Monday, December 19, 2011

The Journey

People seem to feel that volleyball is my life. Not even close. As much time I put in volleyball I try my hardest to live life outside of it. I remember being bullied in middle and high school because of my height and race.  My mother always told me to stand up straight and be proud of your height. Overtime I had learned to carry my self accordingly. That is where my journey began.  I started playing volleyball when I was thirteen, but at the same time I had other sports surrounding me. Basketball was at the top of the list, track and field was second, and sadly volleyball was last.

It's true what people say "Time flies when you're having fun!" I can't recall how many times I wish I could go back to high school and get on the basketball court with my teammates and start all over again. Hustle and Heart is what my high school coach would tell me. I have stuck by those two words until this day.

From high school I continued my route with volleyball and track at the University of Texas in Austin. All I can remember was winning the high jump as a freshman and a NCAA Championship. Volleyball was a blur. It was to up and down for me. I was told "since I didn't play club I don't think you will be playing all 6 rotations." So I spent my first two years subbing out after and sometimes before I served. Even though I knew I was capable of being a 6 rotation player. That later changed my junior and senior year. Became a 2-Time first team All-American, Co-MVP of the 2009 NCAA Championship, Longhorn of the Year, Big 12 Athlete of the Year and more.  All that was because I had faith in God and continued to play with heart. Nothing's as bad as it seems. It's all on what you allow.

Right after the match vs Penn State for the 2009 NCAA Championship. I went overseas and started playing professionally. I played in Korea with a team called GS Caltex. From there I went to Puerto Rico  with Corozal Pinkin where we won were crowned Champions. I had also received the MVP award.

After that experience. I was asked to come to California to be on the USA National team. My first appearance since 2008. I wasn't a strong fan of USA volleyball. I just didn't trust the system. It is completely different now. I love the coaching staff as well as my teammates. After hard work the USA team won the 2010 WGP but finished fourth at World Champs.

In September of 2010 I got endorsed by Rox Volleyball Inc. For those of you haven't heard of Rox I suggest you go to the website. I am sure you will love what you see. My contract with Rox goes until August of 2012. A lot of work to do but I am thankful for the opportunity to  work with them. It has been really fun so far.

I took my professional career to Pesaro, Italy with Scavolini. Which unfortunately ended quickly. There I suffered a tear in my left lateral meniscus and returned home to have surgery. I had played in a few matches. The team had made it to Champions League which was held in Istanbul. Sadly the team didn't do well.  I had my surgery March 17th 2011. I was told I would need 8 weeks to fully recover. Talk about depression, frustration, and other emotions mixed in. I wasn't going to let it defeat me. As my Memaw would tell me "This too will pass". She was right. Before you knew it I was on the court serving, hitting, and passing. It only took me 5 weeks. God is so good and I am thankful.

After my surgery my first competition was the 2011 World Grand Prix. USA won the gold for the second year in a row. I received MVP. Not bad for my first debut after surgery. Later on November USA went to Japan for the World Cup also known as OLYMPIC Qualifiers. USA went in with a mission and accomplished it. We placed second and I received Best Spiker of that tournament. My journey with USA Volleyball has been really successful I pray USA will bring home the gold in London.

As of now I am currently playing in Brazil with Sollys Nestle.  A team in Osasco. I have fallen in love with the team. They are very kind to me there. A bonus is the weather is HOT. ha ha. Can not wait to get back January 3rd. So far the Super League has been going and we are undefeated. Pray that we keep it that way. Final game is April 14th and Sollys plans on being one of those teams. :)

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