Friday, March 2, 2012

a typical thursday.

Every Thursday, I hop in my Nissan and head to Leblond for some hard core ballin'. That's right, I put my knee pads on and "bump, set, spike it" for a solid hour with my lady friends. I use the term "lady" because the median age of our team (and the rest of the league) is right around 45. I use the term "friends" because I have their numbers stored in my phone and just recently joined their monthly book club. Last month was Born for Love and this month's will be Kabul Beauty School: An American Women Goes Behind the Veil. I'm stoked.

The extra-curric thing all started when a team from my regular Monday league needed a sub. We clicked immediately and I was asked to officially join the squad right after I finished drilling a ball down some knee-braced lady's throat. Unfortunately, she got me back with a cheap-shot tip that just barely made it over the tips of my fingers that very next play. So. Dirty. 

So now it's just me, Kathi, Tracy, Lindsay, Rosemary and Wags that make up The Boomers. I'm the youngest (28 - obvs), Wags is the oldest (mid-60s) and the rest kind of fall in between. We're currently battling for second place in the league but the competition has been STIFF (no pun intended). 

the facilities

Last night, we played against the third place team that's been hot on our heels since the season started. At first, the sea of mom haircuts and Hilton Head vacation t-shirts didn't have me concerned. The turtle knee pads and Asics GEL Walkers? Didn't stand a chance. I took one look at the lady with the "Mom" embroidered t-shirt and couldn't wait to send her packing on home. But then, just as I was confident this game was in the bag, in walked Kim and Squeaky. Wins were not going to come as easily as I'd originally thought. In fact, we ended up 1-2 for the game. DAMNIT.

What I like most about this league is it reminds me not to judge a book by its cover. Sure, Squeaky got her name because she likes to make weird sounds when she serves (think: "weeee" and "cha-ching") not because of her squeaky clean performance. And yes, most of the ladies wear their knee pads for show more than protection from diving for balls. But some how, some way, these ladies are still able to place their serves, scoop up tips and deliver a hit almost as hard as I used to retrieve in high school. In fact, one of the hardest hitters I've come across in the league has short gray hair with winged sides that never move and wears jean shorts to every game. That lady. I get me all riled up just thinking about her. 

You see, I'm what they call a fierce competitor. For those that know me, I love to win, HATE to lose, give every game 110% and have absolutely no qualms about getting a grandma to eat the court. My 5'2" body walks onto the court thinking it's 7' tall and made of solid steel. I fly around and dive for balls like I'm playing for some championship title belt. I swear, I'm like a chihuahua with a Napoleon complex out there. One sudden move and I will chomp down on your ankle.

the #1 team (for now)

At the same time I can't resist goofing off with Wags, filling the gals in on my next vacation plans or cracking jokes that I think are hilarious (key word: I). Without question, Wags comes late because she got caught up running errands, Tracy got a hold of some sort of caffeine that makes her anxious, Rose and Kathi give us a synopsis on how we can win and Lindsay or I completely whiff on a perfectly set ball because we wanted to crush it so badly. I leave slightly winded, dripping in sweat and completely red-faced. It's a great way to take out your bad day or your end-of-the-week frustration on someone(s) that willingly chose to be on the receiving end and I thank my friend, Kit, for taking the time to see what her local rec center had available to her.

NOTE: Our Monday team plays with a similar group of ladies at the Pleasant Ridge Rec Center. Equally as old. Equally as tough to beat. Go Team USA!

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