Sand in My Suit

A local volleyball player gets into the spirit of giving.

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    Katrina Zawojski

I don’t own a business suit, but I do own a bathing suit. Actually, several bathing suits. They are an essential part of my work: beach volleyball. I’m growing increasingly sure of the fact that most of us can’t call this sport our “career,” if career is defined by that thing you do that pays the bills … yet we choose it as our line of work anyway. It is a sporadic, unpredictable, frustrating, physically and emotionally demanding way to live. It is also a social, beautiful, healthy, blessed one. 

This past summer was my first season out here on the West Coast, training and competing against the very best. By the numbers, I had one Brazilian coach, competed on six beaches and had six different volleyball partners. Some lasted months while others lasted a few days and a single tournament. I constantly feel like I am submerged in two dating worlds: the “girl meets boy” scenario and the “girl meets partner” scenario. Same game, different rules. Or is it the other way around? I don’t know—I’m still learning.

I don’t have a car here, so my escapades stay west of PCH for the most part. What this has done is given me a great sense of community, something that my personality and well-being thrives on. I don’t just run into my neighbors and local business people at the corner coffee shop; I run into them on the ocean while drifting from pier to pier on my stand-up paddleboard. Moving to the South Bay has definitely changed how I live, learn and listen—for the better. It takes time to notice those people among us whose commitment to the beach lifestyle runs deeper than a Billabong trucker hat, and those people inspire me to write. I’d like to share my stories with you.

As this issue is centered around giving, I took some time to think why I have met so many generous, unselfish and modest people here. To exist in a happy, grateful state of being requires that one consider their life to possess wealth—measured not by what money can buy but by what money can’t buy. People who consider themselves wealthy are more inclined to share their knowledge and gifts with others. 

How many times have you felt truly blessed to call yourself a South Bay resident? How quickly a smile from cheek to cheek turns into an exchange from individual to individual. Get in the spirit of giving by participating in one (or all!) of these three great local charity events: 

RockIt Pilates Holiday Toy Drive 

Drop off a toy & receive a free workout!

RockIt Body Pilates’ Holiday Toy/Gift Drive benefits the Good Shepard Shelter, a non-profit organization that houses women and their children who are victims of domestic violence. December 17.

Surf Rider Foundation Clean Up

Surfrider Foundation is sponsoring a Year End Beach Cleanup/BBQ party at Dockweiler Beach on Saturday, December 3 from 1 to 5 p.m. To RSVP, visit