Meet Geena Urango, our ambassador, and this week's guest blogger. Geena is pro-beach volleyball player and shares her experience of joining AVP and how far she's come along this season.
Ten years ago I signed up for my first AVP (Association of Volleyball Professionals) Pro Beach Volleyball event. I was only 15 years old, and I didn’t quite know what I was getting myself into. All I knew was players like Misty May and Karch Kiraly were playing on the tour, and I wanted to be just like them.
It was a hot summer day in August 2004 as my partner and I walked down to the Manhattan Beach Open event. We had to play in the qualifier, as neither of us had ever played in a professional event before and didn’t have any points. In order to make it to the main draw of the event, you had to win 3 matches that day. My partner and I were so excited to be playing that it didn’t hit us until after our match how badly we had just lost. The qualifier was single elimination, so we were eliminated in the first round with our butts basically handed to us on a silver platter. I guess that’s when the saying, “You got to pay your dues” comes in handy.
Fast-forward 10 years to this past summer at the AVP Manhattan Beach Open event. After battling through qualifiers earlier in the season, my partner and I had enough points to automatically be in the main draw. It was the first time either of us didn’t have to qualify. We fought hard and after playing 6 matches in 2 days, our tournament came to an end with a 7th place finish.
Heading home that evening, I couldn’t help but reflect on how far I had come in the past 10 years. Finishing 7th, a personal best, at the Wimbledon of beach volleyball events left me feeling pretty proud, and hungry for more. As a professional athlete, you can’t help but think about your next goals. Even though season isn’t for another 7-8 months, I’m already working hard this offseason to get better, stronger and maintain a healthy lifestyle. DripDrop is helping me do that by always keeping me hydrated and ready for my next workout or practice.
It’s very special to me to be apart of something bigger than myself: the sport of beach volleyball and DripDrop.