How I Met an Olympian

Monday, August 30th, 2021

So, first off, if you’ve somehow missed it, I have been absolutely OBSESSED with beach volleyball since starting it in February of 2020. Given that I’m only 5’6 (which, for the record, is a perfectly average height in the regular world, but not so much in the volleyball world) I tend to gravitate towards players that are backcourt/defensive specialists, and who are super crafty on offense, aka shooters.

Sarah Sponcil is a US player who checks all these boxes, and who immediately captured my heart when I first watched her play. She and her partner, Kelly Claes, won back-to-back tournaments and bumped America’s beach volleyball sweetheart, Kerry Walsh Jennings, and her partner, Brooke Sweat, out of qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Team Claes went on to win their pool and then lost to Canada in round of 16, after a VERY controversial call.

Now that I’ve played sports commentator, let’s get to the point of this email: Yesterday I met Sarah Sponcil!

Holy quads, batman! I was just a little excited.

Reflecting back on yesterday afternoon’s events, it’s pretty cool to think of all the things that fell into place and allowed our paths to cross: I met one of my best friends, Jill, 30 minutes later than we planned because I had extra work to do. We stayed at her house talking for a bit before leaving on our bike ride, when usually we head out as soon as I get to her place. We always hang out on the South Redondo Beach jetty at some point during our rides, but had we hung out 5-10 minutes longer, or shorter, I likely wouldn’t have seen Sarah walk into the restaurant (we legit walked in at the same time). We usually eat in Redondo Beach, but Jill suggested this time we go to one of my favorite spots on the Hermosa Beach pier. That place was closed, so we decided to go across the pier to Palmilla, which is where I met Sarah. After waiting 30 minutes at the bar (I swear the host forgot about us) we got seated RIGHT BEHIND Sarah’s table.

This is where the happenstance ends, and the lesson begins:

ALL of those things somehow fell into place, and the Universe teed it up real nice, but the end result, the actual interaction, was up to me.

I’m not gonna lie, I was super hesitant to go and ask her for a picture, but Jill was all, “How do you feel when someone asks for a picture? You love that shit. Go ask.” She was 100% right.

I waited until Sarah and her two friends were done eating and had stood up to leave, and I took the two steps over to their table and said, “I’m totally gonna be that person and ask if you’ll take a picture with me. It’s 100% fine if you say no. Oh, and happy birthday!”

Sarah was sooooo nice, asked me my name, immediately said yes, and well, that’s how I got that picture up there.

For those wondering, she’s in town because the AVP Gold Series Manhattan Beach Open is here this upcoming weekend (you already know where I’ll be all weekend) and I’m stoked to be able to watch her play in person.

So, the moral of this story: Do the thing.

The Universe DOES conspire, and things will come together for you, but if you don’t take action, none of that will matter.

Alrighty, time to go start my day.

Join the family!