I won London's Fran Wigston award for basketball...in 1988.
More recently I joined a women's basketball league through Toronto Sport and Social Club. It has been six years since I last played basketball and two years since my fourth baby's birth. I was cautiously optimistic I could get back into playing shape.
The gym was similar to hundreds I had been in before and I soaked up the familiar feeling. As I met my team-mates, they seemed relatively friendly and fairly athletic...and at least a decade younger than me. We were a team of individuals meeting for the first time, playing a team that had been together for years.
There were four benches in the single gym, two per side. I stretched a bit and warmed up with the basketball, noticing how high the net seemed. I brought two bottles of water for hydration. I chose my husband's lucky number 32 for my jersey.
When I first got on in the game I felt rusty. I missed an easy layup and fell over when I was trying to pick someone. The gal I was guarding had to remind me which way I was going more than once. I sat down, exhausted, and drained the first bottle. The next time out I actually scored a basket and despite my significantly deteriorated abilities found between gasps that I was enjoying myself. Although at one point we were within four points of the more seasoned squad, we lost.
The only five spectators in the gym watching the 20 gals play were my husband and our children. The kids were excited to watch mommy play basketball. My little one kept repeating the mantra "mommy, mommy, mommy" throughout the entire game. My team-mates were a little embarrassed for me...but I was thrilled our family was there.
I woke up feeling sore in so many places...and darned and determined to practice so I can do better next week.