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Go on then, finish the words of my title.

“All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.” – Proverb

Work, work, work! It’s so easy for me to lose myself to work for hours and hours.  I bet many of you are saying the same thing. Then again, I might also find myself procrastinating for days or weeks. I hope some of you can relate to that also.  As a teacher, I get locked-up in the hours of planning, marking, and preparing lessons, activities, tests, and projects.  There is usually more hours of work than hours left for anything else in a day.  So really, “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy,” can be a simple reality… when I let it happen that way.

BUUUUUUT, every Monday night I refuse to be a DULL BOY! Oh no, I get off my couch, jump up to the bathroom sink, shave my legs, swipe on the deodorant, yank-up my wonderful spandex shorts, and then I’m ready for the final, crowning moment.  I pull over the iconic, midnight black Hurricane volleyball jersey.  Oh yes! It is time for me to drag butt to Monday night volleyball to play in the, Washed-Up Varsity Volleyball League.  Okay, that is NOT the name of the league…but it could be.  The London Women’s “A” Volleyball League is very well attended, with a total of EIGHTEEN teams!  The teams are made up of women, primarily in their mid 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s.  There are most certainly a few women in their 50’s too.  These are no ordinary women though.  We’ve got game!!!  Most of the women have serious experience having played varsity volleyball for a college or university. Many players continue playing beach volleyball, or in other competitive women’s or coed indoor volleyball tournaments.

My mighty Hurricanes are ready to receive serve.

We take the game seriously! Out there on the court there are bodies diving all over the place, balls gettin’ hammered to the floor, balls getting roof-blocked, balls getting scooped up as defenders barrel-roll out of their digs.  This is serious stuff, and it is GREAT FUN.  Every part of me still loves the floor burns on the knees, hips and elbows. I welcome the bruised knees and elbow, and I don’t mind the burn in the quads and hamstrings the next morning either.  But really, I could do without the shin splints and sore lower back 🙂

Monday nights are my night.  I give hugs and kisses to the kids and to Paul and I fly out the door!  There are those occasional nights where heading to volleyball for 8:30 p.m. seems like it’s the last thing I wanna do.  Knowing that it will be almost 11 p.m. by the time I roll back home can almost make me think twice.  But, the truth is, once I’m in the gym, warmed-up and serving the first ball… I quickly forget my original resistance.

Oh yah! Who said old ladies can't jump? Look at the low defense too! Sore quads tomorrow!

Although it feels good to work out at the gym, the camaraderie and healthy competition of Monday night volleyball is second- to-none. There are some teams who put their top legends out there, holding on to their dream for the Cup! But, most of the teams believe that all players have something to give every Monday night.  We love this time to PLAY.  For two hours, we forget we are moms, teachers, nurses, paramedics, managers, assistants, VP’s, advisers, consultants, engineers, etc, etc, etc.  On Monday nights, we are volleyball players! We have come out to PLAY and have fun. We still know how to push hard and give it our all.  That is what makes our games competitive and vibrant.  This is the kind of volleyball we, Monday night ladies, know and love. We play to win because that is what we know how to do.

Volleyball has always been my true passion.  It is the only love I have, that is older than the love of my husband (okay, that sounds weird).  I walked away from volleyball for years, to take a break from the grind, to focus on my career, and then start a family.  Coming back to it over the past few years has really made me feel complete. Sometimes, we let parts of ourselves GO, while we focus our energy and efforts on things we decide are more important.  Interestingly though, I would argue that we should always stay true to ourselves.  We should always give ourselves permission to do the things we love.

PLAY.  Like air and water, we all need it.  Without play, we are boring, uninspired, lethargic bags of slop. Like children, we need to play to be active, creative and thriving beings. We might think play is only rooted in children. But, play brings joy, spontaneity, and vitality to all of our lives – young and old!

Come to think of it, I would like to play more often…a lot more. Playing more would allow me to take my crabby pants off every-once-in-a-while.  I think my family might like that.  I wouldn’t want them chanting,

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

So, do you give yourself permission to play?

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