Life After Season


Brooke Bell and her parents, Michael and Brenda Bell, on senior night.

The gym doors close, the jerseys are taken away, and the daily team messages disappear when you end your final senior season. Since the 6th grade, I have been an athlete. My life was always having to work out, go to meetings, fit class time with practice time, watch what I eat, and go to practice every day for 3 hours, and now I have nothing.

Who would’ve thought 11 years could go by so fast.

Throughout high school and college, volleyball was the first subject on my mind. When people would ask “What do you do in school?” or “What’s your hobby?” I always replied with “Volleyball!,” because that was my life. In college, people ask what I’m studying, and I reply with the simple answer of volleyball. In college, volleyball has been my priority.

My college life has consisted of waking up to 6 a.m. weights, then onto class, then film, and then practice, with that schedule repeating every day. I hardly got to go out on weekends and I spent the majority of any free time I had sleeping.

My friends are my teammates. The girls on the team go through the exact same schedule and mindset that I do. Volleyball gave me a life, a schedule, and a set friend group.

Volleyball was a chapter I thought was never going to end. And now that the door has closed I feel confused. People are asking me what I am going to do now and I have no answer because I don’t know. I feel relieved that I can now make decisions openly and work towards a long time future, but I am sad because the experiences and relationships volleyball gave me are gone and aren’t going to happen again.

I’m not going to hear the morning drama, the uncontrollable giggles, the sighs, or yelling that my team would make. I’m not going to be a part of the inside jokes or conversations. I am not going to be a part of the morning breakfast runs or late night dashes to Mcdonalds. And that might be the hardest part to accept about being done.

Being a part of a team is like living in another world. We have conversations and memories that no one else understands. I’m not going to understand the stories they bring up or what happened in practice that morning. It a close girl group that I feel I got kicked out of.

Volleyball was a major blessing in my life, brought me more opportunities than I could count, but in a way it is a door closed and it allows another to open. It gave me relationships I will have forever and it taught me lessons that I am truly grateful for. But now I have the time and mind space to focus on what I want to do with my life.

It is now time to find out what I love to do besides volleyball.