A volley Valentine’s Day

Courtesy USC athletics

Emily Young says that her Valentine has long been volleyball. She and her teammates enjoy a group hug.

Happy Valentine’s Day, all!

Single or taken, you can always count on your sport to be your Valentine’s Day date.

Volleyball and I have had a long relationship. We’ve been together for many years and we spend countless hours together. I devote a lot of myself to volleyball, to the point you can basically say that we are married.

Courtesy of Emily Young

Emily Young makes a heart in front of cupid.

My best Valentine’s date with volleyball happened in the eighth grade. At that time, I had just recently devoted more time to volleyball, but still didn’t know where that relationship could take me in life. I was a confused eighth grader, taller than all the boys, and thought Valentine’s really only mattered to the girls who had boyfriends.

That evening, we had volleyball practice, and it seemed to drag on slowly, as boyfriends waited patiently with flowers for the older girls’ practice to be over. When we finally finished practice, we shagged all the balls and brought them to the closet. There, our coach was standing with a rose and chocolate for each of us. It was the most sincere and thoughtful Valentine’s gift I have ever received.

From then on, I realized what an amazing Valentine volleyball can be. I am lucky to play a sport that I love, surrounded by great individuals who support and care for me. Thank you to my team, our fans, my coaches, and staff. I love you with all my heart.

So in honor of Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share this poem with you.

Valentine’s Day is not for lovers

Cupid’s arrow has not yet struck

This holiday is about sending out Valentines

And using some of love’s luck

And to you, on this Valentine’s Day

What greatness should I send?

What is the measure of gratitude

A Valentine for a dear friend

Neither chocolate, nor flowers, nor cards

Will express what you mean to me

I care about you with all the meanings

This poem is meant to be!