never again

Last night Brent and I packed up baby girl and headed to a nearby small town to watch our high school teams in another basketball game. 

Torri [my "little sister"/best friend/student/one of the people I named my daughter after...] scored 30 points. 
Torri [#22]and me on far left after we won District Championship 

30 points is a substantial amount…but this 30 was unique because:

1. It was her highest scoring game thus far.
2. It means she beat my highest scored game by 3 points. 

Last year she tied my 27 point mark, but had a three or two in the mix and I told her she had to do like I did: without any three pointers. She accomplished that last night. 

I was texting back and forth with her last night, joking that I needed to create a certificate to make it all official, she joking back that I should so that in 17/18 years she can pass it on to Blythe when she breaks it. And there was a brief flash of a moment when I realized I will never have a shot at ever scoring more points in a basketball game. 

My basketball days are long gone. 

Obviously I have known this for awhile. I knew it when I went to college and played intramurals and it just wasn't the same as putting on that jersey. I knew it when I moved to Kentucky and played quick 8th grade students in the annual faculty/student basketball game. I knew it when I returned home for an alumni tournament and running up and down the court made me sore for two weeks. And I knew it when I was the assistant coach for the high school girls and tried to jump in and push some people around during practice. 

I will never again get to play in a real game of basketball. 
I will never again  be in that kind of shape. 
The small records I held will all be surpasses eventually if they haven't been already. 
I won't always be the third highest scorer at my alma mater. 

And that is all okay but…

It is kind of strange to look back and realize that all those hours upon hours I poured into becoming a better ball player are not only behind me, but not even applicable. Sure I learned more than just how to shoot at the top of a jump shot, but seriously? Boxing out is going to get me no where now [unless I wanted to put it to the test on Black Friday?]. 

The first ball game Brent ever saw me play was my senior year. I boxed out/body checked a girl into the mat under the basket. I don't know if impressed or terrified is the right word to describe that moment for him, but it was part of the initial attraction that kept growing: I was an athlete, and that was important to him. The feeling was mutual when I saw him play, as he leapt over other human beings. Would our attraction have been as strong without basketball as a common thread? 

My IDENTITY was basketball in high school. I longed for the season to begin again when it ended, waited for the first game with baited breath, and cried when it was all over each year. I played on as many as four summer league teams, lifted weights year round, shot hundred of thousands of driveway free throws…and now…now? 

I'm thankful I had basketball in high school. It gave me purpose. It taught me winning and losing gracefully. It taught me about healthy competition and how to respect talent in others, even when that talent meant your defeat. It taught me to reconcile that my faith and integrity was not compartmentalized, and should be evident on the court. It taught me that goals are attainable with hard work. It taught me teamwork. It taught me how important hydration is. And it taught me how important a healthy lifestyle is. 

It is a strange thing to think that something that consumed my everyday life is now non-exsistent, apart from attending ballgames. I guess I never thought about that when I was in high school. But then again, isn't that a huge part of high school? Being consumed by things that are MONUMENTAL and LIFE-CHANGING? To live in a reality that is as big as your school's student population? 

Regardless of my lack of basketball now, I'm thankful I had it then. And Brent and I still dream of getting a nice hoop to put up out back and relive the glory days. 

What about you? What was something you were PASSIONATE about in high school? Something you did EVERY SINGLE DAY that you rarely, if ever, even think about now? 


Anonymous said...

I had horses, still have horses, just no time for the little creatures anymore! I competed, lived, breathed horses. Who needs a boyfriend when you have a horse? I would jump 4 ft jumps, that now I would rather crawl under than try and jump. I would laugh if a horse I was on was bucking or acting up, now I jump off and try and live... maybe that is just some new common sense.

*carrie* said...

I enjoyed reading this post, Kelsey, because I played basketball in high school, too. The (major!) difference is that I was not very good. The most points I scored in a game was 13, and I was ecstatic.

However, the stuff you wrote at the end was very interesting to me because I was just--like an hour ago--reflecting on how few concerts I attend anymore. Eric and I went to one last night--perhaps the first in our married life?!--yet in my younger years, I went to concerts on a monthly basis. Music is very important to me, but I think it's taken somewhat of a backseat recently.

Whew, that was a book. Enjoy! =)

julia said...

This is funny timing, as just last night I put the kiddos to bed and went off to play intramural basketball at Central. I played on a staff team and us old ladies won the championship game! But oh dear, running up and down that court was seriously painful. It's fun to remember those 30 point games (game actually, i just had one of those), and even more fun to beat some college girls and believe (for a fleeting moment) that you still "got it."