The nearest girls’ bathroom to the Central Junior High gym was up the bleachers, through the doors, and down the hall. It may be the fastest I have ever run.
Nothing prepares you for the first basketball practice of the season. Or perhaps I should say, I hadn’t prepared. The windowless, airless box that contained our hoop dreams, soon brought us to exhaustion. We ran “crushers” on the wooden floor. Up and down, touching each painted line. Sweat dripping pink down my t-shirt, head spinning, stomach churning, I willed my rubber legs to make one more run up the bleachers to greet the porcelain face first. Layed on the tiled floor and convinced myself to go back to the gym. To keep running. Because, oh, how I wanted to play!
It always got easier.Yesterday, I put on my almost golden gloves. The color is slowly disappearing, but they fit my hands perfectly. I dig through the wood pile in hopes of finding enough similar wood to make a frame. I measure. Look for the flaws I will have to work around. And begin sanding. And sanding. Covered in dust and desperation, I stop to search the internet for frames. Scrolling through sites, French and English. Then I return to the garage and sand some more. I fill the old nail holes with putty. While drying, I think, I could just order something, so I scroll again. The next day I return to the waiting wood. And sand some more. I make the cuts. Look for the wood glue. We have none. I scroll some more. It would be so easy to give up. I buy the glue and my husband and I try to figure out once again how to put on the squaring straps. I nail on the back brace. Find the drill. The bit. The screws. The bit breaks after three corners. I find another bit. Another screw. And it is strong.
Today I’ll have to start sanding again. But I feel stronger. More confident. It always gets easier. This is not to say my legs won’t turn to rubber again today, but I will catch my breath, and keep running. My season begins again. Right here. Right now. Oh, how I want to play!