The need to defend myself doesn’t arise nearly as often now that my roommate isn’t a troll. Conner. Yet today a couple of my coworkers, or partners as we like to call them, decided to shred me. As my brother used to say to me ‘bring it punk.’ Similar to a dream from Inception I can consciously recall about half way through the conversation. Can’t think of how we arrived on the topic yet there we were. ‘What’s your favourite sport?’ inquired one of the girls. An ever evolving topic. When I was eight I would have told you hockey. Three consecutive years of provincial gold medals in lacrosse and fifteen year old me would have a clear answer for you. Then winning MVP in basketball easily solidified what was an amazing grade twelve season. Bragging and boasting aside the current version of myself realizes all of that, while unforgettable memories, means absolutely nothing now. I haven’t been on the ice since I left hockey in 2008, nor have I held a lacrosse stick since I broke my leg. Therefore I chose to respond with ‘volleyball.’ This got unanimous laughter, a response I was not prepared for. ‘Volleyball!?’ the two of them proclaimed nearly in unison.

Yeah, volleyball. For many reasons, it’s a great way to meet new people, stay healthy, and release stress. But above all that I have an incredible itch to crush my opponent that lately is only successfully scratched by volleyball. I can’t turn it off. I want to win, everything. I was that kid you and your friends told to calm the hell down in gym class. Luckily, high school wiped me clean of any arrogance my success had bred. There was always someone faster, bigger, better. In my case specifically bigger. This is a simple mantra I’ve carried with me in everything I do, keeping me humble yet hungry. My most competitive days in sport are behind me so finding volleyball post school has been a blessing. I’m able to hit the court three nights a week and get that adrenaline kick my body craves. Playing middle with a guy three times your size swinging power on the opposition was nerve racking the first few times. But there’s no better jolt than blocking that same guy three times in a row and acting as if it was nothing (it wasn’t). Besides the talented few who make it to the college, university, or pro level in their game of choice, competitive options for the rest of us are few and far between.  I’d love to play pickup lacrosse, except it isn’t lacrosse without the ability to murder your opponent. See high school gym class as proof. What do you mean I can’t deck Calen into the boards? This is lacrosse isn’t it? Worst module ever. It’s like when they take head shots out of dodgeball. What the fuck are you talking about? I took his head off with a precise throw that drew blood and I’m out? Fuck this shit. Melle never took them out, he understood that it was a vital part of the game. On second thought my favourite sport might actually be dodgeball…

Till next time.

JD

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