Dear Lady Pirates.
If only you knew how much I enjoyed photographing you. Maybe you do? I think many of you see it in my face when we lock them under the goal and I'm all intense and thinking "kick donkey" thoughts. I LOVE photographing you. I really do. And yes, a HUGE part of it is because my girls, Kalyn and Summer are Lady Pirates, but please know it's also because I love girl's basketball. I grew up around basketball. Even played some myself. It's a great sport to watch and play.
You give up so much to play athletics. Sure you love it. And you'd probably do it again, but you sacrifice so many things to play this game. And I want you to know I appreciate it. I'm glad you do. I love you for it. I'm aware. I know. I understand.
Here's a short list of what I've learned after watching/shooting/studying the life of a female athlete.
- You wear pony tales a lot. And this is usually because your hair is a mess, you only wash it every other day and you can do NOTHING with it. You also wear a pony tale holder on your arm even if you have a pony tale on your head because you never know when you will have a hair emergency.
- Your hair dresser only sees you in the off season. Which is why wear ponies a lot. AND why your hair is long. So every few weeks when there's a free day, you change your hair color. Or make it wavy. Or make it straight. Or why you no longer have bangs. Bangs get in the way anyway, but you love the look. You just can't get to the hairdresser enough to keep that look.
- You have words, phrases and even wild dances that would scare small children. It's part of your tribe or ritual or language that you get from hanging out with your teammates more than your family. I catch conversations all the time from the court side, hallways, and I understand hardly a word you are saying. It's quite wicked and fun and a part of me is jealous I don't understand. But I love it all the same. You are mates. Friends.
- You rarely keep a small animal in your home that bonds to you. Fish not included. Neither are lizards. They are NOT bonding creatures. I'm talking about the family dog or cat. They sometimes fail to recognize you or run and hide due to the fact that once, you hit them with a flying athletic bag or shoe. They become your friend again during the off season. But until then? The puppy you knew in childhood has now bonded to your mother. Yep. They are home more than you. And they don't throw shoes or athletic bags near as much. This is a sad, yes. But this animal LOVES to eat, chew, lay on your sweaty clothes. So, they still love you and the fact that you play sports.
- You've missed a lot of parties. Yep. Your social life suffers when you play sports. Your friends are out enjoying the non-school time, hanging out together, chasing boys, watching movies every other day, tanning, getting their nails done, but you can't because any free time you have off the court is enjoyed with school work, family and chores or better yet, SLEEP.
- You don't always get to eat what you want. You have to make a decision every time you open your mouth. One, will this give me gas during the game? Golly I don't want to have to go to the bathroom or take a dump during the game. Or two, I bet this will go straight to my hips and make that uniform look even more lovely on me. Where's the food that makes my boobs grow?
- You barely have time for family and friends, and the thought of a boyfriend? HA! Good Luck with that. Yes, many of you have managed to date and even keep a boyfriend. You can quit reading this bullet. Your guy is special. We get that. But the rest of you? Nope. No guy. But t's not for lack of trying or want. You'd love to have a guy! We all want to be loved. It's just the male species is a needy creature. You have winning on the brain. They typically have other things on their mind. Instead? You fantasize about the perfect boyfriend and how he will be waiting outside the locker room with a cupcake and a bottle of Gatorade, ready to whisk you away to your massage appointment that he scheduled and buy you the latest issue of In Style Magazine. Oh, and abs. HE SHALL HAVE ABS. And he's good with homework. How's that for a boyfriend?
- You've amassed an ungodly amount of athletic apparel. UNGODLY. You know how folks do cute quilts of all their childhood t-shirts? Well, the Lady Pirate Parents could carpet the mall with what's been saved sports wise over the years. I'm not kidding. We keep China in business. We buy anything and every thing with your name and number and keep it FOREVER.
- You can't EVER buy tickets to a local kick ass concert. You know as soon as you do, you'll have to find someone to give your tickets away to because, guess what? Yep. You have a sporting obligation or your parents won't let you go because YOU NEED YOUR SLEEP FOR THE GAME. This is also why you can't plan movie nights with friends that haven't seen you in 2 months.
- You never have a cute outfit in your closet. Why? Because you haven't been to mall in weeks. You didn't even know Yoga pants had caught on or that everyone is wearing cropped leggings with flip flops. Or that killer boot sale at Dillards last week? Yeah, you missed it. So instead you group text the team and throw together outfits based on what they have in their closet but have no idea if it's clean or not. When did I last wear that? 8th grade banquet? Will it work with tights and those old heels? Why are we dressing up again?
- You never quit. You just don't. It's not in you Pirate blood. We can be down by 10 points with less than a minute and you are still pushing it harder than ever. It makes me so proud! I hate that you hurt when you lose, but I love that you have that spirit to GIVE IT YOUR ALL. That will serve you so well in life. It really will. Especially if you have to go through 22 hours of natural labor. I'm just sayin'.
- You aren't afraid to try. And I have hundreds of pictures displaying your fine mad skillz of trying something new under that goal or dribbling down that court. Oh, how much fun I've had watching you try things! But eventually you hone that new skill and it's just a part of your basketball subconscious. It fun to watch you get better and better and better. You my dears, can seriously ROCK a COURT.
- You are BEAUTIFUL! Your bodies work hard for you and your brains even harder. You are so beautiful. I hear all the time from other teams fans, from refs, from people, etc. They all say that girls are BEAUTIFUL. I joke and say it's a requirement at Cooper. But I'm really not talking about perfect hair and makeup. I'm talking about that athlete's spirit that each of you have and show endlessly to us that sit on our rumps and watch. We the fans. We are attracted to that spirit you show. We LOVE it's strength and beauty! We love that you throw your body around and don't worry about how you look when you play. We clap when you do well, we even clap when you don't. We hold you when you cry.
- You can laugh at anything and everything. This team gets the giggles and just keeps on going. You smack talk each other, you tease relentlessly, but you also cry together, hug each other and have seriously BONDED deep within that even if you don't like each other all the time, YOU WILL DO ANYTHING FOR YOUR MATE. For your basketball sista. For that one that wears the same jersey as you. I've witnessed it. I've heard about it. It makes me all warm and tingly inside.
I could go on and on. And I may in another post. But this is long enough and I have an episode of Parenthood saved on the Tivo. I have a few pictures to edit as well. PIRATE PICTURES.
I'm so very proud of you.
Kalyn, Summer, and ALL THE LADY PIRATES!!!! Very proud to call myself a fan.
PS Now go kick some "donkey"!!!!