John Preston, president, Massage Envy of Southwest Florida
TWO OR THREE TIMES a week, John Preston can be found on the sand playing volleyball, whether it’s in league competition or a pick-up game. And he has his sister, Natalie Navales,to thank for that.
About eight years ago, she and her husband, Carl Navales, needed a sub on their squad for a match in their hometown of St. Louis, and they convinced Preston to step in. “I’d never played volleyball of any sort,” says Preston, 31, president of Massage Envy, Southwest Florida. “They dragged me along.” That one experience got him hooked. “I actually had fun andjoined their team the next season,” he says.
When Preston moved to Southwest Florida in 2012, he went to the beach and saw a game going on, so he walked up and asked if he could play. He was invited on the court by a woman who, unbeknownst to him, ran the Fort Myers Beach volleyball league. Not only did he get to play in that game, it led him to many more as time went by. “That [first game] was how I started to get to know the people I know down here,” he says.
Preston now plays everywhere from downtown Fort Myersto Estero Community Park to out-of-town events on both coasts of the state. During the Olympics, he spent time in front of the TV, catching some true masters of the game. “It was really exciting to watch that,” he says.