Spike On Without Me

Disclaimer: I don’t do poetry, but here’s for kicks. 

Dear Volleyball,

I’ve known you since seventh grade,

Silently crying because I sucked when we played for youth group.

So I joined the school team,

because I thought I could learn your ways.

Little did I know that all middle school sports suck,

Like a duck,

Trying to drive a  truck.

And so we crashed,

several times,

but it was all fun,

and nobody gave a dime.

Then came graduation,

along with Freshman year that would prove to be inciting.

Terrifying try-outs,

and made J.V.

Had fun making friends,

but not trying to make my lead feet move.

Later, coach would have a baby and move,

 our club team would collapse,

and still time would lapse.

The year of the S’mores,

try-outs a breeze,

with a new mystery coach,

and social hour with now old friends.

Sadly though,

Lead feet had only gotten heavier,

but I could now ace seven serves.

(A marvel soon forgotten)

So I warmed the bench,

along with a few others,

Praying to get put in,

through my cheers and screams.

The chicas were much sweeter in 2012,

the coach much tougher,

and I not much better,

by the end of the ye-AR.

We were 8 and 1,

but I 0 and 8,

no thanks to my lead feet.

I am no quitter,

I am no quitter,

I am no quitter.

I just really like twitter,

and writing,

and drawing

and singing,

and watching,

and thinking,

and being SydneyJoTo.

It’s not you,

It’s me,

me and my lead feet.

The future is unwritten,

who’s to say if I will try again next year,

but if I do it will be for the people,

to study the human spirit in the medium you offer.

Which is teamwork,

an challenge,

and joy at a win,

and despair at a loss,

and silly faces during water break.

That, I will miss.

However YOU my bleached leather friend,

and techniques and ways you are flung about a court,

are silly by the way I choose to look at it.

You are the definition of awkward.

But I will always appreciate the spirit you give off.

Thanks for the memories,

Spike on frenemy.


The Foul Ball

Blessed blessed weekends. Later, a more serious post, that will tell you why I so needed a break, why school was so especially backbreaking these last few days.

But first, a story.

It’s Blessed Saturday. My brother T plays baseball. Little League Baseball. (No I don’t live in Petaluma although we have several baseball-ecstatic relatives who do.) T had a game yesterday at a middle school, and I went bearing my Canon THANK HEAVEN. Or else you wouldn’t have believed me when I told you he chased off a motorcycle gang with a foul ball.


Next door, there’s a church, and they were having some sort of Walkathon Fundraiser behind us on the track. Bouncy houses and hundreds of people cheering for their Athletes was enough. But then we heard the revving. They weren’t exactly a motorcycle gang, but more like a christian group of harley owners… all sitting on the opposite side of the field figuring out how to get across to their event, which was behind us. “Awh NU-uh they BETTER not cross our field!”

Thankfully they chose the other way, but they were still sitting on roaring, oil spitting dinosaurs. My brother was up to bat, but procrastinated getting into his stance until they’d mostly passed.

They park their giant stereos and wheels behind us, and T swings.

Foul Ball, right over our heads, “Heads Up!”, and into the sea of Cyclists.

They Shortly disperse thereafter.

‘Atta boy T!

Give a girl a Volleyball, and she will be merry.

Well, it’s chilly California December and school Volleyball is done, over, finished, and we can have beautiful self-manicures and regular shaving routines again! …Or can we?

It’s time for Club Volleyball. Yes, I’m about to explain. Club Vball is the BIG mamma of all competitive sports teams outside of the sissy Public Education System sports. You’ve got MJB, Comp Soccer, and Little League all helplessly lost in the shadow of Club Volleyball.

High School volleyball is quiet behaved. Cliques hang with cliques during water breaks, there’s about a teaspoon of team spirit, and the coach is a fifty-year-old, belly scratching, ex-setter from the  eighties  who sits in a camping chair hollering, “USE YOUR APPROACH WOMEN!” (In most cases.)

But CLUB is down, down deep to the core, down to blood and shoe skids on the court… extremely fit coaches screaming, purple neck veins bulging, stomping like fire-breathing ogres yelling commands to girls and at the poor poor refs. Parents with bullhorns and Subway sandwhiches, players ramming each other and getting the most Be•AU•tiful kills and dives this planet has ever seen all while Gatorade bottles litter the sleek golden floors. Oh, and college scouts infest the stands, with their noses in their little notebooks scribbling down, we hope and pray, OUR jersey numbers.

Well I am here at open gym which is some middle-school gym somewhere with it’s doors open. This gym is filled with a hundred nervous girls with their spanking-new white kneepads. Our supportive parents mingle with checkbooks in hand. I spot familiar faces from schools of present and old,  neighborhood… and I’m slowly getting comfy with the insanity.

FLASHBACK to three months ago, (If that’s alright with you.)

I’m at BYU volleyball camp. Walking across campus with my water bottle and gym bag with a few chatty friends. Checking the time. Running across campus. Hitting lines and ten-second water breaks. Diving Liners (BLEch.) and peppering with a sweet new friend. Finding another sweet friend to walk to dinner hall with. Gathering sweet friends to eat with. Inhaling AMAZING food. Eyeing lacrosse camp boys across the room. Going back to dorms with sweet roommates… passing out five sweet nights in a row. Alarm going off and painfully raising my stiff sore body from bed, not at all ready for another day of hitting lines and diving liners (blecheddy blech).

Absolutely the best camp ever known to volleyball obsessants.

The absolute best camp known to man and woman.

I still keep in touch with my amazing roommate. Nessy lives in the potato and snow state and I live in the state of Palm trees and really good Mexican food. So we haven’t seen each other in person for three months. (Which really hurts when this is your long-distance bestie) Pen pals are a dying breed and we, the next generation, are “texting pals”, which is  which is a million times more convenient than finding a stamp. And so that’s what Nessy and I do. We text each other frequently about, well Volleyball.

So Ness shot me a text during open gym and told me that she jammed her thumb during practice that day and was really bummed (I’m not sure how she sent that text then…) but I sent back words of sympathy and comfort anyway and went back to practice, watching my thumbs a little more cautiously.

And in case you’re eyes got lazy and you skimmed to this point:

•Club is downright dirty but incredible.

•Sweet friends can prevent injury to your thumbs.

•When I’m done here a new quote’s going on my wall:

“Give a girl a volleyball, and she will be merry!”

(Unless she likes golf or something)


It was incredibly worth it :)  Love you Cyclone Women!

only the best club on EARTH!