If you had asked me when I first put this list together what I thought the most difficult achievement would be, I wouldn’t have said sky diving or completing a 5K – I would’ve said it’s being the last one standing in Dodgeball and winning the shit out of it. The difficulty being that this game is unpredictable and I am usually out first.
About a year ago I somehow got this crazy idea that forming a dodgeball team would a great idea. I approached a few of my friends who had expressed that they were looking for ways to meet new people. When you leave high school/college/graduate school and enter the work force, there are less structured activities and opportunities to meet like minded people your own age.
When I first presented this idea I truly believe that my friends were skeptical, but, thankfully, they all signed up to play. After the first game night, everyone was hooked and I could breathe a sigh of relief. We’re now in our fifth season and our team has stayed the same with a few changes here and there. One constant: I am Team Captain. Forever.
Being Team Captain doesn’t necessarily make you a good player. And you don’t have to be a good player to be Team Captain. I should know better than anyone else. Athletic is probably the last word anyone would ever use to describe me – and I’m okay with that. You can all continue to refer to me as ebullient, warm, and a lady. My first three seasons were rough. I was constantly the first one out. I couldn’t catch well and I certainly couldn’t throw well. The fourth season I realized what my strengths were. I helped protect people, collect and hand balls to the people that could throw, and I could catch the occasional lob surprising everyone, including myself. Thank goodness I had something to contribute other than a weekly email containing wrestling entrance music and motivational speeches from Will Smith movies. (This service is not exclusive to dodgeball – if you ever need a pump email, let me know. The Miz’s entrance music and Bill Pullman’s speech from Independence Day will pull you out of any rut you may find yourself in.)
This past Tuesday was the start of our fifth season as Aggro Crag (you can hear our theme song here – super big thanks to Vickie for that one). Our team was the first one there that night and the first one to start practicing (this is important when there are 6 people and 40 people gunning for use of the balls)
We played the first game of the night against a team we’d lost to plenty of times before. We’re not a very competitive team – we’re mostly there to have fun, but after a few seasons of lackluster performances, we were all pretty eager to be successful in this.
It’s hard to recount the exact events of the game, but I will do my best. We started off pretty strong. I made a catch bringing another player in. My teammates were able to knock a few people off. I was eliminated and waited for one of my teammates to catch a ball. I’m not sure who caught it, but I think it was Rogillictorian. Anyway, when someone else is out with me on the sidelines I always encourage them to run back in the game, even if I was knocked out before them. That’s part Team Captain and mostly me not feeling like I could help win the game in any way.
This time, I went in. After a few more tosses it came down to Vickie, Gillian, and myself versus one girl. Now, we’ve been in this situation before and it didn’t always end so well for us. This particular girl on the other team is usually the last one left and she always puts up a good fight. Duckin’, dodgein’, all that monkey business. She threw a few balls at Vickie and I, but we were able to dodge them. And then it happened. She threw one right at me.
And I caught it.
And we won the game.
Now I know that the title of this is “Be the last one standing in dodgeball and *win*” but it was put to a vote without my consent. My teammates that are familiar with this project (and trust me – they all are because I don’t shut up about it ever) said that this counts. I caught the ball on my own so, technically, I won the game on my own. But I didn’t. I’ve become a better player because I have an awesome team. You have no idea how awesome it is to play with such a great, supportive, and dedicated group of people. High fives were thrown around and John referred to me as “the MVP of the game” – which I will not be humble about and totally accept just this one time for drama’s sake.
Because I won the shit out of that game.