Hitting the Wall

My summer job in college was working for my volleyball coach. We would travel around putting on volleyball camps at high schools.

We drove or flew out to random high schools in places like Arco Idaho, or Truth or Consequences New Mexico, and spent a few days coaching volleyball teams. We usually stayed with the coaches or a parent of a player and they would somehow feel obligated to feed and entertain us as well. So my days consisted of waking up, coaching and playing volleyball, maybe work out, and then go water skiiing or horse back riding or fishing. We would be back home for the weekends. A pretty amazing job really.

The one downside was that I always got the 9th grade girls to coach. Supposedly this was because it was my first year doing it, but I suspect it may have had something to do with the fact that though I played for the best, or one of the best, teams in the nation, I never really seemed to bother learning anything beyond my own position. I could always tell the middle hitters exactly where they should be and what they should be doing, but outside hitting? Back row? Oh, let’s not even talk about me teaching people to set. Picture Shaq teaching people to shoot free throws.

A side note: I found the best way to coach 9th grade girls was to make them run lines until they were too tired to be annoying. I intend to use this strategy when my girls get to that age. In fact, my one and a half year old could stand to run some lines right now. She is upstairs screaming “out!” because she has decided sleep is optional.

Back to volleyball camps… After driving back from a camp in Idaho, I dropped my coaching partner off in Salt Lake and headed south to Orem, about a 45 minute drive. I was exhausted and it was a brutally hot day and I was fighting to stay awake. I hadn’t been that tired the rest of the drive, but the fatigue hit me about 10 minutes from home. Ten minutes from pulling into my driveway and I reached that mode where I was pretty sure driving with only one eye shut would be smart, “Only half of me is sleeping!” or the even better, “Let’s see, the road is pretty straight, if I just close my eyes for 5 seconds…”

I was so tired that I had to pull over. I was driving down State Street in Orem, just a few blocks left to go and I couldn’t do it! Pathetically, I could not drive another second. I pulled over behind a Radio Shack, parked, and set my watch to wake me in ten minutes. I closed my eyes and was instantly asleep.

When my watch alarm went off I just heard a crazy beeping noise, a horn maybe? and woke up sitting in the driver’s seat of my car with my hands on the steering wheel looking at a brick wall. I yelled, stomped on the brakes, and I hate to admit this, but I HONKED the horn. I honked the horn at a brick wall. “Get out of my way brick wall that has somehow appeared in the middle of the road! Get out of my way! How did this wall get in the middle of the road!? This is really poor urban planning! If I survive I am going to write to the Mayor!” I managed to stop just inches from the wall. Nice driving Josh! When I was awake enough to know what just happened and my heart had stopped pounding I drove off before anyone came to investigate the random horn blast.

I would be embarrassed to tell the story except that, seriously, that was a pretty mellow reaction for having a giant brick wall appear in front of your car.