I wrote a lot this year. Some of the things I wrote were ok. Some weren’t so ok. Some were personal, others were on, well, others. Some were deep, some funny (or I thought they were funny, at least). Some were on volleyball, others on family. Some were on my hometown, others on Yosemite, my new favorite place in the world.

Anyway, whether the stories I wrote were any good or not, I enjoyed writing them, and I’ve plucked my 10 favorite stories I wrote this year. Thanks, as always, for reading.

I’ve never felt so happy, so alive, to be in so much pain

After nearly four years of trying, I alas qualified for the AVP Tour, at the first stop of the season, in Austin. And it was in Austin where I truly found my “why” in the sport of beach volleyball.

Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy: Recapping the 2018 season.

A recap of my first real season on the AVP Tour, in which I enjoyed some success, failed a whole lot, got up, failed some more — and learned that there’s a lot more to life, and a beach volleyball season, than beach volleyball.

Finding your bliss on the other side of fear

My first trip outside of the country was as terrifying as it was thrilling. While Ben Vaught and I came home with an unexpected silver medal, I came home with much, much more.

When mountains fall: Remembering my grandfather

My grandfather passed away not too long ago. I did my best — and undoubtedly fell short — to capture the greatest man I’ve ever known.

The wonderful misery of chasing dreams

Chasing dreams, like this beach volleyball-writing-podcasting one I’m after, is at once exhilarating and emotionally debilitating. A look at the emotional roller coaster that it is to take a chance on yourself — and then to do it again, and again, and again.

Losing an old friend, turning to the only thing that matters: love

I’ll always remember where I was when I got the call from my best friend, Jason Wheatley, and he told me that our old high school buddy, and my former teammate in golf and baseball, had committed suicide. It was a lot to wrestle with, and something that helped me whittle down the one thing we truly need in this life: love.

Every beach volleyball player just made my parents’ weekend in New York

This tournament was a display of everything I love about beach volleyball, where my parents walked to the site with Reid Priddy and Jeremy Casebeer, and then back to the hotel with Phil Dalhausser, where Olympians like Casey Patterson treated them like his own parents and Eric Zaun nearly convinced them to join him in New Jersey.

Welcome back, Tri Bourne

I can’t wait for the 30 for 30 to come out on my boy and podcast host, Tri Bourne. For now, this feature on him will have to do, when he made his comeback at the Manhattan Beach Open.

How you do the small things is how you do everything

Losing sucks. And losing in the Huntington Beach qualifier this year after leading 12-10 in the third set was no different. Find the lessons. Use them. Learn from them. Then go qualify in Austin.

Alix Klineman just keeps on winning

There’s a reason Alix Klineman has enjoyed immense success on every level, in every field she’s pursued. This feature on the A-Team blocker helps explain why.