Tribune Print Share Text

Water volleyball brings out the inner athlete

It’s all fun and games, say the players

Created date

April 26th, 2011

Every Monday and Wednesday morning, there s a unique sound that bounces off the glass-enclosed pool at Wind Crest, an Erickson Living community in Highlands Ranch, Colo. It s the cadence of palms slapping and of closed fists pounding against rubber beach balls, the sound of peals of laughter, calls of mock frustration, hands hitting the water, people calling out in excitement and then suddenly silent as they dunk underwater. These are the unique sounds of the water volleyball group. The group has met for nearly four years. There are core members who play each time rain, snow, or sunshine and there are those who play once a week or occasionally, but somehow each time the group meets, there are always enough people to make a game. I don t know why or how it works out this way, but it always does. Each time, 12 people show up, six for each side, and it s even every time, says Jim Murphy. The vibrancy of the group is evident in their enthusiasm for the game. Even though no score is kept, the men and women playfully try to one-up each other. People jump up, half their bodies exposed to the steamy sauna-like surrounding air, to try to reach the purple or blue beach ball that flies overhead (when a game gets really exciting, both the balls are in play at the same time). The game brings out the inner athlete as each player watches for the ball, silently hoping, Is it my turn to hit it?

More cordial than competitive

The players are more cordial than competitive and playfulness ensues, especially when people are hit on the head by the ball. Vince Swinney is tapped once by accident and then a second time on purpose by a mischievous Norm Fox. Swinney simply says, Now that s a double header! and laughs. Moving constantly in the pool for an hour is great exercise, but it s the fun that attracts people. The fun makes it worthwhile, says Dave Day. Even newbies have a good time. Carol Bowles says she hasn t played any kind of volleyball since high school. I m just getting my feet wet, trying to remember what I learned, she says. There are many different group activities at Wind Crest, but water volleyball seems to draw those youthful spirits who have an affinity for not only the mountains but for the water as well. I just love the water, and this is so much fun! says Liz Yount. After all, the surrounding mountains are in direct view for every player. They all agree that there s nothing like being in the pool when the snow is falling outside. It s both serene and magical. It s the view of the mountains that makes this game especially fun, says Bill Nottingham. Not even a cell phone ringing to When the Saints Come Marching In can draw them out of the water. When the phone rings, a player simply calls out, We have more important things to do right now than answer the phone. Those who watch the water volleyball group in action agree that the sounds and sights of water volleyball are the best entertainment around. They have the mountains, the pool, a ball, a net, and each other s company.

Comments