Hidden Talents

As the weather (momentarily) turns warmer here in our wee state, I have become nostalgic for the times that Rav & I spent together at the summer camp where we met. It will be a sweet 6 years ago that we met in June.

We have done so much in that short time together.
We have also missed some things due to the fact that shortly after meeting we would become parents.

But that summer was pretty magical - looking back.

Our daily activities for our groups at camp where rigorously scheduled.
But as camp counselors we took it upon ourselves to rearrange the schedules as we saw fit.
And when we were assigned to the older groups, that meant that we did everything we could to play dodge ball. All day.
I know, I know. It's been outlawed in many schools.
It's a mean, violent game.
But the kids begged to play.
And the ones that didn't were not made to participate.

The counselors, of course, got very competitive.
During that summer, I was given the nicknames of Killer & the Dodge Ball Ninja.

Rav called me Killer because of my intense competitiveness, no matter what the game.
I was called Dodge ball Ninja due to my stealthy skills at the game. I would hide in the back of the court, hiding a ball, and I would wait for the right time to strike. No matter how many times, I executed this plan, everyone would forget about me. Maybe it was my size, or the fact that I was a girl. I don't really know, but they paid for forgetting me. As I stood there in the back, I would pick my target. Then, when there was some other action on the court, I would begin to strike. Like a snake, I would glide forward towards the net (we played on a tennis court, with the net acting as the barrier between sides). At first I moved slowly, gradually picking up speed as I moved. I was silent, no one heard me coming. The only sound I made was the whipf whipf whipf of my mesh shorts as I came within striking distance. It is hard to describe, the sound of a red playground ball flying through the air. It almost makes a whirring sound. I'm sure to those who stared at that ball flying at them, it must have screamed. But as I said, my targets were picked well ahead of the throw. As I released that ball, usually my target was another counselor, or one of the oldest campers. You see, the surprise was my ally. Head to head with other counselors, who were mostly male, or even the older boy campers, I stood little chance. Those who were targeted knew it, almost too late. They knew that ball was meant for them as I reached the net. That look of shock and terror when that ball left my hand was a wonder to see. There is however one problem. For all my skills at stealth and camouflage, I had the worst aim ever. You see, I picked my targets. They knew it was coming. That look of surprise and terror was genuine. Unfortunately, the ball usually did not hit those who wore that look. It swerved to the left or to the right. Almost every time, I missed my intended victim. I didn't miss entirely. Oh no, I hit a target alright. That little boy or that little girl who was standing next to the bigger kids, just hoping for a little protection. Yes they were the real victims. They had no clue what was coming. And if you've never heard a red playground ball as it whirred through the air, then you've probably never heard the whoomp it makes when it strikes an innocent young face. And 9 times out of 10, that is what would happen. That ball would connect with an innocent cranium.
There are many sounds that I remember from that summer...the sound of my head striking the hard packed earth...the sonic boom caused by my Rav crash landing after a 10 foot fall, or the sound of me sliding through leaves and sticks, leaving a trail behind me like a meteor slamming into the earth. But these are tales for a different day.

6 ripples in the pond:

Mary-LUE said...

There are nothing quite like camp memories! (I would have been one of the kids who didn't want to play dodge ball--especially after I got the breath knocked out of me once. I would have sat on the sidelines and read a book while everyone else played!)

thailandchani said...

The stealth girl, eh? :)

An interesting glimpse into your background...



deb said...

Ninja? A Ninja with no aim? Even scarier. Thanks for the laugh.

Jen said...

Killer? You a such a nut - and I mean that in the best way possible! =) Thanks for the laugh! The best memories are usually the ones that can still make you giggle. =)

jen said...

you ninja woman, you.

i look forward to the tales from the rest of that summer sometime too.

carrie said...

What a great story (and pic too).