The Last Game

19 Jun

One of the best things to happen to me in Rio was stumbling to the beach after a night of drinking and lieing down in the shade to read a bit of Bolivia’s history.

It was there that I saw a tall, lanky man in his 50s combing the beach, delicately preparing two volleyball courts.  I laughed to myself as a few kids ran across his courts and left footprints as evidence.   He never yelled though, or chased them away.  Instead he handed them a volleyball and urged them to play.

He urged me to play as well and I ended up taking nearly two months of volleyball classes with him, sometimes at 10 in the morning.

It was a tough process, and I felt like giving up often.  I’ve never been great at sticking with things I wasn’t great at and sports have never been my strong suit.  Ronald urged me to play with everyone in the afternoons, games that were outside of my practices with him, games where I was clearly the worst player.

But the point was to have fun, and as Ronald pointed out, as soon as I started taking the game too seriously, I would play a lot worse.  Kind of like the Mr. Miagi’s of the world, he seriously made me a better person both on and off the field.

And after playing for over a month, and losing just about every game I played in, I finally won my last game in Rio, a dramatic game that went into overtime, a game against two pretty damn good players, and a game which I was definitely a strong part of.  and i’m not gonna lie, it was hard to conceal my grin when it was all over.

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One Response to “The Last Game”

  1. kait July 14, 2009 at 10:56 pm #

    wow-this is actually a very humble few paragraphs, humble and honest, kinda touching Paul – should i add humble to ur list of changes? (bahahah). but seriously, i hope u told this guy obrigado times 10

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