Everything I needed to learn about taking my game to another level I learned on the Intermediate football field of McCarter Elementary School.
In 4th grade, another female classmate and I integrated the boys only tackle football game.
Those boys were not happy about letting us play. They made their displeasure known by launching passes at our heads and tackling us with the intent to cause bodily harm.
I remember one day being tackled so hard that the wind was knocked out of me and I could not stand up.
My fellow football suffragette came over to where I was and whispered down.
"Get up and don't cry. Otherwise, they won't let us play next recess."
She pulled me up onto my feet.
A few moments later, I was playing again.
That's what happens when you play with the big boys. You have to bring your game up.
No tears. No whining.