In the past few days I have been reflecting on the past year, and why I believe volleyball peeps, this ever widening support group of players, coaches and fans, are the best. After happening into the National Team on twitter thanks to the caring and compassion of Alisha Glass, Christa Harmotto, Cassidy Lichtman, and the rest of the team, Ellen twitter "Coached" with Karch.(The Canyon, The Other Side of The Canyon, here on this blog)
Jam the Gym came and went, but we kept in touch with our new friends through their personal blogs, and USA Volleyball's website. We stayed up late and got up early to watch matches in both Serbia and Japan.
During this time, with the use of @JamtheGym's twitter account I have followed, and gained the following of many more in the international volleyball community. I find their lives so interesting and their "stories of the road" so compelling. Twitter has become this incredible tool for reaching out and learning, and I think that's its best purpose. Social media, for all it's problems and failures is making what used to be "big ol' world" much smaller.
In the past few days two of my favorite "follows" have unified many of the personal blogs of not only international volleyball players, but American athletes playing professional sports all over the world. Rachael Adams (@RADAMSS) and Geena Urango (@urango) have created a very interesting blog called Athletes Abroad(@AthletesAbroad1 on twitter) The subjects covered are vast and divergent, but center on life as American's in foreign countries. Helpful tips on travel, food and beverage, and culture are witnessed from the eyes of American athletes. They even gave me the chance to ask Ten Questions, and had US National Team middle hitter Max Holt answer them!(http://athletesabroad.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/max-holt-questions-for-a-pro-athlete/)
You might ask why I believe this to be so important. Our country is represented in the world community in so many ways, and by so many people, and not many of them are good. We cannot depend on television, politicians, and news media to shape the world's perception of us. These kids are on the front lines, playing sports, interacting in the world as Americans. They are a more accurate representation of America and Americans that anything else. It would be a mistake for us not to learn along with them. For this reason take the time to follow along with their exploits at http://athletesabroad.wordpress.com/