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Submitted on
August 12, 2012


25 (who?)
When I was a child growing up in Russia, I trained to be a volleyball player 6 days per week year-round. Twice per day in the summer. Our coach, Alexander Sergeevich Shadinov, was a member of the USSR national team in the 80's. He is freaking awesome.

One of my friends, a few years younger than me, was always a tiny kid. I am average height, which is unacceptably short for a volleyball player. Alexey only ever reached to my shoulder height. He was always awesome skill-wise, if only a bit crazy in terms of character but always had lots of fun. I know that he came from a very poor family, but always had a great work ethic and never slacked. He was always the troublemaker, and often got flack for it from the coaches. Just a mischievous little kid full of energy.

Well, now he plays libero for Zenit Kazan which is one of the best volleyball clubs in the world. Being one of the best liberos in Russia, he made the London Olympics and just won the gold medal. It was priceless to watch the expression on the Brazilian coach's face after he got a dig kill deep in the fifth set.

Another one of the my former teammates was the setter for that Gold medal team. It's very improbable that two of the starting seven came out of the same small town of a hundred thousand in a country of over a hundred million. I guess that just speaks to how awesome our coach was.

How did it feel? Well, very happy for my friend. Ура, Лёха! I'm also very happy knowing that my former coach watched this match somewhere and saw his work pay off. But for myself, I felt a bit sad that I couldn't be there and to play at that level. Truth is, I was never as good as these two - even as a kid - and the gap is much wider now. There is a definite feeling of somber reflection. Success and skill are all relative, unless you are the best.

I was also snooping around last night to see the world record for squatting is in my weight category. It's over 800 lb, which is to say it's OVER 9000! I can do like half of that on a good day. Gunning for 500 lb.
  • Listening to: laptop fan
  • Reading: Modern Money Mechanics
  • Watching: Olympic 2012 Volleyball Gold Medal match
  • Playing: weight lifting, interval training, jump training
  • Eating: cereal
  • Drinking: tea
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MaMu11 Sep 12, 2012
woow, that's so amazing ^^
Davendra-SH Aug 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Congrats to your friend!
kalikala Aug 15, 2012  Student General Artist
That is awesome! :D
Congratulations to your friends :)

And while you may not be able to compete at that level in volleyball, I'm sure that if they were to see your photos, they would simply stand there -- mouths agape in utter awe -- wishing they could create something with even a tiny fraction of the beauty of your work.
Kharemi Aug 15, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Well WOW:wow:, that's like almost impossible ! :clap:
Sea-Sound Aug 15, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Congratulations to your friend!! It's really awesome, you can feel very happy for them all :)
reigningqueenofcurls Aug 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Congrats to your friend :D It's a great feeling watching friends succeed.
I got up early to watch my friend's younger brother swim in the qualifying heats of the 200m butterfly. He didn't get a good enough time to move on :(, but he set a new best personal time :D
Also, I loved playing volleyball in high school - it's an awesome sport
Lizzie-Bitty Aug 13, 2012  Student Photographer
That's crazy awesome!
congrats to ur childhood friend! i think i saw that match...
dogatemymanuscript Aug 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I use to rifle target shoot on the same team as this year's gold medal winner in shooting. The team's couch had great hopes for me to be as good as Jamie. He made sure he gave me plenty of pointers to improve and Jamie would likely have been my tutor after I learned all the basics. Sadly, due to my parents getting divorced I was living between two homes and this prevented me from making most team practices so I fell so far behind that I quit the team.
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