All of us have "What if...?" thoughts dancing their way through our minds as life carries us in directions we never planned or expected.
After only two seasons of water polo, my amateur coaches turned me into a fairly decent athlete. Winning MVP both years I played in high school, I looked forward to turning up the competition for scouts and the potential of being able to play in college. A shoulder injury at the lake one summer put me out for a season and on the wait list for surgery. No one expected me to recover as well or as quickly as I did. While I went on to practice with the college level, I sacrificed my chance to play anymore in high school to the opportunity to graduate early. The "what if's..." have crossed my mind from time to time. What if I had not gone through surgery? What if I pushed harder to train more post-surgery? What if I had gone to a college with an aquatics program? I enjoyed a good few years of water polo in my life, coached a bit toward the end of college, and realized that--due to unpopularity--it was not something I would meet again in my future.
Until I moved to Jamaica.
Never in 1,000,000 years did I ever believe that I would be able to participate in water polo as I once had, let alone while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer!
Another PC volunteer put me in contact with the Jamaica National Water Polo Team, and I've been able to hang with them a few times now! (I call them my First-World Kingston Friends to other PCVs.)
The National Pool
Swimmers warming up for the 4-day annual CARIFTA competition involving 14 countries in the English-speaking Caribbean. This was my view from the water polo stats desk.
Jamaica's U18 boys team and coaches. Last year, T&T beat them by more than 30 shots.
Man, was it a celebration!
They are a completely welcoming group of people, and all the coaches are about my age. The parents are wonderful and appreciate my efforts and willingness to help.
We'll see how life leads, but I hope to be able to help with Jamaica Water Polo for the next year or so!