I feel it in my dreams like it is right in front of me. The memories of my past etched in granite survive drunken nights, talks to kids about why the sky is blue and plans for retirement.
I used to spin it in my hand, and let my fingers roll its hard rubber, sometimes metal, surface around. Slow, comforting. It’s smooth, all except a little notch. I place my pinky there, barely gripping the circle’s edge. That’s the sweet spot.
Then I curl my other fingers around. Making sure I hold it steady, but just so. Tight enough to hold it, light enough to let it go at a moment’s notice. That’s all I need, the right moment.
I get into the circle, about 7 feet wide, and look at my surroundings. My opponents stay safely behind the tall fence or netting. The officials stay safely outside the powdery white lines. They’re safe for now.
I stand facing the competition, eyeing them like I will crush their skulls with my thoughts. One last check of my fingers, making sure they barely sit on the circle’s edge.
Then comes the grunt and bend, getting as close to the ground as possible. One … two … three turns on my arm as if to wind it up, flipping my hand over halfway through each turn so I don’t drop my valuable package. And then the spins.
Like in practice I spin around, making my feet land in an imaginary straight line as my hand holding the circle lags behind.
Then my body stops just centimeters from the other end of the circle. First my right foot and leg, then my body turns, bringing my arm with it.
The spin my fingers did before I got into the circle now does it work. If done correctly, it will fly flat, like a clay for someone to shoot or the perfect football throw. If not, it will wobble and loose momentum, falling fast.
The rest of my body follows through, and I yell to loosen my tightly wound body.
In high school, My farthest discus throw was a little over 99 feet. I loved it and loathed it as the same time.
As a high school track athlete, we were required to run if we did a field event. I hated to run around the track. I was often the only girl in the weight room while the boy throwers and football players worked out. I tweaked my back because sometimes I didn’t have a spotter. It took me a long one to get back into the weight room.
But I want to throw again. I want to be that kind of athlete again, someone with strong legs and arms.
I love long runs, but I love the sprint to the finish line more. I love being able to walk on my hands, rather than struggle to lift anything other than my kids (maybe it’s a mommy thing).
It’s hard to find that kind of competition in a rural state, as a master athlete. But it’s time to start searching.