Every Fan of GSUVB Needs to Know THIS

 Howdy! Yes, that title was clickbait. And to continue in the spirit of complete candor, I ought to start this by mentioning my absolute detestation of introductions. I’ve never liked them. I often spend far too much time staring at my blank computer screen, willing a witty, intellectual, and Pulitzer-worthy intro to appear and catapult me on my literary journey eventually culminating in some prestigious award presented by Beyonce. As of right now, that still has yet to occur (I’ll be sure to keep everyone posted as the situation develops). In the meantime, I’m choosing to supplant a proper introduction with some facts about me that normally belong in a solid intro, and will have to suffice: My name is Maddie McLaughlin; I’m a rising sophomore; I’m an outside hitter; I’m technologically impaired so there will be a noticeable lack of pictures in this blog.

Okay, thank god that’s out of the way. On to the body paragraphs!

   This summer has started out far better than this blog. I finally healed a herniated disc that had nagged me for months, and I was able to resume my physical preparations for the upcoming season. Please mentally insert epic training photo here. Possible ideas include (but are not limited to): “glowing” sweat, perfect tan, six-pack abs, applauding onlookers, heroic posture, pained-yet-determined expression.

   In addition to training myself, I have also been acting as a personal trainer for one of my friends and my dad. The former has been remarkably motivated while the latter opted to flip me off when things got particularly demanding. As a side note, this process of personal training has opened my eyes to the astounding capacity we all possess to change and grow; it has provided me with indisputable proof that the body responds to the demands placed upon it, and does so with alacrity. The commonly-held conception that “it’s too late” sorely lacks validity. In fact, I firmly believe that time is not the enemy of action. Fear is. But enough philosophical ranting! More about my important summer plans.

   My job this summer is that of “Recreation Supervisor” for the town, which essentially is a fancy way of saying “Teaching Small Children How to Play Badminton and Convincing Other Small Children to Run Track in the Hot Sun with Only the Distant Possibility of Olympic Glory and the Vague Promise of Half-Melted Popsicles as Motivation.” I suppose the first title is more succinct. But all kidding aside, I love my job. I love sharing my love of sports with people who are too young to claim that “it’s too late.” They remind me every day that time doesn’t create opportunities. Passion does. It’s never too late to do what you love.

   Uh-oh. We seem to have reached the other dreaded ingredient of every literary recipe: the conclusion. Once again, I must bail and leave this one up to your imagination. Please insert your favorite conclusion here. Can be from any illustrious writer; I’m open to Dickens, Austen, Faulkner, McLaughlin, etc.

   Hopefully you’ve done that. Wow, such powerful words from (whomever you chose). With those beautiful thoughts in mind, have a fantastic summer.

Sincerely (most of the time),

Maddie

A Letter to My Past Self—A Blog by FY Maddie McLaughlin

Dear Maddie from the past,

            Great news! As your future self can now confirm, everything you so fervently wished for has come true. Keep the faith, because before you know it, you’ll be opening your own private, high-end morgue and breeding mountain pygmy possums on the side. In addition, as a producer of The Bachelor, you’ll be chauffeured around in a stretch limo driven by Kim Kardashian.

APRIL FOOLS!!!!! Here’s the real one:

Dear Maddie from the past,

            I’m writing to you because I know you are at a particularly difficult stage of your young life; you are currently standing at a significant crossroads, unsure of the correct path to take. Well, I have some bad news: there is no path. The secret is that in order to get where you want to go, you must be willing to grab a machete and hack your way through the underbrush, creating your own path in the process. The good news is that sports are not gone from your life forever. Although athletics or physical activity of any kind may seem utterly impossible right now given your illness, you will play sports again. And I know what your next train of thought is: it’s too late. No! Don’t allow your fear of failure or inadequacy prevent you from reaching for the things you want most out of life.  Remember that we rarely regret the things we did do, but rather we almost always regret the things we didn’t do.

            With this in mind, keep taking those herbal supplements and drinking those green smoothies (that will continue into college; you have a bright relationship with vegetables ahead of you), and trust that no matter how confusing, painful, and wholly unfair it may seem, everything is happening as it should. Trust that you will recover, you will play volleyball again, you will run again, and you will live in the fullest sense of that word again. Furthermore, despite your incessant fretting, you will end up at a beautiful college with the distinct privilege of playing on an even more beautiful volleyball team. So do your best to live each day with gratitude, humor, and a deep sense of purpose. Treat each day like the unique gift it is, and understand that in the end, there is no such thing as failure. There is only experience.

            Yours (literally),

                                    Maddie from the future

P.S. When your coach assigns you a blog entry, please don’t wait until the last minute to do it…