Making Memories

Dec. 16, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)

Making Memories
By Stacy Sykora, three-time Olympian, 2008 Silver Medalist

Many people think that their “best season” or “best year” is the one that they win. Sometimes it is. I always tell people the truth. I have no idea where my Olympic Silver Medal is at the moment. I did just move and it is something I have dreamed of my entire life but it is not my fondest memory.

I always tell people that the Olympic Games are amazing. The Olympics are two weeks that cannot be described with words or captured on video. Indescribable. It is two weeks. The medal ceremony is 15 minutes.

I can say that when I tell stories, very few of them are from the Olympic Games. I truly believe that the memories I have of my volleyball career are the journeys to each Olympic Games. The four years of sweat, tears, smiles, growing, maturing, fighting, hugging, traveling, meeting people, defeat and triumph is where you can find all of my stories.

Winning is great. Cherish it. You work hard all day every day to be the victor. To be the champion. It happens and immediately becomes the past. What I am saying is that you can build friendships and change lives as your life is changing as well even if you lose. You will have teammates that you may never see again but your memories are still fresh as if they happened yesterday. Your best friend could live in a totally different country. You might find the love of your life after a game in France or Italy or wherever. This is what volleyball is all about to me.

Have your best season or best year, but take it all in. Make every single season and every single year your best one. Make memories.

You never know when the volleyball door will close. One day you will never play volleyball for a team again. You will have memories. You will only tell stories about the past. This is all I have now. Memories. I would not trade this for anything.