My mom has always wanted an athlete in the family. Unfortunately, neither I nor my siblings possessed any athletic prowess. My older brother played basketball, baseball, and hockey, but his skills were somewhat limited. He did it for the love of the game.
When the new generation came along my mom encouraged sports of all kinds. One particular event was the annual Punt, Pass, and Kick competition. Thirty-odd years ago my brother was a competitor. Two dozen years after that, his son won first place for his age group at his playground. The problem with that, though, was it was a total fluke. My nephew happened to be at the park that day and asked if he could participate. With no experience whatsoever he threw a perfect spiral and kicked the ball in a straight line. He couldn’t do it again. We were no less proud of him, of course, but after that he refused to practice and was totally shut out at the next level of competition.
Then along came Diva. That little missy is game for anything. I got her a football when she was about four or so, for no other reason than she didn’t have one. She played with it a few times, but she didn’t show real interest in it until last summer. Then, for reasons unknown, she started playing with it in the park near my mom’s house. My mom taught her to throw and kick long and straight, measuring her progress with a clothesline stretched across the grass. They were all geared up for the big competition and then…..nothing. I don’t know what happened but Diva’s dad didn’t take her to the event last year. I think they just plain forgot.
So this year, Grandma took charge. She organized daily practice sessions in the park and called in reminders before the event. On the big day, Diva’s dad got her to the park in time for one-on-one with some local football players. She did well in practice, but the real fun came later: she took first place for her gender and age group. She got to bring home a blue ribbon and a trophy. She was even on the local news.
Grandma has increased her practices to two-a-days. Walker puts her through her paces, but tries to keep it fun. So far she’s really into it. The next competition is in October. If she wins that she goes on to compete during halftime at an NFL game. Go, Diva!!