Friday, May 14

Soccer? More like Soc-hurt.

Despite my terrible title, I hope you keep reading!

This blog posting is dedicated to my wonderful friend, Molly, who played on the 'A' team and taunted me well into our college years about being on the 'B' team in junior high.

I joined a soccer league this Spring.  I used to love playing soccer, despite the fact I never made the 'A' team, I played with a great group of girls on the slightly less athletic, but realllly sweet and spirited 'B' team.  Were we more interested in painting our faces and wearing blue and gold ribbons in the pigtail braids we did for each than actually learning the footwork?  Maybe, but we sure knew how to cheer for each other, and we were great losers- unlike the 'A' team.  I remember the day we scrimmaged them.  We anxiously anticipated the game for weeks before, feeling nervous, kind of knowing we would never win, but hoping we could blow them away. 

The way they walked out on the field that day, laughing, shirts untucked with casual saunters, we knew they hadn't felt the same anxiety.  They obviously thought they had it in the bag, and if anything, were worried about keeping their goals to a minimum as to not embarrass us too much.  So, when we stole the ball in the first ten minutes and scored on them, adrenalin pumping, game faces on, determination in the air; they were shocked.  As expected.  I would love to tell you we went on to win that day, 1- nothing, but I guess they decided it was time to put their game faces on, and then basically pummeled us.   No big deal.  We were supposed to lose.  So, we went on being the 'B' team, giggling, pantsing each other and eating huge team pancake breakfasts before tournaments because it seemed like a fun idea...I don't think any of us went on to play in high school and certainly not college.  But, we had a BLAST!

Now, years later, I thought it was time to get back into the game!  When I signed up and got my team assignment for the adult women's league in my town, it showed the entire league with each person's information.  I found that I was the youngest person on my team and the 2nd youngest in the entire league.  The ages mostly ranged from 35 to 50.  This would be a breeze, I thought.  Well, in the first game I did trump the fatter 50 year olds with my youth and speed...but, then the game kept going on.  The whistle was not blowing.  The ball kept coming, and I had to keep running.  I mean I knew I was sort of out of shape.. but when I was already sore, like hard to move sore, after the FIRST HALF with another 40 minutes to run around, I knew this wasn't the cakewalk I imagined.  At the end of the game, I limped off the field and said goodbye to my new teammates with a big smile.  When I got in the car, I let out sounds that you only let out in the comfort of a confined space, alone. 

On Sunday- I found it hard to get out of bed.  I had never, and I mean never, felt so sore in my life.  The following week, I found stairs difficult and getting up after sitting for too long almost impossible.  While sitting in traffic to and from work, I literally had to pick up my right thigh with my two hands and move it from the gas to the break and back again to avoid spasming in my quads.  And so, I did not exercise for the week, which proved unhelpful in game two. 

The next Saturday I was excited to play again- This time won't be as bad, right? WRONG.  I pulled my quad muscle in the first half and had to sit out the rest of the game.  To comfort me, one of my teammates said something like, "Yep, that's what happened to Tina- she's out for the season.  But, I mean... she's 54, sooo.." Oh man.  If this is happening to me in my 20's, I can only imagine what's to come.   (Note:  The ladies are my team aren't as sensitive as Sal, a bit tougher than your average Joe-Ann if you know what I'm sayin')

The following week, after determining I did not pull my muscle but instead just over did it, I decided to fix this.  I spoke with a trainer at my gym who told me, if you only play once a week, you will keep shocking your muscles.  I promptly bought a soccer ball and convinced Hernando* to kick it around with me after work one day.  Within 15 minutes he had kicked it pretty far into the poison ivy/thorn bush forest in my neighborhood.  He went in after it, even though I tried to stop him!!  (I'm kidding, I definitely encouraged it.)  I heard a lot of rustling and about 12 minutes later he emerged with bloody knuckles and EMPTY hands!!  Don't worry, he bought me a new ball. 

Anyway, tomorrow is my next, and third game and I am nervous and excited!  What if I go out there and pull something again?  The worst part of it is getting all amped up for the game, mentally, emotionally (not physically!) preparing for the game and then you hurt yourself and you have nowhere to put that energy!  Oh man, I hope the work I did on my leg this week helped because I can't wait to get out there and -ouch!  I think just broke my pointer finger on the keyboard. 

I think the lesson here is- Get excited, but get ready, stretch and don't juggle a soccer ball with Hernando* near the poison thorn bushes.  Anyway- I will let you know how my game goes.

Wish me luck!!
SS the SS

(sensitive sal the soccer star)

*Name has been changed to protect the boyfriend