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From Volleyball to Computers:
What Else Is There?


--Kiba Kemp

I got a pretty good reputation as a hard nosed athlete who you couldn’t talk s--t to. I made it clear to a lot of people that in my experience, sports is a powerful and wonderful thing. It brought me places I never would have made it to by myself and exposed me to situations and people which I could never have experienced on my own (or at least it would have taken much longer to come across).

Sports gave me an opportunity to go AWAY to college which I couldn’t have done at all. Volleyball was all I lived and breathed for. I felt that I owed it that much. The sport has shown me so much respect and the people involved did the same. Coaches and players around the country remember me and all the steadfastness I talked about in my last article. Volleyball gave me the body of a model, and the confidence of a bull.

But...
(there’s always someone’s big “BUT” in the way)

Now I’m done.
Now it’ s over.

I will never hear the roar of the crowd chanting my name, or laugh with teammates again (unless their kids or husbands do something funny), and I will never live for my school colors again.

I have to come to the realization that their IS something else in the world besides the four walls of the gym and the blare of my coach’s voice. I’ve discovered the work place for one thing! I never really had a job. It wasn’t necessary when I was younger, my parents were very good (and nice) about letting me dedicate my summers to volleyball training, camps, and sports clubs. In college, when you are on full scholarship, it is against NCAA rules to have a job. So I’m not sure how to handle the monotony of work everyday. But I think I like it. You know why? Because now I get to know myself again.

I know myself when it comes to volleyball. I know how I am. I know my dedication level and I also know it has faltered slightly. I don’t know how to handle a snotty boss. I’m not sure what the competition level is in the job market. I don’t know what I can do here and I accept the challenge to find out. I work with computers in a large format digital commercial advertising print shop. The challenge of computers, which have been and will be one of the largest staples of our society, is literally awesome. I have no idea what I’m doing sometimes and I accept that too.

I’m not sure if I can put my finger on it, but maybe I’m kind of sick of what I became on the volleyball court. I was hard, mean, even oppressive to some of the players who maybe did not have the same intensity about the sport I did. I was like that for 13-15 years and now it is time to get to know what do I have in me. What else will drive me to be the best at that situation like volleyball did? I never thought that I would find it. I thought if I did that I would be letting down a lot of people who wish they could be there for me like they were in my sport life. I feel like if I have other interests, that I would be disappointing those same people who supported me.

I say my dedication level to volleyball has faltered because I feel like Michael Jordan: if I can’t give the sport my all, like the sport did for me, then why should I play? I won’t have the same drive. I won’t have the same ultimate determination to get the ball I talked about before.

Why disrespect the sport by not being fully into the game when I play? I worry about whether I ‘ve matched the colors correctly for 300 Abercrombie & Fitch prints I have to complete by three o’clock. Not my hands on the block. My mind has distractions that I am not used to and they actually have nothing to do with volleyball! Whether I like that too, I have not decided, but I know I won’t back away from the opportunity to find out.

Have I answered my own question?

 


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