It all started back in 1981 when a High School friend of mine showed me how to set the ball so I could play in the school volleyball team with her.
Up until then, I was extremely sensitive about my height. I was a little over 6’ tall and felt incredibly self conscious. Now, all of a sudden, I had good reason to be tall. I was applauded and wanted for my physical ability.
Within months I was training with the state junior team and a little over two years later I was chosen to represent Australia in the Asian Junior Championships.
All I remember thinking in those first few years was that I wanted to be the best player in my team, I wanted to be the best player in Adelaide, then the best player in Australia and then possibly – dare I think it - be one of the best players in the World!
Step by step, bit by bit, I found myself weaving a pathway toward what I thought would be the top.
However, I never reached the top. I’m still trying to get there. I believe there really is NO LIMIT to anyone’s ability. There is no “top.” My philosophy seemed to be that I could always be better.
I know that I frustrated my coaches, always asking what we were doing, why we were doing it and how I could do it better. I wanted to be able to do it all and do it in the best possible way.
To me, my dreams were never unrealistic. I always decided on a goal by speaking to my peers, my team mates and my coaches. Even if other Australians hadn’t done it before, I somehow knew that I could do it. Or, at least give it a damn good attempt.
Losses, being cut from teams, injuries, relationship woes – I had it all. But, somehow all this made me stronger.
All this shaped me into who I am today.
And today – I have finally squashed that last faint image of the tall, gangly, sensitive teenager.
Today, I had the most amazing honour of being inducted into the VOLLEYBALL HALL OF FAME in the USA.
There I was, sitting besides World Champions, Olympic Champions, absolute legends, amazing administrators that have helped build the sport into what it is today around the world. There I was, sitting in the Hall of Fame being recognised for my efforts in a sport that I continue to be involved with purely and simply because I love it.
That was when I realised that maybe, just maybe, I had achieved what I set out to – some 26 years ago.