Almost 30 years ago, the AVP traveled to Lost Lake in Fresno, where I grew up, and my non-beach community had access to amazing beach volleyball…the crowds for the final were upwards of 25,000 and it was easily over 90 degrees.
I came away from those days in the sun with such excitement for the sport which, except for that weekend, I didn’t have much access to.
Fast forward to this amazing inaugural weekend for p1440, a soon to be legendary beach volleyball festival that includes not only world class volley, but access to the pros health and wellness gurus, and concerts by night, and volleyball continues to offer me a purpose and a place to connect to higher thought. I pushed the boundaries of my confidence in search of stories and generational knowledge and came away with gold…not surprising for any of you who know how Kerri Walsh Jennings does anything and everything she puts her heart into.
This weekend I was able to observe, connect and challenge my own self imposed limits that have held me back from pursuing my bigger dreams. As I push the boundaries of my confidence in search of like minds that are interested in the bigger questions and connecting the universal truths with each of our specific life experiences, what I desired out of these interviews became more clear. I stopped worrying (for the most part) about my fear of self promotion and committed myself to the why of my message. When I did that, I received an incredible reception from anyone that I asked to share their story. To be able to talk mental game, resilience, female leadership and the game of life with some of the greats of the sport, producers of the event, and grass roots volleyball fans who are out living with passion across the entire country, was completely invigorating.
I know that through my own knowledge quest and game of life experience I am able to draw on, I have the ability to create content for younger generations of players, (like the ones I am raising) to learn from when they are ready for it. I tell my kids all the time that what they learn on the court is a warm up for life. Acceptance, confidence, leadership, even the neuroscience of how we challenge our limits physically and mentally is all there for the taking, if we have the courage to ask the right questions and allow ourselves to sink deep enough into our experience to let the answers become part of our consciousness. Obviously, I think a little deeper today than I did when I was 13, but the feeling of being that same passionate kid who got to run drills with Smith and Stoklos and then told her mom she could die happy now (yes, I remember the quote verbatim) was reignited as I interviewed Sinjin, Kerri, Reid, Z, Brooke and other great players, historians and minds of the game.
Thanks for the energy, grace and visionary leadership Kerri. As I left last night, I watched from a distance as a young player took pictures with Heather Bansley, one of the female champions, and saw the circle connecting again. Generational learning and inspiration…only when we tell our stories, both the good and the challenging, can we learn from them…and this was one of the good ones for sure.