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“Dive line!” my fastidious volleyball coach yells.
The sound of these two words still frightens me at night. Dive line is an appalling exercise- we scurry a few feet to get up to speed, dive onto the freshly waxed floor, skid a few more feet on our chests, get up and repeat the process across the entire gym floor as fast as humanly possible. When we are not scouring the floor with our chests, we spend our time in mid-air. We jump and block, and jump and spike, followed by more jumps until our legs grow numb and backs turn sore. Yet, I find an ineffable delight in doing all these excruciating drills. In fact, I find passion.
I love the feeling of defying gravity, leaping three feet into the air either to spike or to block a ball. I love the feeling of saving: lunging six feet to dig up a ball just as it’s about to strike the ground. I love the feeling of camaraderie as my teammates provide support even when I botch the last serve of a game. And I love the feeling of victory, as we ride home singing “We are the Champions.”
Most of all, I love the feeling of being challenged, and emerging from that challenge stronger, smarter, and more agile. The “dive line”, however gruelling, taught me the unique rewards of perseverence. I am excited to learn what challenges await me at the University of California, and even more excited to see how I grow as a student and person through meeting them head on.
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