How did you get started? I used to play volleyball when I was in middle school and high school in Puerto Rico. When I moved to Sarasota and started working, I stopped playing for awhile. But I realized I didn’t know anyone, so last year I started looking for a way to meet people and to find something fun to do. I found the SoCo Sports website (socosports.com), saw that there were some volleyball leagues and signed up. Since then I’ve just been playing all the time, every season of indoor and beach volleyball.
What’s your routine? It depends. When I play Tuesdays, it’s indoor volleyball, usually at Sarasota Memorial Healthplex. I just warm up and get ready for the game. Sundays and Fridays, it’s more friends getting together for beach volleyball at Bee Ridge Park and Siesta Beach. I also try to go for a run or go to the gym two to three times a week, so I can develop strength, because otherwise you will just get killed when you play.
Benefits of playing? I’ve always loved volleyball, but now there’s more motivation for exercising, losing weight and being proactive. Also, I meet people. I didn’t know anyone in this town when I moved here, and most of my friends now are people I have played volleyball with.
How does this impact your work? I love my job, but sometimes it’s really stressful because there’s one deadline after the other. Many times I have to work weekends and really late at night, but if I have a game, I will take a break, go play the game and go back to work. I’m better then: I’ve exercised, my mind is free for a little bit, so when I go back to work I’m new, I’m ready to keep going.
Advice for others? Just get proactive; find something you really like. There are a lot of leagues that you can play in. I always thought that I didn’t have the time, but after you start doing it you will find the time. It’s a stress reliever. I love it.