Noon saw the start of the company picnic at a park and forest preserve near our office building. Food was had, drink was had, and I played two games of volleyball on the bee-infested sand court with a group of my coworkers. I did a lot of diving, sucked when it came my turn to serve and actually managed to not suck too badly at the rest of the game. I'm thrilled, because it's been about 8 years since I've played a seriously competitive game of volleyball and gotten this deep into the game and had this much fun with it. I clearly was rusty because most of my blocks failed and I just couldn't set the ball up nearly as well as I used to. If ever there was a sign that I need to get together with a group of folks to get some exercise, this was it (It probably didn't help that I went from eating two courses of food to rigorous physical exertion, either. I was left hurting for the last half of the final match; my stomach was giving me the signal it wasn't going to take this abuse much longer). I also skinned up my left knee really well on one of the dives -- I have a patch the size of a silver dollar or bigger that's just nothing but raw, oozing meat (damn these shorts). My legs ache and I am covered from head to foot in sand and sweat, but I had an awesome time playing and in a way I wish that it had lasted longer. The game was competitive, sure, but it was friendly and everyone was primarily focused on having fun. We also had several people who either get a lot more practice than I do (which isn't saying much) or are actually on volleyball leagues, which helped make the game interesting because it wasn't just a bunch of uncoordinated computer geeks (of which I rank a member) stumbling around and making vague hitting motions at the ball.
I think this has to be one of the more memorable company outings for me. What will certainly stick with me was when we got back to the concessions tent and I filled a paper cup with ice water from the tub that was holding the sodas, and then upended it over my head. I don't think I've ever felt water that cold in my life that felt that good at the same time. It also tasted fabulous when I finally got around to drinking it! All told I'm really pleased that coworker Randy was able to coerce me to jump into the game with him -- the workout was rigorous and the adrenaline rush wonderful. Truly that is a couple of memories I want to keep about tenure with this employer.
Ultimately my clique of coworkers left the park fifteen minutes before the festivities were scheduled to wrap up because our mail server decided to flake out and demand our attention. I guess it was feeling lonely and neglected what with all 450 of the home office employees three miles away at the park. The fact that we left early was okay by me because I was pretty exhausted. I just wish we had reached consensus on rebooting the stupid beast (what a waste of a 327 day up time!) sooner so that I could have gotten out of the office and on the road before rush hour really got rolling.
So now I'm home, and waiting for my girl to show up so I can jump into the shower without worrying that she's going to be locked out of the building and furiously ringing the buzzer while I'm in the shower lathering up.
Hold me so close that I feel your heartbeat