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Not in a “Charlie Sheen” kinda way!

Over the years, my idea of what “winning” means has changed. I’ve always been ultra-competitive. I grew up playing sports. I grew up excelling at sports. I have a natural athletic ability and things of a physical nature always came fairly easy to me. I’ve always been uncannily strong and agile.

You know how you “never say never?” Well, that should be changed to “never say always.”

Anywho…

My ex-husband used to tell me, “You’re a good loser, but you are a LOUSY winner.” I think that means I was cocky and aggressive. Not an untrue statement.

For years I played in a very competitive volleyball league with a bunch of my girlfriends. We had a great time. We won oodles of T-shirts. We were basically invincible.

Then 2010 happened.

My lady parts tried to fall out of my body and I had to take time off to repair and recover from what ended up being a very grueling, painful, and frustrating time in my life. There’s a whole category of my blog dedicated to the struggles I had during that time. I really wondered whether I would ever come back from it. My body became so weak during the two years that I dealt with my prolapse, and continued to be weak as I fought to regain… well, any sort of semblance to my previous body, mind, and soul. It was hard, to say the least.

When I dropped from the team the others never really re-grouped and all stopped playing on a regular basis. A couple of them would sub on teams here and there, but our team was just done.

During my prolapse recovery my focus became running. I felt like it was going to be the thing that would make me stronger better than anything else I could do. And it was hard. HARD. It’s still hard.

Two years ago (four years after my original prolapse surgery), I had a couple of requests to sub on a team here and there. It was fun to get back into my volleyball world, but the teams I subbed for were just…well, they weren’t MY team. Out of the blue one day I got a call from an old teammate. She asked if I wanted to get the team back together. I jumped at the YES pretty quickly so she started making phone calls to see if the others were interested. We got back together knowing that we were not going to win T-shirts anymore.

My mindset was completely different this time than it had ever been. Winning was no longer about beating everyone. It was no longer about getting that coveted T-shirt at the end of the season. Winning became about being with my girls, getting a little exercise, and rebuilding old relationships.

After our first season back together and not winning a single game we had a discussion about whether or not we should drop down to the league just below where we had a pretty stellar chance at winning the shirts. The discussion ended up with a resounding NO. We could win T-shirts in the lower league, but we would have no competition. There would be nobody to challenge us. So we stayed put. Every Tuesday night we get together and we play our butts off. Sometimes we win. Sometimes we lose. But EVERY time we have fun. We enjoy each others company. We laugh. We tease. We are winning. Not in a high score versus low score kind of way. But in a life kind of way.

This morning Mark was asking me how old some of the women on my team were. I went through one by one. I’m in the middle of the pack age-wise. He goes, “At your ages, maybe you guys should drop down a league.” I asked him why on earth we would want to do that (and will admit to having my feelings hurt a lot more than they should have been). He said, “So you can win T-shirts.”

Winning isn’t about T-shirts anymore.

Winning is about building friendships.

Winning is about doing what you love and doing your best at it.

Winning is about not giving up.

Winning is about working hard to improve yourself.

Winning is about getting stronger.

I am winning!

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