FURY:A Rio Games Romance(3)

By: Alison Ryan



Denny laughed at his new softball coach’s excitement for the athletic future of his newborn daughter, and then raised his hands, showing his palms in surrender.

“I can see there’s no changing your mind on this, Chuck. Let me talk to the other coaches and the administration. I’ll get it all worked out. But you have to tell your team. They’ll be crushed. But if you’re being called to do it… If it’s for Logan… Well, then I understand.”

“Thanks, brother. Make some room in the trophy case for some softball hardware.” Chuck Lowery had never been more excited.

The two men embraced, parting with pats on each other’s backs.

Logan Lowery, the golden child, was destined for softball glory, first at Montgomery High School, and then in the Olympics.

Until she wasn’t.





Chapter Two





Logan





Logan Lowery didn’t sprout a hair on her head until she was nearly five months old. Not even peach fuzz. Which didn’t do a thing to wipe the smile from her face. If ever a baby was happier than Logan Lowery, there’s no record of it. She slept through the night for the first time when she was just five weeks old, and on the rare occasion she did find reason to cry, it was a small, sweet sound. The nurses told the Lowerys Logan had “a pretty cry.”

When her hair finally arrived, it seemed to be making up for lost time. The blonde curls piled up overnight, and no matter how they were styled, wrapped, or tied, they had a mind of their own and spilled into Logan’s face, causing her squeals of delight.

She decided at just a day past eight months old that crawling wasn’t getting her where she needed to be quickly enough. So she pulled herself up and began to cruise along the sectional and around the ottoman in the Lowery living room. After a week of that, she figured it was time to walk.

Chuck Lowery’s heart broke with every split lip, black eye, and bruised cheek, but Logan’s reach far exceeded her grasp and she spent a month falling down more than she walked. No matter how terrible the tumble, however, she gritted her teeth (well, gums, mostly) and got right back up to try again. Stumbling became walking, then running and climbing, but no matter what toy was put in front of her, she always looked for a ball.

Daddy may not have gotten the boy he’d planned for, but there wasn’t a boy for a hundred miles, or up to a year older than Logan, who could keep up with her.

She grew quickly, but never lost her coordination. By the time Chuck and Tracy signed her up for basketball and tee ball, even the parents of boys she played against demanded to see her birth certificate.

“She can’t possibly be five years old!” they insisted.

But she was. She’d simply inherited the athletic genes of both her parents and had a ready supply of bats and balls of all sizes. And she did what Lowerys had always done on the diamond and court; she dominated.

Schoolwork didn’t come quite so easily, despite having two parents who were educators. Logan was just too full of energy to sit still long enough to pay attention. Each day was a sprint, from the moment she woke up in the morning to whenever she collapsed at night, usually downstairs on the couch, from which Daddy would inevitably carry her up to bed.

She became the stereotypical tomboy, eschewing dolls and pretty things for bumps and scrapes, dirt and sweat.

At eight years old she noticed some kids kicking a soccer ball as she left a softball game (she’d hit two home runs) and she asked her parents if she could play that as well.

Soccer was one sport neither Tracy nor Chuck had played, and their knowledge beyond “you can’t use your hands” was limited. But they found the local league and signed her up, and the whirlwind of blonde curls that was Logan Lowery had discovered her passion. Basketball was a game of stops and starts, and softball only allowed for a handful of trips to the plate each game and even when she pitched there just wasn’t enough action for her.

Soccer, on the other hand, let her run, run, and run some more. Her coach quickly discovered that she was tireless and aggressive almost to a fault. He placed her at center midfield and told her she could go anywhere she wanted, as long as she was helping the team.

The cries for a birth certificate resumed as a new set of parents watched their daughters wilt under the intensity of Logan’s relentless pressure. Tracy had a copy laminated and carried it with her to all of her daughter’s games.

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