7 years ago I entered into a sport, a child’s game really. Little did I know from the moment I picked up my first Dodgeball that my life would forever become more enriched, more playful and yes have more bruises, bumps and injuries than ever ! It has all been worth it. What I also did not realize is how close and important my team mates would become in my life.
Its started with my first team – Dishin It Out ! which has evolved over time to The Incrediballs, The Dodge Brawlers, Dodge of the Dead, Jolly Dodgers, Jolly Dodgers 2.0, Not you, Fat Jesus and many different team names for tournaments.
Over the years I have tried to become a better player. I am not the strongest arm on my team by far, nor the best catcher, I am a pretty good dodger I think. Dodgeball does actually take some skill and there are some pretty good athletes playing….umm not me. I have had the privilege to watch many of my team mates grow and get better over the years. We have won divisions together, lost together had a lot of fun along the way.
Every week, twice a week and through tournaments I put myself through a little punishment. I have lost count of the various injuries I have had over the years. Arguably, if you ask my team I am by far one of the most injury prone and clumsy players out there. Ask my team mates they will be sure to tell you a “Mini” Story, there are numerous. ! So why do I keep going back for the punishment
My friends. Old and new. Some of who are like an extended family to me. I love these people and would do pretty much anything for them. As the years have gone by and I have become more entrenched in the Dodgeball community making countless friends I have become hooked on the social aspect of my sport. Are there times we get annoyed with each other. Of course ! We are friends throwing rubber balls at each other, there are bound to be disagreements. But in the end we still forgive and move on…usually over ice cream or a beer.
It is this community of players who have supported me in two charitable tournaments which would not have been successful without those amazing people helping to raising almost $5000.00 to date for the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Next year brings my third annual tournament and I want to make the experience even better to show my appreciation for my Dodgeballin friends. We are all great at supporting each other in our endeavors.
Dodgeball has saved my own sanity a few times . In tough years when my personal life was in shambles the 2 hour a week of game time became my escape. It was the one place for an hour at a time I could cast my own worries, fears and cares aside and just be free, if even for a brief moment. It was a chance for me to be with people who I care about and hopefully cared about me, having fun. There were definitely odd moments during these times –( Remember the Percocet incident Brawlers ) but these nights helped me so much to not fall into a hole that could have been tough to come out of. Over time I got better and the game was no longer an escape but a place I went because I truly loved playing and i loved the people who I played with
So why share all of this? I LOVE DODGEBALL !!! I have had to take the most recent season off from playing and I have missed playing immensely. I have missed seeing my team mates and many others that I use to see on a regular basis. I have spent time watching my team and photographing them, but it is not the same as being out there on the courts with them. This season off has truly shown me how important this game is in my life, how important my friends are and how much I love all that Dodgeball encompasses. Ya it’s just a game, but many of these experiences and people are forever.
To my team mates directly. Thank you for all these amazing years and experiences. Thank you for supporting me as your friend in highs and lows. Thank you for being so much fun, a little crazy and the most amazing people one can surround themselves with. I love you guys and look forward to my return to playing with you all in 2014.
It’s not just a game, it is has become so much more.