Thursday, November 6, 2014
Gridiron and Tutus
Welcome to Writer's Workshop, a weekly collection of posts by very creative bloggers who are inspired by prompts offered by Mama Kat. This week I was drawn to the prompt of "football." I used to be a die-hard Rams fan when they were in Los Angeles. However, when they moved...and I moved...ironically to the same new city...my interest wained and I found other outlets to replace the over-priced tickets, parking, snacks....etc.! I found that my kids loved sports and I could enjoy a good soccer or football game from the comfort of my beach chairs and blanket!
I was elated when my boys showed an interest in playing football. I grew up watching my brothers play and watching games on TV with my dad. I even dreamed of playing myself, but it was unheard of girls playing football back in the 60's! I still loved the game, just not the dog-and-pony show that it had become. My boys played through middle and high school, and that was enough for me. I knew that at some point, it would end...I thought.
It was then that Edwina, my middle schooler at the time, expressed an interest in playing football. She had played soccer, basketball, volleyball and took dance classes. The Mister and I talked it over and agreed to let her give it a try, but she had to agree to finish the whole season, even if she hated it! She was so excited, I thought she would jump out of her skin. We found a local football organization that had never had a girl play, but that had nothing in their charter that prohibited girls from playing. They let her register. I don't know who was more excited...Edwina or mom! I couldn't wait to watch another child of mine play the game!
The practices were grueling but she hung in there for all of them. The majority of her teammates treated her as an equal, although there were a few that just couldn't accept that there was a "girl" on their team! She was just as strong as any of the boys, but her conditioning was not on the same level. She never let them see her sweat and she never complained of pain!
The day of her first game arrived. It was August...hot and muggy! After the second play, she realized just how out of condition she was and asked the coach to take her out of the game!!! The coach made her stay in and told her never to make that request again! As the season progressed, Edwina gained the confidence, the strength and the determination of a true football player and could stand toe to toe with anyone...in her division! She became quick and agile, and even sacked a few quarterbacks.
Edwina understood the plays and strategies of the game and when asked questions by the coaches she was the first to get that hand up in the air. She could talk football with anyone (except her girlfriends...they just didn't understand...but they loved to come to her games and check out the "boy" players!) She managed to get through two seasons with no major injuries, just bumps and bruises. I was called into the school nurse's office to explain some of those "bumps and bruises."
By the time Ed reached high school, the boys on her team had grown into much larger players than when she first played with them. Her 5'3" stature, along with her lack of really, really large muscle mass, helped with the decision to not play another year. She legally could have joined the team, but my head and heart felt that she would either get hurt while playing, or get frustrated sitting on the bench. Thank God for Field Hockey!
Ed will always have those memories, and so will I! In a way, I finally got to experience playing the game through her. She taught me that sometimes dreams can come true if we are willing to work hard and be prepared for the best.
Thanks for stopping by today. Please drop by Mama Kat's Writers Workshop and enjoy the stories of other inspiring bloggers!