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Not Making Friends in Volleyball

For the most part, I am not much of a jock. I worked out for fun when I was a kid, but as an adult, I do it for my health or to get a leg up at work. Either way, outside of my junior lifeguard classes, and a few summers on the track team I'm no sport-o, but that doesn't stop me from hilariously trying. Too bad that no one told me that team sports were not my forte, but it was my love of all activities involving nets (badminton, tennis, etc.) that led me to the signup sheet for volleyball at my school one day in gym class. At the time, the school that I went to had this great plan to teach the kids how to play volleyball during the class period before the season started. I was all in, as were about half the other girls in my grade too. The set-up was for the girls to play together in pairs while the coach watched who excelled and who worked well together to form her dream team. This is how that played out.

I have this oddity about me, parts of my body have hardly any feeling, I was born like that. For the most part, it doesn't come up, because I have the places where I do have feeling near those numb spots on me so I usually don't get hurt too badly before I notice. This was in my favor as I found that I could spike the ball with real power behind it and not mind any sting from it every time. The coach was thrilled. The person who wasn't thrilled was the overzealous sports fanatic that I had been paired with Heather* she swore that with every serve and contact I would "botch it" even though I never did. Usually, I would roll my eyes at her and carry on, while she complained openly about having to be on the same team with me. The coach though, wanted us to try to keep working together in class so that we could be cohesive when the season started.

After a couple of weeks working together, the coach decided to give Heather a try as the starting right-back for our rotation and me as the middle front. On her first day, Heather served the ball into our opposing team member's shoulder with her full force. The poor girl had a huge red mark. Heather laughed at her while the coach walked her to the nurse's office. I didn't think it was funny at all. I told Heather as sternly as I could that she had better "knock it off" Heather took this as meaning that I wasn't as good of a player, which caused her disapproval of me to go from frowning to hostile. The rest of the week the girl Heather had hit sat on the sidelines with a large bruise on her as Heather became an embodiment of 'roid rage as she screamed at every move anyone made.

This all was a recipe for disaster that I was unaware of at the time that boiled over sooner rather than later. We were set to play against one of the worst teams in our class, but they were also the most fun. I knew the other girls well as we often hung out at my house after school regularly. It was nice to play for the enjoyment of it for once, plus I was exhausted from over hearing Heather's whining while she paced back and forth acting as if she were trying out for the Olympics every day. Tuning Heather out was almost subconscious for me by then. The girls and I joked with one another as we playfully sent the ball around. Heather was having none of it though and when I sent the serve over softly to my buddy Heather went off about how I was going to cost them the game, to which I replied that no one is even keeping score and to calm down. A moment after that I was lining up my serve and from my right, I saw out of the corner of my eye a blur of an overly muscled tween girl running at me in her white gym clothes. The next thing I knew I was on the floor and Heather was on top of me. The nut job had tackled me even though I was on her team.

The coach jogged over to pull Heather off of me. I was on the floor with my hip bruised and anger welling up in my body. "What the F*** is wrong with you!" I said as my friends walked over to me. Heather yelled back, "Me! You're the one not taking it seriously! Is this game a joke to you!"Just then instead of getting angrier, I realized Heather had totally lost it. We had won just about every game we played, as well as the game we were playing up until that moment. No reasoning or words could have made Heather understand that she was out of line. The coach though helped me decide just how much I wanted to pursue an official spot on the volleyball team when she called us into her office. She said that she was going to overlook the incident in the gym and that we could both be on the team if we thought we could continue to work together without any more conflict between us. I took one look at Heather who had a sideways ponytail and was breathing like a lumberjack in a smoke house, then back at the coach who expected me to work with a person who just tackled me for not attacking the other team. With that, I said something to the effect of "I'm going to have to pass."

To this day I don't know how Heather never tested positive for steroid use, but I do know that she had at least some concerning hormonal anger problems. The evidence for that assumption was that she broke her own hand punching the lockers after not winning by enough points later that year. As for me, I didn't think of the turn of events going south as a loss for me because I went back to enjoying the game and officially shunned turning into a "Heather" myself.

There you have it, the story of how I got tackled for winning by my own team member. What do you think? Should Heather have had to apologize? Should I have cared that my arms were bruised to all hell every day even if it was a dull and barely noticeable feeling? Maybe a more hands-on sport should be offered to the angry students or maybe meditative breathing instead. Say how you feel in the Conspiracy Meow! site forums or on the Conspiracy Meow! social media comment sections and as always, "Let Your Inner Shut In Totally Wig Out!"

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