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Your Past is Not Ever Your Past...

Posted May 04 2009 4:24pm
I want to tell you a wee bit of advice that might come in handy someday, and then I'm going to somehow weave it into a little story about a large group of women for whom I have an overflowing amount of respect and love for...

You ready?

(Deep breath) I'm doing the deep breathing because this post is actually quite important to me and I have no idea how to construct it so that it makes any sense outside of my mind and on paper, so hold on... maybe I should grab a paper bag and breathe deep into that?

OK... here's the advice I need to pass on to you.


Let me tell you about Thursday (I think it was Thursday at least, I could be wrong) of last week. Normal day, no big deal... SSDD (you know what that stands for, right?) And I was going along just like every other day of my life, when suddenly I got a phone call from my Dad in the afternoon (unusual and I automatically thought something had happened to him and my heart went all funny like I was going to hyperventilate or have a heart attack, which wouldn't be good)...

He was calling to tell me that someone had called him, trying to find a girl that I used to know about 15 years ago (I haven't seen her in probably 10). The girl had done something wrong, I don't know exactly what, but its safe to say that she was in trouble. My Dad explained to the investigator that I knew of the girl, but that was, like, ... decades ago. How in the world did they come up with my father's phone number, across the country? The investigator had asked for him, not me... and my Dad had moved and changed his phone number and really has no idea how he got associated with this random person from my past.

Thats when he told me, "Casey, it goes to show ya: your past is not ever your past.".

Scary smart Dad. You're just scary smart. Its so true...

OK, so moving on from the random phone call.... I don't know how to get in touch with this random person from my past (for whom I was friends with but barely.. more that we had mutual friends), but I knew who could. I put in a call to her, a member of the Fab 4 (foreshadowing, keep reading). Sure enough, she knew how to reach her and passed on the info... job done!

Now... I want to tell you about my past and why its so unique in one special area (not that it doesn't have a lot of unique qualities, but this case in particular)...

On the same afternoon as this random phone call, I also received an email from the current VB coach at Rice University, where I went to college and played volleyball. She had some alumni information to pass along and was looking for email addresses to send out the info. No problem, Coach. I got 'em. Well, most of them...
Rice University Women's Volleyball 1992
umm... yeh, thats me, #4. That was 17 years ago! God I feel old.

Let me tell you about this neat group of girls.... (sorry, I know we're all w-o-m-e-n, but in my mind, we're all still 18-21 and young and perky)... when I got to Rice in 1992, I was one of 4 freshman on the team. That was right after the University of Michigan had wowed college basketball with 5 freshman starting for the team and they were called the Fab 5 (Who remembers Jimmy, Jalen, Juwan, Ray, and Chris Webber?). Goes without saying that we 4 overly-confident and a bit overbearing freshman called ourselves the Fab 4. We were bonded, to say the least. I know it was obnoxious, but to the upperclassewomen's credit, they cut us some slack. The friendships forged that year and for the remainder of the time that I was involved with Rice Volleyball, remain strong to this day. Everyone still stays in touch after like 15 years!

I don't know how to explain it. Young and old alumni alike have this weird kinship and connection that transcends 'normal'.

Each year at Rice brought new members to the team. The coaching staff came and went, the grad coaches and trainers, and media people changed. Girls graduated, got hurt (I was one of them), and the team evolved and kept on training. And playing. And winning...

There is no way to explain the way that Rice Volleyball players get along. Its almost as if we're all veterans of the same war... weird to say, but its a similar camaraderie. We saw one another through the best of times, and the worst of times. Seriously. Division I college athletics is no joke, and we had a lot of pressure being student athletes at Rice University. Somehow between the grueling class schedule, the tough playing and training schedule, and the Rice social life we forged as a group and each individually, we created this bond that lasts still today.

Most of my old teammates were at my wedding (which was 10 years ago now), and 2 of the Fab 4 were my bridesmaids! A great number of them flew in 3 years later when my Mom passed away unexpectedly. Due to our own travel and strange life, I haven't always been able to be at everyone's events, but we all sure know when something monumental happens in each other's lives, still today after this many years...

Through cool social networking sites like Facebook, old teammates have reconnected and have been able to meet younger alumni and throughout it all, its like one, big family reunion. Its the coolest thing that I have ever been part of.

Two months ago I was visited by one of my old teammates/friends who came to visit me here at the ranch, all the way from West Virginia and in June I'll have another teammate visit... from Ecuador! Its amazing to see these girls after so many years... but we seem to pick up right where we left off. Almost as if no time has passed at all...

See? Your past is not ever REALLY your past!
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