Posted in Fitness, Volleyball, & Motivation, Life Abroad

Defining Moments

This morning as I set up the outdoor tables, blankets, and furs in 30 degree weather (that in itself doesn’t quite make sense now does it) at my quaint little Cafe, Cafe Bopa,  a phrase kept popping up in my mind. Defining moments. What are defining moments? Who decides when they happen and do what they mean?

This past week we suffered another 5 set loss than knocked us down from 3rd to 4th place in our volley liga going into playoffs this weekend. It left me stunned. Our past two losses some would say are defining moments. Having gone through the entire season only losing to the top two teams in the league and then suddenly at the end of our our season going into one of the most important weekends of the year, we now have two losses versus two teams that we beat in 3 the first half of the season.

Defining moments.

What do they mean? Who makes them happen?? Who says they are what they are? I chose to say that I will not be defined by wins or losses. We play the number one team tomorrow. The loss we had on Sunday means nothing. The loss we had last Sunday means nothing. The win we had before that means the same. The effort, the heart, the courage I have as an old woman (dang near 30) that packed her bags and moved across the ocean far from friends and family remains the same. My hope and my ambition is that me and my girly pops do not let wins or losses define us. That we play for each other, that we play for sweet Fred (our current coach and former Olympian coach), that we play with joy, that at the end of this weekend we can say we fought, we worked, we put everything out on the court and left nothing to regret. And maybe, just maybe, the result of that will be a big surprise.

Aside from volleyball this past week has been great. It’s my favorite of the 8 weeks I live off of because it was my break from grad school (yay). Probably the most entertaining part of the week was my Monday morning shift at Cafe Bopa. Last week I mentioned a staff party for my cafe Sunday night. It was great to socialize with my coworkers outside of Bopa and to meet people from the two other restaurants/bars that my boss partly owns. I chose to be responsible since I had the opening shift the next day and called it a night around midnight. The opening cook however did not. Monday morning I came into work expecting him (let’s just call him Chef) to be in not the best shape, but it was even better than I imagined. Chef was locked up in the bathroom till about 8:50 (we open at 9) when I finally decided to try and get him out. Upon knocking on the door and calling his name, he simply knocked back. 10 minutes later he arrived downstairs in the same outfit I saw him in the night before and attempted to put out the morning buffet. Literally so funny, he claims he doesn’t remember the wonderful conversations we had but I blame selective memory since they all revolved around me “breaking his heart” for leaving the party early. No better way to get rid of the Mondays than a hilariously tired zombie of a cook.

Travel alert: I booked my trip to Asia!! Ricky Bobby aka Ericka aka travel partna will not be stranded alone at the Singapore airport come June. I’ll be flying in and out of Kuala Lumpur, just 3 hours north of my homeland Johor Bahru. What I know is that I’ll be spending two weeks in Malaysia with my sweet parents (praise Jesus) and overlapping that, a little less than 2 weeks in Thailand with Ricky Bobby, and then I have a week on my own, in a country TBD. If anyone has suggestions for a girl alone with a backpack crying because her family and friend left the country in southeast lemme know.

As a professional athlete it’s easy to be consumed with wins and losses. It’s easy to begin to find your identity in your sport and your success in that sport. I don’t want to be that player. I didn’t drastically alter my life and trust God to take care of me as I pursue my passion to…win a game? I did so to have the chance to step on a volleyball court and work hard for the 10 other girls on the court and in the gym. Wish us luck this weekend, whether we win or lose, I will do my best to uphold my word and feel okay about whatever the outcome because of my passion and love for this beautiful game.

Ever Wanderlusting,

IJ

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