Our inter-department volleyball tournament just concluded last weekend. Our team did make it all the way to the finals but we lost an incredibly tight match 13-15 in the fifth and final set. You'd think we would have been heartbroken to lose a match like that, but strangely enough we weren't. I guess part of it was that our opponents were really good - they played extremely well on that day, and on paper they were the favorites, especially since they didn't lose any of their matches leading up to the finals. Part of it must also have been the fact that we were mentally ready. We were psychologically ready for any result, whether it be a victory or a defeat.
But most of all, we fought really hard and laid everything on the table. We kept errors to a minimum and really dug dip on every single point. We were missing one of our key players on that day due to very unfortunate circumstances but the team really did step up and make it difficult for our opponents. In the end, it wasn't quite enough, but we all really felt very proud of the effort we put in. There was no shame and no regret in the loss. And when we all had lunch together, everyone was recounting all the memorable spikes, digs, blocks, and serves that we played during the game, as well as the great plays of our opponents. This really was one of those moments were the loss actually felt like a win.
I ran for charity again last Sunday. Some folks at work organized a fun run for the benefit of the Road to 2020 program of Haribon. There were about 15 volunteers, and the plan was that we would run around the UP academic oval and get people to pledge either a fixed amount or a variable amount that depended on the number of laps we covered. I committed to run 5 laps (11 kilometers). I hadn't run since my marathon last August, so I decided to do one training run on Wednesday. I guess maybe all the volleyball games and practices in August and September kept me fairly fit since I manage to run 5k in 30 minutes during my training run. The fun run was supposed to start at 6am and since I had a vicious bite of insomnia the night before, I managed only 30 minutes of sleep. Despite that, I managed to run my goal of 11k in just under 70 minutes, which means I met my target.
Now that volleyball and running season is over, I plan to hit the gym and do weights. Gotta let my knees rest for a bit since I'm afraid I've put them through so much abuse over the last few months.
It's been a month since the conclusion of the US Open but I haven't really been able to blog about it yet. Unfortunately Nadal wasn't able to win his first US Open, losing to Andy Murray in the semifinals. But it did mean that he got two rounds further this year than he did last year. And since Federer had the same result this year as last year, it meant Nadal managed to increase his lead over Federer as the #1 player in the world.
Hopefully it will be enough for Rafa to keep the #1 ranking until the end of the year. It was quite unusual though to see Federer as the #2 seed and #2 player in the world. He did win his 13th Grand Slam title, and is now just one short of tying Pete Sampras' record. Although in my opinion, he doesn't really need to tie or break Sampras' record of Slam wins. He's done enough in his career to give him legend status. Definitely one of the greatest, if not the greatest, of all time.
The 2008-2009 football season started a couple of months ago, and so far it's been a really good couple of months for Liverpool. They haven't lost this season yet, whether in England or in Europe. And while they only drew against Stoke City and Aston Villa, they did beat Manchester United. They also up-ended Everton in the Merseyside derby last Saturday. Here's hoping Liverpool continue to win. I have seen them win practically everything except for the English Premier League, so hopefully they can do it this year.