I played some pick up volleyball today. All the leagues I’ve signed up for so far have been intentionally as recreational as possible. While I love playing, it’s been 17 years since high school– so my confidence wasn’t very high and I wanted to start at the beginning. I’ve had a blast, and intend to continue to play recreationally.

I knew today might be a bit different. Pick up, rather than league play, would likely attract people who really like to play volleyball. And sure enough, it drew a small crowd of folks who all play in leagues regularly. It was time for 3v3, not 6v6 with two subs, and each team didn’t have 2-3 folks who had essentially never played volleyball.

I was nervous. Have I built up the cardiovascular health to play for 90 minutes like this? Will I be good enough or feel like a fool? Proudly, I was not a fool, and I was able to keep up. My blocks were consistent and strong enough to almost shut down a very strong attack game by the other team. I frequently found myself in the right position to get some solid digs from the back on meaningful attacks. I had a couple of strong hits, including one where I had to reach well behind myself and attack with my left because of a high set.

It felt like playing volleyball.

And although my knees and ankles and back feel their age, I’ll be playing a lot more pickup. I think I might even sign up for a 4v4 intermediate league to go with my recreational playing.

I don’t like running or aerobics at the gym. I like my time with weights to be focused on strength training. Ramping up to 2-3 volleyball games a week has not only been an absolute blast, but makes me feel great about having a well-rounded workout routine. It’s the best I’ve felt physically in a long time, and it sure feels like I’m focusing on fun.