I struggled to put my socks back on my wet feet. I pushed into my running shoes, said goodbye to Caroline and started on my way to the beach. As I headed out, I cut through the forest. I passed the multipurpose court. A basketball game was in full swing. I continued along the path I came out of the forest at the archery area. A class of about half a dozen kids were in the midst of drawing back their arrows and aiming…away from me thankfully. I stopped to watch and with one word they all let them fly simultaneously. The air was full of arrows flying (mostly) towards the targets! I cautiously slipped past.
I reached the beach with a couple of minutes to spare so I had a peek in the first aid kit there and it was in good shape. I tossed my backpack on the picnic table and watched the swimming classes.
My son was attempting something that actually resembled a front crawl in the shallow end with his class. My girls were on the dock tossing life preservers to ‘drowning’ victims. Rescue breathing was in full swing on the beach.
Progress was being made everywhere I went!
Danielle and Maggie interrupted my thoughts as they plopped their towels on the picnic table.
“Ready for some more torture?” Danielle asked.
“Yes and no.”
“Let’s do this!” Maggie said and punched her hand with her fist. She was far too enthusiastic in my opinion.
“Ummm OK.” I responded pitifully.
We started up the small hill out of the camp and my thighs started the slow roast immediately. As we started down the other side a brush fire began to simmer in my lungs. This was gonna be a long unbearable run.
“Ladies,” I puffed, “I’m gonna need some sort of distraction. What can you tell me?”
“Wellllll….” Maggie gave Danielle and I a mischievous look. “I have some juicy camp gossip.”
“Dish sister!” Danielle demanded.
What followed was the counselor dating gossip low down. The past histories, the ‘potentials’, the newest couples, the breakups. I will just say this; it was complex, it was surprising, it was a great diversion. We had arrived at the base of Hellfire when we stopped to collect our courage.
“Now wait a minute. How does one date at camp? You only get one night out a month!” I asked in an attempt to put off running up this miserable hill.
“You don’t need to go out to dinner and a movie for a date, Anne. You can go for a canoe ride, or sailing, or swimming.” Danielle told me as she started a slow jog up the hill.
“Oh ya. A swimming date. So romantic.” I teased as I followed behind taking my short steps.
“For real! One of the best dates at camp is at the fishing dock after campers are in bed. A bunch of us go down there, turn on the dock light and dive off the diving board. It’s amazing. The lake is usually pretty calm and peaceful. That is, until we come along!”
“And then there is the P Mob too I suppose.” I added as I recalled Ryan and Olivia. Danielle and Maggie busted a gut which required them both to stop and catch their breath. It allowed me to catch up.
“You’ve heard about the P Mob have you?”
“It’s infamous,” I replied breathlessly. I caught up to them and stopped to rest my hands on my knees to catch my breath and staunch the feeling of nausea that was beginning to edge in. I noticed we were three quarters of the way up the hill.
“Come on girls. Let’s get this over with!” Maggie urged us.
We poured it on and got to the top of the hill. Danielle and Maggie were a few yards ahead of me and they continued jogging along the road. I stumbled over the top of the hill and slowed to a stop. I gulped in deep breaths and bent over as I felt the nausea kick in.
“Don’t barf. Don’t barf.” I chanted to myself. And I didn’t. Just a couple of dry heaves. Progress was being made everywhere!