At 7:00 PM last Thursday, it was about 45 degrees on the Chicago lake front, with a blustery 10 mph wind blowing constantly off of of Lake Michigan. It was decidedly Not Spring-like weather. And yet, there I was voluntarily standing outside, because I had signed up for a Spring Soccer league.
At one moment, as I watched the ball sail out of bounds, wearing three layers of clothing and losing feeling in my fingers I pondered - what the blunt am I doing out here?
Soccer has been one of my most favorite things about Chicago. What a random happenstance crazypants turn of events. I go on exactly one social sports league website and answer exactly one ad looking for girls to play on a co-ed team. Then 4 years later - I ended up with stronger calves, some awesome friends, a few crazy stories, a couple badass injuries and Boyfriend. The roads life takes...
Soccer has not been all excuses not to go to the gym and finding cohabitation buddies and other wonderful things. It has been frustrating for so many reasons - leagues that are run by, I am pretty sure, those same Nigerian guys who e-mail you about all the money they have for you, terrible referees (although no one ever says that people are good or fair referees - they are always terrible and always bad at their jobs. I now kind of pity referees...but seriously the ones that do recreational soccer are really bad) and getting all busted up.
As I get older I become more and more aware of my own mortality - and more interest in prolonging this one little life I was given. And, I really hate it when things are inconvienent. This tends to mean avoiding situations that might kill me or hurt me in such a way that I am unable to function to my normal standard. And yet - I play soccer where I end up with jacked up (possibly fractured) feet and toes, unnaturally large bruises, undiagnosed concussions, and just a general feeling of abuse.
Its been a little bit my own fault - I play defense, and happily because it means less running, and I am nothing if not a chubchub who hates to run. However, this does mean that I tend to find myself doing battle against people who play midfield and forward. For the most part, these people tend to be dudes who outweigh me by at least 80 lbs. This means that when we both go for a live ball, there is a very real chance that we are going to collide at full speed. And when a Honda Civic collides with an 18-wheeler, it is not very pretty for the Civic.
So I get knocked down (...and I get up again). And I have loved it (but...) I took almost a year off when I hurt my foot and then I would take time off because other things would pop up on my schedule and its gotten to the point where I've only played two sessions in the past year or so. Which I think has killed the magic. Maybe it was just this season - which was arguable the coldest Spring season on record (I think we only had one game where it was warmer than 50 degrees) or maybe its the boys who take it too seriously and yell and push or maybe its my constant fear of getting seriously hurt.
Or maybe its that I've already "accomplished" the social part of the equation. And let's be real, the $80 every 6 weeks that I have been shelling out over the past 4 years has been totally worth it to meet Boyfriend who, despite what you think about fate and whatnot, I probably-definately never would have met otherwise.
I don't know if this is my retirment blog (sorry to overshadow you, Jim Tressel) or if I'll keep playing until I break my leg or get pregnant (and the way things are going, I am way more likely to get a leg sweep than a baby). All I know is I want mother nature to get her act together (seriously, a monster fog? In May?) and a good referee.