For as long as my husband and I have been together, Fourth of July weekend has been marked off for the annual mud volleyball tournament held in conjunction with Tom Sawyer Days in Hannibal, MO. For the first eight years, I went as a spectator...a more and more resentful one, at that. My husband played on a winning team. They've been playing now in this tournament for over 25 years, only three of which with less than a 2nd place finish. No room on that team for an "amateur".
So my wonderful husband ended up leaving his powerhouse team to start a family team so that we could play together. Our team this year was the two of us, his cousin from California, his sister, her husband, and my oldest son. This wasn't quite the plan. Normally we play with 8 and players sub in at the serve, but one of the California cousins couldn't make it back, and my 16-year old was in Austin playing in volleyball nationals. It was fine. We made do, and Hamlet really came into his own on the team.
Mud volleyball is a mess. I love it. :)
Look how deep the mud is. Try running in this stuff. Better yet, run a 5K and then try running in this stuff. This tournament definitely showed me that my fitness has improved. I'm usually exhausted after slogging about in the mud all day, but even after running 3 miles that morning, I felt like I could've played all day.
In a lot of ways, it felt like we came into our own as a team. We played awfully in our first match, but the remainder of them were much better. We made our share of mistakes, but we also made a lot of great plays. I even had a couple. :) We were knocked out of the tournament in our last match Saturday, so we had Sunday free to watch our friends and swim and not be covered in mud.
See that smile on my face? It translates into something like, "I've been in this cold pool with this kid for an hour and a half. Put away the freaking camera and spell me here." I believe I've already been disqualified from the Mother of the Year competition, so I'm OK with sharing that with you.
Ah, yes, careful readers will note that this picture was actually taken on Monday...but we swam Sunday, too. After J's old team was knocked out (in a shocking 6th place finish, their worst ever), Jr., Hamlet, and I came back to relax (Hamlet) and swim (Jr. and me). J stayed there to watch some other friends play in the finals (which they lost).