Lacrosse

Standing still.
Stick in hand.
Blood gushes through your veins as the pressure of the draw feeds into your nerves.
You think, but not too much.
You want to concentrate on the ball in your stick.
The referee walks back. The whistle wedged between his lips as he prepares to begin. You can smell the anticipation in everyone’s brains. The whistle makes a quick piercing sound and the ball flies into the air. Rainbows of stick fill the air in a cluster and the ball hits the ground. Everyone stops to comprehend what happened and just as quickly as before, cleats trample the ground as they rush to scoop the ball for their minute of fame. You get to the ball. Your teammates scream your name and the pressure is on you. You sweat out your worries and run. You run because that’s all you are capable of at this moment. Your stick moves back and forth in a quick cradle. You hear the sound of rushing players chasing after you to stop the ball. Finally, the twelve meter line is right under your feet. A defender for the other team stands in front of you and swings her stick frantically at yours. The sound of the whistle stings the air and everyone screeches to a halt. Slashing. She got called for slashing. Now, you get a direct shot from the eight meter line. All of the other girls on the field step back. The goalie stares you square in the eyes. She looks intimidating and ready to strike, but you know that under all of those pads, she’s a regular girl, just like you. You work into a cradle moving back and forth, back and forth. The whistle sounds and you run. The stick goes behind your head and you shoot. The pressure coursing through your body as you watch the ball rush toward the goalie. It’s headed for the space in between her legs. She isn’t quick enough and the ball goes into the goal. The whistle blows, but you don’t hear it. All you hear is the sound of your heartbeat and your team’s excited screams. Finally, a peaceful feeling makes its way over you. Your heartbeat slows and your breath is less urgent. You smile as you walk back to the drawing circle and start it all over again.





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