I’ve been really itching to play basketball lately. So I bought a basketball.
This is Day 2 of me actually going to the park and playing. The first time, I met Alex and we shot around for a bit. He tried to cancel because it was “raining” but I was like, dude. It’s not raining. So then I was playing in the not rain, went up for a lay up, slipped on the wet court, fell hard onto my side and then hit my head on the court. THEN the ball that I shot fell back onto my stomach and knocked the wind out of me. It was really something. I wish Alex saw it but he was on the opposite side of the court. Even as I lay there in pain, thinking how I REALLY need to get some health insurance, I thought it was funny.
So here I am Day 2 at the park, by myself this time. It’s a beautiful, chilly day. I’m shooting the ball. Shooting pretty well, might I add. Kind of impressed with myself. Just a little bit. Some of GirlTalk has been talking about 16s lately so I decide to run one. (16- sprint from sideline to sideline 16 times.) In high school, we had to do it under a minute every time. I run it in 1:05. I wasn’t even trying that hard! I could totally run that again in under a minute. But not right now.
I shoot around a bit more, and two ladies approach the court. One watches as the other plays. I’m not watching her but I can tell that someone at the other end of court knows how to play basketball. I take a foul shot. If I miss this, I have to run a 16. Make it. Shoot some more. Hit the foul line again. Same consequence. I make it. God damn, I’m good.
Now the lady approaches me. “Hey, would you be interested in a very, very friendly game of 1-on-1, nothing serious.” She gestures to her friend. “She’s pregnant so she can’t play.” Uhhh. I feel like this is probably a terrible idea, but why would I say no? Notice she said very “very” friendly? Yea. That’s because she thinks I’m young and in shape and probably a good player and she wants me to take it easy. Ha. That’s funny.
Her friend yells over. “Do you wanna put on your high tops?” She does. She runs to the car to get them. Because she keeps basketball shoes in her car. Perfect. This is gonna be real, real good. She comes back. Her name is Monique. She’s 44, played in college, and has an alumni game coming up. Because she played in college.
I try to tell her that this is literally the second day I’ve even held a basketball in years, and I’m completely out of shape. She just laughs. Like I’m being modest or something.
We start. Of course I need to know what we’re playing to. Monique decides 13. Sure. She scores. Then I score. 1-1. By point 3, I start thinking, who plays to 13? Where did you pick that number from? There is no way I’m making it to 13. It’s 3-1 and I can’t breathe. I can also feel all the muscles tightening up. But mostly I can’t breathe.
I score once more and Monique tells me it’s a 2-pointer. Sure it is. At 7-3 I have to say it. Can we just play to 10? She was definitely not expecting that. She laughs. Sure. So now I’m like, OK, three more points to just not fall over and die. She beats me 10-3. Obviously. If we played to 13 it would have been 13-3.
I’m still catching my breath when she asks if I’m up for another round.
No. I am not up for another round. Are you crazy? I’m done. I’m done for the rest of the day. Dead. But thanks. We exchange numbers and she lets me know that there are pick up games in Venice on Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings and I should come. (Actually, she invited me before our awesome game of 1-on-1 so she might be changing her mind.)
I go sit in the corner to stretch and nurse my ego. Remember how this day started? I was like, really good at basketball and I could run a 16 in 1:05.
You’re an idiot. Go get in shape or something.