"This Is So Sick"

At work these last few weeks, I've been doing a lot for the U.S. Boys' Youth National Volleyball Team. Building bios, cropping and resizing mugshots into every size imaginable, putting together a press kit for their world championships in Tijuana...

Basically, it's been BYNT (almost) all day, (almost) every day. And eight hours in a cubicle is a really, really long time. It can get a little tedious, making sure all the formatting is correct, editing everything into oblivion, trying to get SiteCore to cooperate. And then I realize these boys are 17 or 18 years old and on a national team, and I'm 22 and what am I doing with my life? (Come on, twenty-somethings, you all know this crisis, amirite?)

For the last week, they've been living and training at the OTC. Let me tell you -- it's weird seeing these kids I've never met and thinking, "Oh, I know your face. And your name. And your birthday. And your favorite book... And you have literally no idea who I am." But it's been really cool seeing them as living, breathing, volleyball-playing people rather than just words and a photo on a computer screen. And if the laundry is any indication, they were also living in my building.

There was also a washer full of white jerseys. And another washer full of blue jerseys...
Since they were in town, my boss BJ and I went to their practice this morning to do some interviews in person. I was excited to get out of my cubicle and stretch my journalist muscles again, but I wasn't expecting too much. I mean, these are teenage boys we're talking about. The one that lives in my house communicates mostly in grunts and single syllables (love you, Nolan!).

So I sit down with the kid I'm profiling and... I'm actually blown away. He's friendly, and intelligent, and appreciative, and incredibly well-spoken, and has some real depth to his character. I was beyond impressed. I'm excited to write about him!

There's no high like the one you experience after a good interview, so I was walking with a bounce in my step after that wrapped up. I tweeted about it, tagging the USA Volleyball account, and it was retweeted.

A little bit later, I notice that one of the other boys from the team favorited my tweet. So I take a look at his page, and I see this:

That's a link to his bio on TeamUSA.org. The bio I built and formatted and published and worked (probably harder than necessary) to make sure was as close to perfect as possible.

This was one of those moments that make it all worth it, you know? Kind of funny that a teenager tweeting "this is so sick" would have that much significance, but it just reminded me why I like doing this.

Most people that get involved in sports want to work with the big-time athletes, the pros, the Olympians. And, yeah, I'm partially guilty of that myself. But athletes that play for money tend to be... well, you know. Even Olympians and college athletes, to an extent. They're used to being noticed.

As a college graduate it was sort of strange doing media stuff for boys that are barely out of high school. I mean, they're kids! But at the same time... they're kids. They've never been on Team USA before. This is all new to them, it's exciting, it's a big deal!

And I had something to do with it. The time it took me to make that bio translated into a really, really cool moment in that kid's life (and, hopefully, similar moments in eleven other kids' lives).

How awesome is that?

Good luck in Mexico, guys!

1 comment :

  1. "How awesome is that????" Beyond... :D

    And "what am I doing with my life?" I think you're doing it...