Two weeks ago, after months of planning in advance, five of my greatest friends and I reunited in Port Clinton at my parents’ cottage for a weekend of running through Cedar Point, staying up late, catching up, and laughing so hard I was sure I had just completed an intense ab workout. Jamie, Angie, Katie, Leah, Launa, and I have know each other since elementary school. We grew up together and became especially close in junior high and high school while we played on the same basketball team.
My mom was so excited she forgot the “e” in “welcome”
Where we’re from, basketball is a way of life and it requires intense commitment. In the spring, while our classmates were traveling south for spring break, we were setting and working towards goals for the next basketball season. During the summer, when most kids our age were cooling off at the pool and staying out late getting into trouble, we were shooting shot after shot in the gym and pushing ourselves beyond exhaustion in the weight room. When fall rolled around, while our classmates were hitting the snooze button, we were experiencing the joys of morning madness complete with seemingly endless bouts of running sprints. Needless to say we spent a lot of time together; and for a large group of teenage girls, that can often be a very bad thing. Fortunately for us, it was different. There is something very powerful about working together towards a common goal- towards something greater than one’s seventeen year old self. We formed a lifelong bond that is unlike any I have made since graduating high school.
It’s difficult to articulate how precious this group is, but I think Launa summed it up best in an email she sent to me after we all headed home, “this weekend reminded me how special this group of girls is. It was so great to see that after all this time things were the same and yet completely different. We are all our own people… we have our own lives, our own beliefs and yet somehow in some ways we grew in the same way; and still have a crazy, fabulous time with each other.”
It’s been nearly a decade since we were hamming it up in the locker rooms together, but those memories seem to always stay fresh in my mind; especially after a great weekend with some of my favorite people in the whole wide world.