I recently picked up a volleyball again and started playing a few nights a week when I can sneak away. It’s a casual adult league in a tiny little gym, but it’s turned out to be the perfect stress reliever. I go, I smack a ball around, I feel better. It’s a simple formula really. But it’s funny how far down the list things like this get pushed when you have little ones, a husband, and a business to attend to. A few nights ago, in the midst of a game, I wasn’t playing well. I started getting frustrated, hating that I can’t play the way I did “back in the day”, loathing the fact that my vertical is approximately three inches now.

Then out of nowhere, my college coach popped into my head. “Play the next play”. It was one of his constant reminders to us on the floor. Take the next step. Forget about the last mistake. Lingering on that bad pass is only clouding your mind for the next one. Learn, get better, and move on. It helped frame my mindset back then, and it fixed my attitude that night as well.

But then, because it was a casual game and I had that kind of time, my mind started to shift to life off the court. I posted last week that I’ve been feeling in a funk, and this phrase was like a kick in the butt. Play the next play, Aquila. Stop worrying about what you can’t control and look to the future. Surround yourself with happy thoughts of what’s to come and forget about the past. I’m happy to say the clouds were already beginning to lift, but now it’s time to take on exciting new challenges. It’s time to play the next play.

I want my days to be filled with hope and happiness. I want to always be looking ahead with joy in my heart. And thanks to the little voice in the back of my head from a special coach, I know I’ll always have a gentle reminder to do just that. So if you’re grappling with the past or throwing a fabulously miserable pity party, remember: play the next play. For yourself, your loved ones, and your best chance at an extraordinary life. You deserve it.



play the next play