"Plans"

Hi friends,

Thank you for all of the love and support you have given me, consciously or not, in the past two years since the start of my professional volleyball career. Whether you have been following along with me throughout my whole career, amateur and professional, or have recently found my sporting or otherwise exploits interesting, I want to tell you how grateful I am that I have provided some joy for you all in watching me do what I do. 

For those of you left wondering and waiting until Perugia made their announcement not only that they’d be signing my buddy-ole-pal Jonah as the second setter, but also that I’d be staying in the U.S. this Fall… it’s true. I have decided that I will not be returning to play overseas in the Fall. Instead, I will be returning home to Stanford to finish what I started. What I dreamed of having and what my family supported me towards for so long. My undergraduate degree. Following my senior season as a Cardinal, I rode the wave of success rolling into the national team gym and decided to forgo my spring quarter in order to fight for a spot on the 2016 Olympic roster. Now, obviously I didn’t achieve that goal but I still wouldn’t trade that choice for the alternative if I had a do-over because it’s led me to being here, now. So that leaves me with a quarter’s worth of school experience left to be had, and I intend on making that happen in the Fall of ’18. In case you were interested or wondering, I am a Science, Technology and Society major! Ask me what that means! (still don't have a good answer for you)

Where that brings me to next? I have ideas. But I’m not necessarily committed to any of them. Life is too short to plan it all out and live in reacting to the chaos that inevitably unfolds in response to those plans. I’ve told those closest to me with a glint in my eye that this is the first time in my life that I’m not really sure of what I’m going to do next. That glint, I think, can be explained by the newfound love I’ve found for stepping into what I recognize as fear. It’s true that there really is nothing on the other side of fear.

With this all said, I am still 100% committed to being a contributor on the on the National Team. Truthfully, I’ve never been healthier mentally or physically, or more capable of contributing, in my 5 summers with this team. I’m still learning and working my way up the depth chart, though. This can be a tough process, but I still enjoy it all and find wonder in the everyday as a professional volleyball player. Yet and still, there are never any guarantees in a place that is this competitive and filled with high stakes. Any opportunity I am afforded in Anaheim I will always be grateful for, which is why I’ll be working hard on the court and in the weight room from September to December, staying focused on my goal of being one of the 12 who travel to Tokyo in the Summer of 2020. 

At this point, I could tell you all of my positive and negative thoughts on how my perspective on playing overseas has changed in the past two years, and what it has meant in making this decision. I could go into everything that made this decision an easy one, a hard one, one that I went back and forth on, and then one felt so firmly in my heart. I could, but I won’t now. That’ll come later on down the line.

For now, I want to say thank you to you, for staying by me and being a fan, a friend, a loving member of my family, or whoever you may be. We would all be little without the strength of the village. I'd love to hear from you if you're in California and I haven't seen you in a while, too!

Peace, love, and gratitude,

James