoming sick. Ploski is feeling it too. We are both light headed and feeling a bit nauseous today. I'm hoping it's just something we ate and not something that would make us both be ill. We have yet to do the tandem sickness thing that tends to happen when two people live together. In any case, I'm taking airborne and really trying to rest.

Sadly, and happily this weekend was in no way restful. Tuesday morning the head coach of our volleyball team had a death in the family. She had to take off Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. In those 3 days, we had three games and a practice. I became the head coach.

I have never described myself as a leader. I am however not a follower. I'm the person off to the side who watches both and takes part but just outside of each category. Simply put, I don't like taking orders, or giving them but I'll do what I have to depending on the situation. I can teach. When teaching writing at the women's prison, I assumed a role of leadership and was successful because writing is something I know and understand. I can help others. I know I am a good critic. And I'm blunt. I want to be honest with people and do my best to do so in a constructive way. I'm beginning to apply that same knowledge to coaching, although it is still new.

I became a leader- if only by default these last few days. I was forced to be head coach of a volleyball team I was on only 2 years ago. Two of the girls on the team, I had played with and the rest knew me as their assistant coach. On Thursday the girls banded together and rose to their potential to be an outstanding team putting up an excellent fight against the number one team in our conference. They took it seriously, and took me seriously. Their captain also took on a larger role and more important presence on the court. Friday was practice, and the majority of the girls handled their head coaches absence with ease. They showed up on time. A few, did not show me the same courtesy. For that, they ran suicides. A team needs to show up no matter who is in charge. You aren't there because an authority figure is threatening you. Instead, you are there to participate and be on a team, a unit. You suffer and succeed together. After the running, they practiced well and got ready for two games. On Saturday, the team and I went to Brooklyn to play a tri match. We won both games, and they made fewer errors than I had ever seen from them.

I've learned a great deal about teams during this season. One being that I focus and feel too much anxiety when put in charge of a large group of people. And I've learned more about volleyball than I ever knew as a player. If I were on a team now, I would be much stronger than I ever was. In any case, I'm glad to be out of the lime light. I enjoy coaching but not the mental stress that is being a head coach. This week, I will go back to writing and working on grad applications, as well as being there for my team.

Friday, October 07, 2005

1 Year

1 year ago, I was in surgery getting my thyroid removed. It has officially been a year without cancer. A year in which I have accomplished many things. Recovery, radiation, first full time job, financial independence, purchased an apartment, and traveled. 1 year, and my scar is still here, questions are still asked. My nerves have finally decreased when I go to the hospital alone. I still imagine it, the frailty of a body, infested, like maggots gorging themselves on a plum. The simplicity of becoming sick. A body failing.

I went to the hospital on Wednesday night with a Christian Scientist. She's a middle hitter on my volleyball team. She landed on a girl's foot off a block and sprained it badly. She had prayed her entire life for illness to go away, for ailments to be cured by her God. The last few weeks she has been questioning her faith. I had asked her on a trip back from an away game, what she would do if her appendix was about to burst. Do you pray? Do you get surgery? She said, she never really thought about it.

Until you become sick, it's all speculation. Fifty percent of the poetry I read each day is about mortality in one way or another. We break- we fail- we die. And there is a sadness and a beauty around that fact. It drives us forward, and holds us back, makes us cautious/reckless. But mostly, we ignore it. There is nothing before, and nothing after. There is only what we are today. Similar to what someone said to me yesterday. I exist in this moment. After this moment, there is nothing but possibilities.

I went to get acupuncture on Wednesday. It was wonderful. The doctor called it a tune up. To get my body's energy flowing properly. He pushed different parts of my body asking if there was pain. I said no. He responds, "You're healthier than I am." I work out, I'm active, I eat well. I got cancer. There is no why. There is just 'is.' I have this second. And my whole life will be limited to those bits of time where my body functions as it is supposed to. Right now, there could be something wrong with me. I could be ill. It was a fluke we found the nodule last time. My mother made me get tested. I would still be silently and actively ill if I hadn't lost all that weight.

In 3 hours 1 year ago, I will have woken up and asked my parents to hold my hands while high on morphine. My brother will feed me ice chips for hours at a time, and Plosk will visit while we watch the vice presidential debate. He brushed my hair, and helped me stand, and loved me silently with his actions. Friends visited and called, and my family stayed with me. Tonight I'll go to the park with Plosk and a blanket and we'll quietly lay out under the sky.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A Million and One Things To Do.

Filling out forms, making phone calls, working, volleyball practice and games, seeing friends, DH, Graduate Applications, and more. I haven't even been able to sit and finish reading L.I.E. because it has been so busy. I get up, go to work, head home, eat something quickly, and head back out to volleyball. I get home again, and simply try and catch up on a few other things, like some of those forms or phone calls, spending some quality time with Plosk, and then crash. Insanity.

This past weekend Alice, Plosk and I headed to Ct for Brian's book signing. It was a success. And soon BT will be available to a small country many miles from here. Very exciting. Then we went to the after party where I had some wonderful conversations with a lot of good people. I also helped take care of some very intoxicated friends- force fed one water. Alas. But honestly, the weekend was a blur. A good one, but way too quick. I'm in need of some solitude, of some time where I can relax and enjoy my own company. I have off this coming Monday. I'm going to force myself to take some down time. I'm mentally exhausted. I haven't even seen Serenity yet. But I will this Friday.

Life lately has been all events and not enough emotional catch up time. Huge things are in the works. And I just want to be able to focus on some of those. Step back and enjoy the happiness that is taking place. But I'm too busy. One's mind needs to catch up to their actions. I'm a body in motion with little reflection. A balance needs to be made. If I'm out of touch lately, this is why. When November comes, my life will be more sane and I'll be able to indulge. As for now, I just have to enjoy the activity.