Every one has had those crazy moments that when you look back you think "How embarrassing!" Well thanks to my mom I had one of those mixed with fear and anxiety. It was when I was in third grade and I wanted to be in a basketball team just like my brother Alex. Since the basketball team at my elementary school was just for sixth graders, my mom wanted to surprise me by putting me in a city team. And boy did she surprise me!
You see, she did put me in a basketball team with kids my age, but there weren't any other girls in the team. My mom had put me in an ALL BOYS basketball team! She said that all the girls' teams were full but that that was not going to stop me from playing basketball. So she took it upon herself to talk to the guys' coach about me being part of their team. And that moment, when he accepted, was when my days of torture began.
I remember that first day of practice, I was so nervous. My heart was beating like it had never done before and I felt weird butterflies in my stomach. When I went to the first practice, the boys thought that I was just going to go watch my brother. And when the coach told me to get in the game they were all confused and not very accepting. They didn't want a girl on the team and wouldn't pass me the ball, now that I am older I understand them because I wasn't that good, but at that moment I just felt more self conscious. I remember running back and forth between the courts hoping they would pass me the ball, but that never happened. And because they weren't including me, the coach had a talk with the boys. He made them understand that I was a part of the team, and that they had to be nice to me and pass me the ball if I was open. And luckily they did get it. They would pass me the ball and give me tips on how to shoot better. I remember that when we would play against each other they even started fighting for me to be on their teams, I mean it was just because we would play shirts versus skins and they didn't want to be skins, but hey it's something. Those boys became really nice and made me feel part of the group.
But then, came an even bigger challenge: the first game. That feeling of worry from the first practice came back to invade me. So I ran out of the gym and I was ready to leave. My mom came running after me and told me that I had to go back in there and play the best I could. I cried and begged her to let me leave but she would not give in. She wiped my tears and forced me to go back in there. I heard the boys from the other team laughing at me. The coach even contributed by saying that girls couldn't play basketball! I felt humiliated, but my mom said to not pay attention to them and just do my best.
Honestly, it was one of the scariest experiences I had as a little girl, and if I would've had the choice I would've never gone through it. But now that so many years have passed, I look back and I realize I learned a lot. I learned that people could be mean and say hurtful things. I learned that I had to just be myself and ignore negative comments. I learned how to be part of a team. I learned that I could get through obstacles and that I was stronger than what I thought. I would have to say that the worst thing about this experience was that I was the only girl, but the best thing was that I was the only girl. I mean, I was the center of attention, and I was surrounded by boys!