Recreational basketball taught my team, the Collins-Maxwell Raiders, to try to beat our opponent, but we didn’t realize that, one-day, our opponents would become our friends and teammates. One of our archrivals during rec basketball was Baxter. We always wanted to beat them with a passion, but I don’t know why. We always blew them out. I felt kind of bad for them, but it was fun stealing the ball. The Baxter girls would get really frustrated, but I like when my competitors fall apart; it shows a sign of weakness. After rec basketball was over, my teams' parents told all of us that Baxter would be our future teammates in seventh grade. At the time, I was against it because they weren't very good at basketball. After I found out, I followed a majority of the girls on Instagram.
The day of our first practice of middle school basketball was approaching rapidly. I, along with the rest of the Collins-Maxwell girls, was anxious to play with our, once, rivals. I feel like every time I look forward to an event, it takes forever, while, an event that I don't look forward to, time goes by fast. The day went by so fast, and it was time told to load the yellow bus. Our first practice was held in Baxter, which is twenty minutes away. The bus ride was silent, and I imagined what the girls would be like. I was playing the worst-case scenario in my head. When we arrived, we walked down the hallway that seemed five miles long. I could feel my heart beating inside my chest. Then, we strutted into the gymnasium because we thought we were the top dogs. During the strutting, we exchanged looks with the Baxter girls. We were completely segregated at the beginning of the practice.
"Start jogging!" exclaimed Coach.
I hate running, but it's a big part of basketball, so we have to do some conditioning. After we were dripping sweat, coach called out, "Circle up!" We always obey our coach because he's intimidating, and we don't want to run extra. He wanted us to go around and introduce ourselves. I don't like talking in front of strangers because I feel like they will judge me. I said my name like a whisper, so I had to repeat it louder. This time, I shouted it a little too loud, and the coach thought I was being sassy. Therefore, I had to run two down and backs while the rest of the girls watched. I was so embarrassed to say the least. I acted less cocky throughout the practice. After we exchanged names, we started stretching, still segregated; our coach told three Baxter girls to come over by me. We were forced to get to know each other. I decided to take the funny route and said, "Hey, I'm the girl that had to run two down and backs." They started laughing. They restated their names, "Lauren, Sydney, and Kaylin." Their names were easy to remember because they were my first friends from Baxter.
After a couple weeks, we exchanged Snapchats, and started snapping. Snapping helped me further our friendships, especially since we live twenty minutes apart. Technology has helped me have friendships all over Iowa. We may not go to the same school, but that can't stop me from having friends. Since seventh grade, the three Baxter girls have been my best friends. I have met so many cool people from Baxter, and I’m blessed to have had the opportunity of meeting them. Technology has helped me keep in touch during the week, when I don't get to see them. They hold a very special place in my heart. My judgment was way off the mark on the Baxter girls. They will never be forgotten when the cycle of life takes us in different directions.