Sometimes they’ll throw basketballs at my face “on accident.” I know it’s because they get jealous that I win Knock Out all the time.
I tell my nine-year-old cub scouts to quit whining and then sneakily wipe away the tears gathering in the corners of my eyes. (Have you ever been hit with a basketball in your nose? Hurts like hell.)
“But you’re so tall,” they say to me. “It’s not fair!” (The truth is I’m not tall. I’m only 5’6 and three-quarters.)
“I thought the scout motto was to do your best and QUIT COMPLAINING,” I say as I knock a ball as hard as I can and clear across the court. I watch the ball roll down the hill and into the parking lot.
“O’DOYLE RULES!” I yell after winning another round. They’re too young to get the movie reference, but my co-den leader gets it and smiles at me.
Then Ben, who always gets out first, says to me, “Hey. You’re pretty good. She’s pretty good, guys.”
I smile. I say, “That’s right, Ben. And don’t you ever forget that.”*
*My attempt to improve their perceptions of women in sports and women in general.