It’s all come down to this.
I’ve only had one cup of coffee, I haven’t stretched at all, and at a moment’s notice I’m being called on to put all my mental and physical agility to the test.
We’re walking into church and there she is. Hazel is 120 years old. She’s greeting people at the door. She always wears her Sunday best, appropriate I suppose since it’s Sunday. She’s friendly in that sort of way people were before we became totally anonymous.
Oh. And Hazel loves to hug.
She spots me. I spot her. Our eyes lock. It’s on.
She starts to move toward me. I’m trapped.
But at the last second, I veer. I’m able to get another person between us. I reach around with one hand and give her a little handshake. And I never thought watching the NBA pick and roll would be applicable in church. I was wrong.
Mo, who is more of a people person, embraces the embrace. “What’s he in a hurry for?” Hazel asks. “Is he always in that much of a hurry?” “Only when people are around,” Mo says.
I won this round. But I know she’ll be there next week. Smarter, faster, more determined. And Mo told her my name.
I’m a distance runner. I have no speed. If it comes down to a sprint I think Hazel can take me. She’s got that 120-year-old runner’s build. If she loses the support stockings and shows up in Nikes next week, I fear.
Forget the pick and roll. Next week we may have to go to the flagrant foul.
Game on, Hazel. Game on.