The First Hand:

What else is there?
--Kiba Kemp

"Why are you so tired?"
"Why are you so sore?"
"Why are you crabby just because you lost a silly volleyball game?"
"Why can't you just get over it?"
"Why do you play ALL THE TIME??- When you could be out with me?"
"Why don't you play any other sports?"(common)
"Why do you have to watch it too?"
"How much did you pay for your shoes?"

These are many questions I get a lot now that I am older and still playing sports... "Why"
These are all rather legitimate questions that I am going to answer right now...


I mean really: What else should I be doing right now?

Eating everything in sight so I can get fat all by myself?
Or should I be getting into trouble with the law (especially when I was a kid)?
Maybe I should work all day for a boss that does not appreciate me for the contributions I put into the job?
Oh, I know- I need to get so frustrated with my day, my life, my man, my friends, my parents, my job, or my kids(if I had any) that I have no outlet to get rid of all that ridiculous anger and I end up blown'' away someone who cut me off on the road in a fit of "road rage" and it could cost someone his or her life and mine if I had to go to jail for it!!!
My only point is that sports, to a lot of people, is just a couple of big guys making too much money hitting, punching, throwing, catching, batting, kicking, or yelling at each other on a Sunday, Monday, Tuesday Night, Nitro, Spectacular, Main Event, "Let's Get Ready to Rumble" Feature here on HBO, TNT, NBA on NBC, Showcase on ShowTime, or Showtime at the Apollo Theater all for only $49.99 on Pay-Per-View!
That is simply not the case.
(All the time anyway.)
As a woman, there are a lot of reasons why I watch, play and enjoy sports. Because of what it can do for me, my body, my friendships, my relationships, my self-esteem, my whole personality.
What else is there?
Why wouldn't I want to feel good about all of those things as often as I can, as much as I can by stepping out on the court?
Basketball, Volleyball, Tennis, Softball, or whatever, sports is one of the most unbelievable ways to make something of yourself to yourself (in my opinion- and my opinion is the one that counts because I am the one talkin'' here!!- you would know that if you played sports!)
When people play with me on the volleyball court they find themselves in a small state of awe-- not because of the obvious athletic skills but just because of how I carry myself. The fire and pure disgust I show when the ball lands on my side and nobody went for it, the sense of "Fuck You" after I blocked the ball in you your face: "See, you shouldn't u've tried that because I was there, BABY!", and when I tell the story of how I broke a girl's arm as she tried to block me, because I hit so hard they had to nickname me "Crunch"- there is honest-to-goodness pride in my eyes when all I can say for myself is-"Well she should not have been up there, then she wouldn't have gotten hurt!"
The confidence they see on the volleyball court is not surpassed in any other part of my life. In any other part of my life, I'm kind of a wimp (only I can say that-not you!). I'm kind of shy, I get the job done but I stay to myself, I won't argue unless I have a valid point, and I'm generally pretty easy going. But on the court.... I am sly, unpredictable, conniving, vindictive, supportive but I will let you know when you have fucked up. I am your biggest cheerleader and probably your harshest critic and I will get the ball.
I could always get fired from my great job. I could raped anywhere in this city anytime of the day. And it really does not take much to break into a house and steal all my important special belongings, and possessions.And there is just no telling when a car will veer off the road onto the sidewalk and kill me... all kinds of things are so unbelievably out of my control that it makes me sick! I almost can't stand it. Isn't it natural to want to be involved in something that makes you feel alive? Something you can control? Something that takes problem solving skills, math, formulas, common sense, street sense and book sense-not to mention desire, heart, athleticism, blood, sweat and tears, all in one 3-game match- And then winning it!
Being a woman in this society can be kind of hard. There is not a lot that is all "ours"- O.K giving birth is great but man, I hear that really hurts! Putting on make-up, worrying about stereotypes on weight, hair, skin, body and the like.. Sports is one of the best outlets to overcome all that. I don't have to be the best looking women on the court, I have to be the best women on the court! I don't have to get my man's approval , my father's approval. my bosses' approval, I really don't need anyone's approval but my teammates, and myself the most.
And I have to say that it is really not just about women either. It's about you. If we are on the court together playing volleyball, I want to know that I can count on you to get that ball.And you should be able to expect that I will get that ball as well. No questions.
If you are playing with someone who has heart and will put all her effort into the game then isn't that a nice feeling? Confidence in yourself is as important as confidence in others too.
Wouldn't that be great on your job? It would be so cool if you knew in your heart that you colleague was going to get his or her work done so you don't have to do it for them and you all can go home on time? Only in sports can you get that
You have to admit, it would be real nice if you knew your spouse or lover was going to actually do what they say they are going to do, on time even!? If you practiced with them for three and half hours, three times a day, on the same skills for 5 months at a time, you would know that he/she will bring the groceries home at 6pm!
Sports can give you that before 10 years of marriage will.
When you accomplish something, whether it was getting your laundry done today instead of tomorrow or getting that promotion you so worked hard for- You feel great! Wouldn't it be great to feel that way all the time?

I get that feeling everytime I play volleyball because I accomplished something... I got on the court again even though I was tired, or sore, or sleepy, hungover, studied out, or pissed off. None of that stuff matters.
I have to play volleyball now.

It gives you a chance to put things in perspective. Sports that is.

It doesn't matter that he/she is mad at me...
I have to play volleyball now.

It doesn't matter that I didn't do well on that test...
I have to play volleyball now.

It doesn't matter that my boyfriend
didn't call...
I have to play volleyball now.

It doesn't matter that I'm tall enough for basketball...
I have to play volleyball now.

It doesn't matter that I messed up
I have to play volleyball now.


Sports doesn't build character.
It reveals it.

What else is there?

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