A precious gift, unexpected

August 24, 2007 at 12:49 pm (Mind/body)

There is an area in one of the clubs where I exercise that is quaintly called the arena. The large central area can be used for basketball or volleyball; around its perimeter there is a track for walking, jogging. or running. I like walking this track; I tend to zone out pleasantly while I am there. I especially like it when there are people in the central area shooting baskets; I like that sound, and I like the way the players flit in and out of my peripheral vision as I make my circuit.

Well, that was happening yesterday morning, and the people in question were little girls – lots of them. They were receiving what seemed to me to be fairly rigorous training in the fine art of playing basketball. They were not only shooting baskets; they were practicing ball handling techniques, doing calisthenics, etc. I particularly enjoyed watching them practice their footwork. At one point, following the instructions of their very serious and intent coach, about ten girls were jumping back and forth across a line on the court, over and over again. Their little bodies were taut with effort and concentration, while their pony tales and pig tales swung back and forth. Small groups of girls were training in various locations all over the court. They and their coaches were completely inside the process, not suspecting for a moment how enchanting they appeared to the outsider walking the track.

Then several of the girls came out of the court to do some walking. One girl came up next to me. She had a on a purple shirt with ruffled sleeves. I was going to comment, “That looks like hard work!” But her smooth little brow was furrowed in concentration, and I said nothing. She pulled ahead of me. I could not help but think of all that these girls had ahead of them. I would say that I was like them decades ago, but I never would have submitted to such a training regimen at that age. I am so very glad to see these youngsters doing this, though; among my dearest hopes for them is that they grow up strong and healthy, unplagued by the problem of overweight that his been the bane of existence for so many women of my generation. womens-basketball-2-_0021.jpg [Women’s basketball, Concordia College, Minnesota]

At any rate, these girls looked, for the most part, lean and fit – and beautiful, to my eyes.

[I was having trouble deciding on images for this post But once I saw this, I was hooked. After all, what better illustration of the “I Am Woman” theme than Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I!! Follow this link for more portraits.]

elizabeth-1600-coronation.jpg

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