29 January 2010

The Universe Doesn't Want Me to Drown

I grew up in the water. Being from Florida, it's important to learn to swim early, since there are so many canals and pools that kids can fall into. My godmother taught me when I was a toddler, even though I fought her every bit of the way at first. Once I learned, I felt at home in the water. After all, Marissa does mean "of the sea".

Mom and Marissa

In third grade, I joined the diving team, and was a competitive springboard and platform diver for the following ten years. However, in ninth grade, I fell in love with water polo, and especially the group of friends I made playing. I was a goalie all through highschool, and a year in college at Indiana University. After I stopped, I figured it was a part of my life that was over.

Recently, some of my friends started playing in California and Florida. MB mentioned playing volleyball again, and ended up sending me a link for a water polo league in the area. Two days later, I was at my first practice in eleven years.


I switched back and forth from feeling completely excited, to so nervous I thought I'd retch. I've found that most times you put yourself into situations that scare the bejesus out of you, things turn out okay. And if they don't, you can always just move on, learn from it and try something else.

Of course, the people were incredibly welcoming and nice, and though I feel like I got hit by a mack truck, I'm looking forward to going back. I'll be easing into this, after all, it has been eleven years, people! Plus, my gym membership is up, and the treadmill was getting really boring.

There was one part of the practice when I felt so out of an element that used to be second nature, and simply exhausted. I switched out with the other goalie.

He asked, "What's your name, anyway?"


Kiddlingly he replied, "Ugh, like I need another Marissa in my life! That's my sister's name."

Guess what his name is? Andrew. Just like my guardian angel out in the universe who used to be a goalie himself, for ice hockey. So if that's not a sign that things will be okay, I don't know what is. And even though it may be kind of silly, it's more fun to believe that it's a special wink from someone out there saying, "Suck it up, Oldilocks!"


Ah, and while we're on the topic of floating and not drowing, I want to show you my newest addition to our art collection. Isn't this a beautiful print, from Lisa Golightly? She runs a shop called Kiki and Polly, where she sells her original pieces and affordable prints. I loved it immediately, but it makes complete sense just why I like it now that I'm writing all this to you lovely friends.

My mom did ask that I call her after the practice so that she'd know I did not drown. She laughed when I told her how beat up I felt. But she laughed even harder when she heard about the teenagers in the truck next to me driving home who invited me to a party! After feeling so old and out of shape, that was just what I needed to boost my poor ego!

Thank you, Universe. You sure know how to crack me up.


Nadia said...

I did yoga for the first time in two years this week! It feels good to get into good old habits, no? :)

sulu-design said...

I was so excited reading this post, feeling a little kick in the pants to look up some team activity to get myself involved in. Good for you for diving in (pun only semi-intended). I'm so happy that you've gone back to the water, and even happier to hear about the lovely coincidences of this experience.

Jamie Watson said...

Best post ever, Marissa of the sea! The gracefulness I see in the photo of you on the diving board is so beautiful, it stopped me in my tracks. So happy you are playing Water Polo again. I've always wanted to try that but never have. Kinda chicken.

Anonymous said...

what a lovely post.
I do believe in those little winks from the universe. Enjoy yourself - it sounds like so much fun.

Laura said...

Awesome story! Way to get out there and do something!

Right after I was born (and my brother was 1 yr old) we moved into a house with a pool in the backyard. So of course we had to learn to swim, too, but I fought it like crazy until I was about 4. Now I can't imagine not knowing how to swim.

Mme Paulita said...

*waves* hi

Michelle said...

Heheh, the universe is sending you a giant wink! HAHAHAH, I used to swim compet. and we used to fight the dive guys for the pool! Arch enemies!!!

Post Grad Hair Cut said...

Love this post! I've always been curious about water polo. Like your blog very much.

Ben said...

Hi, this is probably out of nowhere, but I got to thinking about Andrew tonight (out of nowhere, really), and found my way here. I guess I just wanted to say I liked this story. I miss him.


Mariss said...

Thank you everyone, especially Ben. I would email you directly, but didn't see any information. I hope you see this. I love that you were thinking of Andrew. It makes me happy to know that he is still missed and loved. Thank you for reaching out. Hugs.

Art Wall Katie said...

What a great little story and yes I love that print from Kiki and Polly