Wednesday, April 4, 2012

20 Year Old Encouragement

This week I received some encouragement.  20 year old encouragement.  No, not encouragement FOR the 20 year old...I'm talking about encouragement FROM 20 years ago.  Twenty years ago.

Rick was in the basement going through a trunk full of stuff from high school. First, may I just say, I wrote many a love letter back in the day.  Oh, and they were folded super cool too.  Do you remember all of those rad folding styles? Do you remember?  It's quite possible I am dating myself here.....I digress.

In the trunk was a letter.  A letter from my volleyball coach during my Junior year of high school. The crazy part about this letter is that Ellyn was obviously speaking about volleyball.  She was speaking about me and where I was at 20 years ago.  Incredibly, I read this letter and realized that not only have I not changed much in the last 20 years, but the encouragement and motivation that Ellyn was giving me 20 years ago, I can still apply to my life today.


First, I'd like to say how much I appreciate your constant and continued humor. Yes, there were times when we (coaches) were too serious, and your smile lightened things up.  On the other side, I recognize your hard work and willingness to work hard.  Sometimes we needed more of that also.

Jeni, you have a good attitude on and off the court.  This will make players want to be around you.  Use this power to make yourself and your team better.  Don't be afraid of being pushed to a level of uncomfortableness.  Your skills should and will improve if those who push you see you want to improve. I feel you do have a desire to strive for greatness.  Take a risk Jeni, and you will surprise yourself.

I am proud of your growth this season and of the continued contributions you've demonstrated.  Good job Jolley.

Work hard and take a chance.


What a great message!  I am certain that I did not appreciate this message then like I do now.  What a cool thing to have surface twenty years after it was written and received.  Needless to say, the letter did not go back into the trunk, but instead sits in my nightstand where I will be able to remind myself more often:

  • No amount of humor will take the place of hard work.  Balance hard work with humor and you will succeed.
  • A good attitude will make others want to be around you, and will make you a better person.
  • Embrace being challenged.  Take risks.


And for those of you who are still feeling distracted:

Yes, I rocked those buns.
Yes, I was a Junior in high school 20 years ago.  
Yes, my maiden name was Jolley.  
Yes, I am proud of all of these facts.  :)


  1. haha i loved this because I played volleyball in high school too but I was a dude and I didn't rock those buns...I don't THINK I did, anyway. And OH CRAP, I was a junior in high school 30 FLIPPIN' YEARS AGO!!!! Stop the insanity.

  2. I love this!! I never played volleyball, so you've upped your coolness factor in my book.

    And Ellyn was right on, girl!


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