I had initially expected the two hour practice to consist of an hour of warm-ups, and an hour of competing. Unlike my expectations, it was actually just two hours of warm-ups. During these exercises, I discovered how horribly out of shape I am. By the time the second warm-up had started, I was having trouble not collapsing. For those of you who say Europeans aren't athletic, you're wrong.
Besides the lack of competitive game-playing (and the large amount of chocolate that the coach distributed during practice), it was eerily similar to my old volleyball club in Arkansas. This mostly had to do with the group of people that were there. The coach uncannily resembled Coach Hal, there was the one overly serious and controlling player, and there was the girl who was constantly singing and dancing in her own little world.
I couldn't help but to look around and think of America. I love volleyball, but it's what I loved in America. Because of this, I kept experiencing a strange feeling within my self that I am unable to properly describe. I don't believe it was homesickness, but I'm sure it was a relative. For that reason, I wasn't thinking I'd want to continue playing here. I would like to avoid doing things that could potentially trigger nostalgia.
However, things changed immediately after practice was over and I walked outside. The lovely endorphin rush was finally kicking in and I became so overly happy-- I felt as though the world was drenching me in a shower of lollipops and gumdrops filled with happiness and appreciation for all things around me. For the next hour, I couldn't shut up. I just blabbered, and blabbered, and blabbered some more. I'm pretty sure this threw my host parents for a loop, because, although I try to speak as much French as possible, I hadn't spoken that much since being here.
And now, with my swollen fingers and sore legs, I've decided I should continue attending volleyball practices when convenient. Although the practice itself wasn't quite what I was expecting, the amazing amount of happiness I had afterwards was so brilliant that I'm afraid I may have already become addicted to it.
To add a little variety to this post, Michelle Duggar is pregnant with her 20th child. Welcome to Arkansas, folks!