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What Can A Sport Give You Other Than Medals And Trophies?

I’ve been competing in sports my whole life; karate, basketball, track, and now beach volleyball.

What I have noticed is that I have chosen one of the hardest sports, both mentally and physically. From being in the hottest to the coldest weather, running and jumping around in the sand, sometimes uncontrollable windy weather, not being able to have a substitute to play for you if you’re messing up, your uniform being a bikini, and on and on.

Beach volleyball is definitely a challenge but if you choose it, you’ll also get to experience the most fun and rewarding sport ever! You get to play on amazing beaches and travel all over the world. In my advantage, my best friend is my teammate, so I get to have a blast not only competing with her, but also enjoying the whole experience of traveling, including jet lags, long waiting hours in airports, rooming together, etc.

Beach volleyball has helped me toughen up, not only for competition, but also for life. I’ve literally matured with this sport by my side, from age 14 to 23. And I’ve learned so much about myself during this time, like how tough I can really be in any given situation that life brings to me, or how much I enjoy feeling all those emotions that competition gives you, but most importantly, how to not give beach volleyball and my results all the importance in the world.

Recently, I had the opportunity to compete in a NORCECA tournament in Bonaire with my partner, Estefanie Bethancourt, and we were able to make history for my country, Guatemala, by beating Canada and winning a bronze medal. The excitement and happiness I felt that day are indescribable. It took us years to even be able to make it out of our groups and play semifinals, so you can imagine how rewarding it was for both.

However, after we won, I literally remember thinking: “Well, this was nice! Where’s the next tournament now?”

Don’t get me wrong, I definitely enjoyed the moment, but after you win or lose - that is already in the past! You have to keep competing, keep getting better, maintain yourself at the top, etc. And it’s for sure that not every tournament will be the same, tougher teams and different situations.

The one thing that you must remember after winning or losing is that you do your sport because you love to do it, it makes you happy and brings life to your days! It’s the motivation that keeps me going and makes me want to do and be better. Beach volleyball is my passion and I’ll keep doing it no matter the results because I enjoy it way too much, and it has made me who I am today.