I Survived Volleyball Night...Now It's Time For A Drink

When we moved to Connecticut over four years ago, I knew I needed to find a physical activity to do. It had been a LONG time since I had really broken a sweat aside from going for walks or hikes in a park, or eating jalapenos in the summer sun. Taking care of the kids and studying for wine school took up most of my waking hours for several years, and when I was done with that for the day, I wanted to do nothing.

Yeah, that's not good...

I used to play basketball. A lot of basketball, and over the years I just didn't like how my back, knees, and ankles felt when I was through. So when I looked in our town's Parks & Rec brochure, I said, "Oh...they do volleyball here. Let's give this a shot."

I showed up the first day, and when I watched people warming up I muttered, "What the #$%! am I doing here?" Fortunately, I stuck with it. To this day, returning a serve is still a coin flip proposition, but I did improve my setting, spiking, and blocking. People who had been doing this much longer than I have coached me up on my technique, too, and I was (and still am) happy to take the advice. As a result of venturing out of my comfort zone, I not only became a believable enough player, but I also met some awesome people who became friends.

And while the theme of this blog is to encourage you to step out of your comfort zone with your adult beverage purchases, I actually tend to stay rigid when I am looking for a post-game drink. Most nights I immediately head directly to the showers and bed. However, on the nights I choose to meet up with the crew at the bar or watch a game at home, I need something restorative after chasing down a free ball to the corner, absorbing punishing kills, or diving after a short tap over the net. I essentially play steel cage volleyball, so my body is always in need of repair.

That's me on the left back in August; I almost look like someone who can play volleyball! Soon enough, we'll be playing on the beach again. Hopefully, my friends don't mind their likenesses being used for my benefit.

That's me on the left back in August; I almost look like someone who can play volleyball! Soon enough, we'll be playing on the beach again. Hopefully, my friends don't mind their likenesses being used for my benefit.

Whether you are into running, cross-fit, weight training, or just going for a stroll, I'm sure you like to reward yourself for getting the blood flowing with a satisfying drink. Now, I will say this: I am no fitness expert, but I do find it important to re-hydrate with water or your electrolytic drink of choice. Directly replacing all those lost fluids and nutrients with booze will lead to feeling like garbage the next day. For a non-alcoholic drinkable meal, a smoothie made up of some proportion of frozen fruit, yogurt, banana, fruit nectar, and greens (maybe even a scoop of protein powder) does wonders for keeping you going. When I am in for the night, it's leftover pasta or a sandwich of some kind. Even when I go to the bar after playing, wings or pulled pork is a must for me.

So after proper refueling, here's what I typically reach for after my body has splattered itself on the court for two hours on a Tuesday night.


Abita Turbodog ($9/6-pack): Yes, a beer has made it into a post! This is a full-bodied brown ale that has all of the "brown" flavors going on: caramel, toffee, roasted nuts, and chocolate. It's a very good brew to have on-hand in the winter months. If I have zero inventory, well...I go for a Guinness Draught or Boddington's Pub Ale.

Two Roads Worker's Comp Farmhouse Ale ($10/6-pack): More beer! If I need something lighter but still loaded with flavor, I love a good Saison/Farmhouse Ale, a wild yeasty style that is traditionally made in winter to be sold in the summer. This Connecticut brewery's example is packed with tropical fruits and spices. I will happily knock this back year-round, along with Maine's  Allagash Saison (pictured, about $10/4-pack).

Whisk(e)y (any price point): On nights where I have exerted myself more than I expected to, or if the games are particularly intense, whiskey is in order. Bourbon, Scotch, whatever. As I write this, I am enjoying the Sons of Liberty Battle Cry Rhode Island Single Malt American Whiskey ($44). This is actually a distilled Belgian-style ale, which results in what tastes like breakfast: a bowl of oatmeal with almonds and baking spices. They also make the Uprising American Whiskey, made from a distilled stout beer for a few bucks more.

You have something you like to enjoy after a workout? Share it with me below!