The click of the lock echoes throughout the vacant gym, bouncing off the brick walls, as the doors leading to the revered room swing open. Light from the outside spills in through the tiled glass windows, creating a powerful ambiance. Treading across the wood floor, the potent aroma of freshly laid semi-gloss overpowers my sense of smell. Tripping is unavoidable due to the floor’s new and improved grip. Flicking the lights on, a quiet buzz begins to fill the room, like a swarm of bees getting closer and closer. Slowly, the generators rouse from their deep slumber and begin to light the massive room. Here is where security can be found, on a simple wood court.
Have you ever felt out of place? I have. Back in elementary school, I was by far the tallest girl in my class. Parents, teachers, even students would continually comment on my height, “Wow! You are so tall! I can’t believe you’re only twelve! How tall are you? Do you think you’re done growing?” Being a twelve year old girl, the last thing I wanted to hear all about was the ONE thing that made me different from all the other girls. I remember for the first time in my life, “thank you” sounded foreign and awkward as it left my mouth. It was as though I didn’t know how to accept a compliment. However, after a while it became routine to simply “grin and bear it.” Regardless, I felt like a fish out of water, suffocating and floundering in a place where I didn’t belong.
After elementary school, came junior high, a completely different world, a world where I no longer felt out of place. Why? Because in this world there is a wood court where athletes are discovered, talent is tested, and height is no longer looked on as foreign, but glorified. Here is where security can be found. After becoming acquainted with that simple wood floor, I grew to accept, appreciate, and eventually love my height. Finally, I had an identity, a home, and a passion. However, my identity did not disappear once I stepped off the court; it remained with me wherever I went. I finally knew who I was, and others around me began to notice. That security offered by a simple wood court follows me wherever I go. Whether the court is as old as time, or brand new, it is always present, because it is found in the essence of every gym floor. Have you found security in a simple wood court? I have.
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