Random thoughts from a random mind…

Posts tagged “Soccer

Soccer at 35 (well, 34, but close enough)

First of all, pardon me as I take a slight “random” break from my DJ progression, and give you a little insight to my most recent brush with insanity.

My son has been playing soccer for the past two years.  I have really enjoyed watching him play, and helping him with some techniques (not that I really have any, but he thinks I do).  It is quite fun, and I even would help coach the team every once in a while.  This past season, they played on an indoor league at Stampede Sports in Southlake, TX.  This just made my inner kid want to join in even more.  I had already been trying to subdue this playful energy since watching him play, but the indoor thing started to make me really curious if you will.  It is such a faster version of the game, being able to kick off the walls, as if making a bank shot in pool.  So, yes, I just did the unthinkable last week…I signed up for a men’s league.  I didn’t go too crazy, the league I signed up for was a men’s “take it easy” league.  Well, I didn’t think I was going too crazy anyway.

I got myself signed up last week, and was told my first game would be Monday, June 7th.  I had very little time to get ready, but I wanted to do this.  I went out and got all my equipment: shoes, shin guards (which are way cooler than when I was a kid), soccer shorts, socks, and a new ball (well, I “needed” this, because my son’s ball is a size 4 and I “need” a size 5).  Everything was in place.  I even started doing some “sprints” on the treadmill.  For those that don’t already know, I’m not a fan of running.  I give my wife so much credit for the long distances she endures.  I can’t go more than 5 minutes without wondering “are we there yet?”  I was ready, excited, and yes, definitely nervous.

The day came, and I got really nervous.  I hadn’t played an organized game of soccer since the 4th grade!!! I remember thinking to myself that some of the kids on my son’s soccer team would ask if I play soccer because of some of the “moves” I had, and that my thinking I could really play truly was  just an insane thought (remember, they are all 10 and 11).  As the day went on, my nerves began to dwell upon the unknown: will I be out of shape? (yep), will I pass out? (almost), will I get killed?! (no, but felt like it once, and got pushed around a lot).  My family wanted to come to watch me play, which I was truly happy for, but it just made my anxiety rise even more (I can’t let my son see his dad get carted off on a stretcher because he passed out!).  As we drove to the arena, I was really starting to freak out.

I got all my gear on.  Even began to question my overly cautious and protective nature in whether I needed a cup or not (YES, definitely glad I went with that decision!).  As we walked in, I saw the game before us (same league), and a sense of relief fell over me.  These guys, well most of them, were older than me, and doing well.  Most were pretty big guys, and I don’t mean football player big, I mean couch potato big – but they could move!  I was finally starting to calm.  That was until the air would no longer go into my lungs through my mouth during the game!

Ok, that’s a slight exaggeration, but I was definitely OUT-OF-SHAPE! The team we played had like 5 subs, and our team only had, NONE!  We held up pretty well for the first 5 minutes or so, but were sunk after that.  It’s pretty sad when we were swapping to goalie for a break (I didn’t take on this responsibility – call it cowardice or just the fact that I’m too small to black such a big gap in the wall).

The other team were some pretty big guys.  Yes, similar to the team I saw when I entered, but some were actually football player size.  They pushed a lot, but I held my own as well as my small stature could – which I feel was pretty well since I didn’t hit the turf once!  They were a good group of guys though, no one wanted anyone to get hurt.

When all was said and done, we did ok.  We did lose, 7-1, but none of us died.  A few bumps and bruises, and I’m sure I won’t be able to walk all that well tomorrow, but all in all, we survived to play another game.

I felt great after…yes, I was sore, but it was the best exercise I’ve had in a VERY long time.  I am truly glad I joined the league, and would like to continue this – at least for now.

I really feel the need to thank my wife and my son for their inspiration in doing this.  Yes, it’s still somewhat ludicrous, but sometimes we need that in our lives.  We are only mandated to grow old, not up.