The Pit

In the highlight of the weekend, Beyoncé has an athletic wear (athleisure wear?) line. There’s a video, there’s a website, there’s a lot of drooling. Just take all my money, Bey.

But the best part is the video, in which Beyoncé does Beyoncé things while wearing her Beyoncé athletic clothes and talking about running. And WAIT – what? She talks about running? *Replays video for the thousandth time.* The narration over the video is about how as a kid, she ran in a park in Houston and how those long, demanding runs made her who she is. How when she needs strength, she “goes back to that park”. Then she asks, “where’s your park?”.

When Beyoncé asks a question, you answer it, dammit.

My park was (perhaps still is) called The Pit. No, it’s not a setting from an M. Night Shyamalan movie. It’s a soccer field.

The Pit was called the Pit because it’s lower than all the other fields in the lot. The large grassy area between my middle and high schools contained all the fields for the school sports. The football field, track, baseball fields, tennis courts, and soccer fields. The high school soccer teams and the boys middle school soccer team got to play on the fields level with everything else. The girls middle school soccer team played below, in the Pit.

(Down with the patriarchy?)

It was really just down a bit of a hill, and though it got really muddy whenever it rained, it did allow us a bit of privacy from the rest of the world. (And by world, I mean the rest of the school. I’m an introvert.)

I remember summer soccer camps there. The camp was run by college kids from England, though my coach had a Jamaican accent (and now that I live in London I better understand why someone from England might have a strong Jamaican accent). I remember the day it poured but we still had a game to play and I wore a hot pink raincoat and it stained my clothes and skin. I remember not really minding. I remember being one of three girls in my group and needing to prove to the boys that I could hold my own.

I remember the middle school soccer team practices when we learned how to be “scrappy”. Our two goalies would stand six inches apart and we’d have to run through them. I remember having to fight for it.

I remember running what we then called suicides up and down the fields for hours. I remember hating running.

Back then I wanted to be an author, a journalist, a biochemist. I wanted to be everything. I’m not any of those things now, nor do I still want to be. But I still run, not in the Pit but on the Schuylkill River Trail when I’m training for a marathon. I think I’m still scrappy, but maybe more in mindset than in slide tackles. And I definitely don’t mind the rain.

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