“I got pregnant. Quit sports, quit school. Quit all my dreams.”
Brenda looks fit and handsome, despite the scar running down the middle of her face. At six feet tall, she commands respect, even though her sweet, high-pitched voice belies her imposing physique.
We are sitting in a circle: Brenda, six other women and me. Most are in their thirties and forties, and in their fourth or fifth month of sobriety. They look professional in the suits they’ve assembled from the donations closet of our inner-city recovery center.
No one is surprised when Brenda says that, twenty years ago, she trained for the U.S. Olympic volleyball team.
“Did you ever compete again?” someone asks.
Brenda shakes her head. The group gives her a moment to think about it, to grieve the loss.
“Later, I took up tennis. I was pretty good! Won lots of tournaments. You know, local stuff.”
Brenda pauses, then continues. “The people I played with, they were doctors, lawyers, people like that. Which was kinda cool. But this was the Eighties, and everybody was using powder cocaine. You know what I mean?”
The older ladies do know what she means. They nod …
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