I was born to do sports. My first name was given to me because my father was inspired by Mia Hamm the soccer player. As a little kid i would play tennis as my main sport and kept playing this sport…until we moved. Since i had lived in Maryland my whole life, I wasn’t prepared to move to japan. I tried to practice in this metropolis, but lessons were expensive, coaches were scarce, and there were not enough courts. I realised that i had to find other sports. After choosing xc and track and practicing without a limit, my foot gave up on me. I broke a bone in my foot. What caused me to practice (10 k everyday) was the turmoil that surrounded me during the time. The staff at the school told me that i was ADHD and had started to medicate me with strange drugs, the unstable social life surrounding the need to be accepted by the popular volleyball clique and my inablity to relate to the other girls.
The bone break made me realise how fragile my body was and made me question my decision to rely heavily on cross country. After healing I became curious about basketball. Its elegance and the similarity to tennis made me experiment with it a little bit. Curiosity i would learn can lead to great victories and defeats.
One day when i was practicing my layup a gang of boys from my school watched me play. I knew something was off. Then one of the boys from their gang walked up to me. He asked me to play 1 on 1 with me. He beat me 12-1. I was humiliated. From that day, I practiced on the court alone to condensate for the embarrassment that i felt. One day i met this coach called coach dan. He welcomed me to join their class. Desperate for guidance I accepted. On this court there were 4 kids. Mathew, Saluki, Asa, and Luke. All 4 of us became great friends. I wasn’t alone anymore. I thought. Big mistake.
The next year i became a freshmen and 3 of them had moved. Mathew and I grew closer. Even though we both quit we would still play 1 on 1 together. Mathew however wasn’t so depenent on basketball as i was. He was an alfa of his grade and had a lot of his guy friends to lean on. i didn’t. I became more and more needy of his attention and then, he left me. After training with coach and my 4 friends for a year i tried out for JV women’s basketball. At school, i had a friend called Andrea a soft more at the time who i had trained with in cross country. She encouraged me and told me that i would probably make the team. During tryouts we had to do a 3 man weave. Although most girls also didn’t know how to perform this drill, they picked up on it quickly. Since i had ADHD I had difficulty learning the drill and often failed my teammates. They kicked me out. Feeling irritated and like a failure i decided to channel this angst into my basketball. From that day on, I trained like there was no tomorrow. At least 2 hours of practice everyday, no excuses. Layup, floater, jump shot, 3 pointer, 2 pointer, dribble with 2 balls, there and back 3 laps, ladder, pushups. Slowly i became the gym rat. And the “Only girl in the boys basketball” Stereotype. I am a soft more now. It has been a year trying out again for women jv basketball team. But while i train i see these gangs of boys having the time of their lives. I practice alone. I feel lonely but when i see myself in the mirror i see a girl covered in battle scars and strong as iron. I see that strong couragous girl who has risen above all of the problems that had been bombarded on me. I see a tomboy.