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April Jeppson: Enjoy time outdoors before it gets too cold

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson


I’m sweaty, and my feet are filthy. I’ve already rinsed them off, but there’s something semi-permanent about the sand at the volleyball courts. It’ll take another shower and perhaps a scrub brush to really get my toes to their pre-game glory. I don’t care, though. I absolutely love playing beach volleyball, and I’m going to milk every last inch out of this summer.

I have a group of friends that enjoys playing. We’ve talked about it a few times, but for one reason or another just never got around to it. Our first game was mid-August. They would invite some friends, and I’d invite some friends. We’ve been able to meet up about half a dozen times, and so far we’ve always had at least four people on each side.

April Jeppson

I wouldn’t consider my husband an athlete. He’s fairly athletic, but never really played sports in high school. I married an intelligent, thoughtful man — not an Olympian. During an adult dodgeball game last winter, I was in awe of his skills. I was mentally prepared for him to twist an ankle or get hit in the face. When he was consistently one of the last people on the court and holding his own — I’m not going to lie, I was impressed. He has joined me in a few volleyball games over the last two years, and I’ve watched his skills sharpen.

Tonight’s game was exceptionally fun. I’m not sure if it was the new ball we were using or what, but the stars were in alignment. I’m a decent player, but often by 7 p.m., I’ll be honest, I’m tired. But not tonight. My serves were consistently going over. My reflexes were faster. Oh, and then there’s my husband! He normally serves overhand, but being that we’re not spring chickens anymore, his shoulder was feeling a bit tender. He tried underhand serving for the first time. By the third game, his serves were verging on poetic.

The weather was absolutely perfect. T-shirt and shorts temperature and hardly any bugs. We played until we couldn’t see the ball anymore. If there would have been lights on the court, we would have played longer. I can’t believe next week it’ll be October already, because tonight definitely felt like summer.

As we parted ways, we talked about when we could meet up again. Although we’ve been averaging once a week, I know that eventually it’ll rain or be too cold. I’m aware that with our busy work schedules that each time could potentially be our last time. As sad as that thought makes me, I’m not actually sad about it. I know that there’s next year. If I can find a way to play volleyball during a pandemic, I’ll always be able to find a way to fit it in.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams.