Beyond the Opening Rush: Twenty and Counting

Posted on September 17, 2015 at 1:57 pm |


Ah, another season, another opening blog. Don’t worry kids, I’m running out of things to write about so this is probably the last season you’ll have to hear me ramble on about dodgeball.

And an appropriate season to end things off on: the big 2-0. Has it really been twenty seasons? That’s a whole decade, when you do the math. I’ve been in the VDL community for a little over half of that timespan, starting with season 8 or 9 or something ancient like that. That’s just over five years.

A lot happens in five years. I went from being a naïve, single, unemployed fresh grad to the current version: a tired, cynical nine-to-five working drone watching all my friends get married and buy houses and have kids (and slightly dreading/hoping it’s my turn…undecided on that front yet). Ok, so maybe not all of that is true – I was pretty much jaded from day one.

Five years see a lot of changes in dodgeball too. These days, I find myself sore and aching from a long night of dodgeball, when five years ago I could have played on and on and subbed for all the other teams in a second time slot and still have energy left over. The VDL exec crew has grown immensely and almost completely turned over in staff, to the point that I could go the whole season without ever meeting a particular new exec until the season end dinner. I’ve sat through seven MarCom directors: Jinno, you’re lucky #7, so I expect a good show this season! (No pressure though…)

You learn a lot too as the years go by. As I’m nearing the end of a decade, I’ve finally figured out what kind of wine and men I like. Likewise, I’ve discovered which kind of dodgeball player I enjoy or don’t enjoy playing with. (Word of advice: don’t screen your teammates. That would put you in most people’s bad books.) I strive for different things on court now too – championships are still great and I’ll never stop trying to win one, but I’ve learned to place more value on other things like trying out different playing positions, getting to know and learning to play with new people, hanging out with my teammates after dodgeball, and breaking out of my comfort zone. (For starters, I’m super excited to play on my first VDL all ladies team!)

And that’s only five years. I can only begin to imagine how the vets who started playing in Season 1 feel this week, if they’re still playing at all. I wonder if Truong, Kevin, Jay and those guys look back at the start, at their fresh-faced, idealistic selves, and marvel at that raging snowball that’s turned into VDL today. (Sorry, is it too early to use snowball as a metaphor? How about a giant dodgeball that’s collecting more and more dust as it rolls? No? I guess that was pretty bad too.)

So, happy 10 years, VDL. We’ve come a long way, and we’ve still got a long ways to go yet. I hope I’ll be around to see and play in S30, or to see the second generation of dodgeballers take to the courts. I very much want to see a Dawg Pound 2.0 with Quincy Duke and the soon-to-arrive baby Hui.

With that, I propose a toast and raise my glass of fine Pinot Grigio to you, VDL: Here’s to another great season, and many more happy dodgeball years to come.

~ Michelle
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