Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Girl Hugo

You know that feeling you get when you know you've made your first real friend?
The kind of friendship that lasts forever, the kind of person you're going to know and love, till you're old and grey? 
That's my girl, Hugo. 

It feels like I've known her since forever. We're very alike, yet extremely different at the same time. We love old comedies, memorizing songs from animated movies, good food and laughing out loud. 

I realize that this may sound like a lot of friendships. From the outside, perhaps it is just one of many. 

But to me, she's the one my heart and mind have no barriers with. She is the friend with whom I am myself. There are no invisible walls, no second thoughts, no what ifs and maybes. 
She knows the real me and she sees through and through, to the person on the inside. And no matter what I am or who I become to the rest of the world, she will always know the real me. 

Friendships like ours don't need constant reaffirmation. I love her. She loves me. It's that simple. 
We don't talk everyday. Or every week. Or even every month. Life happened. We grew up. Time doesn't permit a lot of it's previous graces. But friendships like ours don't really care. We just pick up where we left off. It's like there was nothing in the middle - conversations flow on like finely melted chocolate; smooth and sweet. 
(*grins* she'd love the chocolate reference. It's one of her weaknesses.) 

I remember times when we've fought each others battles, rejoiced in one anothers victories and taken pride in even the silliest of accomplishments. I remember her standing with me when few others did, defending me even when I wasn't around. I remember sharing love stories and wedding plans. I remember her fighting for me when I hadn't the voice to fight for myself. I remember holding her when she cried. I remember seeing her in pain. And I remember laughing. Lots and lots of laughing, all the time, at just about anything. Years and years of someone to laugh with, has a tendency to leave you with the fondest of memories. 

We've come through a lot, Hugo and I. 
But the beauty in it for me; is that on the inside, we're still who we were all those years ago. 
She's still the girl who had her hair up in 2 ponytails, tied with red ribbon and I'm still the girl with the short boy cut hair and bright pink glasses. And to her heart and my heart...friendship is still that simple. 

She's my girl, is Hugo. She always will be and when it comes to her, I'll always be, where I've always been. 
Right here. 

For you, my madcap. 

Till later. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

We call them the Hustlers.

I've always been very undecided about writing about you boys. 
I've written and erased, typed, then deleted. But seems to be a good time. 

I don't speak for just me now...I speak for a lot of fans and supporters you boys have...some in the stands, some at home, some in other countries. Because I know that a hearty chunk of us have more or less the same feelings. 

There have been times that we have watched you with pride and cheered at your victories. We have also gone silent at your losses and jumped in at your fights. (Oh yeah.) We have applauded you whether you won or lost - we saw the spirit, talent and spunk in you that you often do not see in yourselves. 

The last few years have seen you boys grow up though. 

No, I'm not taking about marriage and becoming dads. You'll seem to have grown as people and players. Learnt what skills to hone, what bad qualities to try & lose. You'll help each other more now and criticize less. There is less ego on court and more brotherhood. You value more than you judge. You play more than you talk. And I'm aware that you all know exactly what I mean. 

You all say..."Hustlers for life". Sometimes I watch you guys...and I see how subconsciously you all live by those words. Whether it's in a team huddle, at a club or just at the seem to be part of this camp that none of us can enter, part of this tribe that has it's own secret handshake. You share something that cannot be put to words but is so, so special. 

You've seen 3 captains. Each one brought you something different. The first gave you the legacy you fight for. The second reminded you that you are a team. The third makes you see the best in each other and yourselves.

I know many of the Hustlers aren't playing on court this year. But hell, they're playing off court. They're running the drills, wiping the sweat, biting their nails, even rising in anger against bad calls - being with you in spirit is still being with you, still being a Hustler.

To the new Hustlers - I know the fierce loyalty and seriousness that the players and fans alike have for this team may take you by surprise. Stick around, you'll learn to love it. 

As far as coaching goes...there's never really been anyone else, has there? 
It's good to have the Lion back. 

Play hard. Play with soul and spirit and the talent that you already have, will keep coming to the fore. You are as strong as the guy next to you. Confidence comes from knowing that you have each others backs. 

We're going to be here, watching and cheering from the stands - whether you win or lose. We are part of your team, in every way possible. 
But if you can, win. We want it. You want it. 

And as for yesterdays game....the way I see it, you boys had some red in your ledgers. 
You wiped it out. Well played. 

Till later.