If you asked me last year if I’d ever play co-ed soccer I would have said HELL NO. Well, here I am, after accepting the tentacle of friendship, playing soccer.
Wednesday night we had a pre-season friendly scrimmage (do we scrimmage in soccer?). I left buying my gear until the night before. I chose bright green cleats to go with our construction zone orange jerseys. I was nervous. I was sure I was “making a fool of myself” and forgetting to “act my age”.
Where does that shit still even come from? I keep thinking those voices will go away but there they are, every time I try something new.
The team is a mix of folks from various areas in our business and a couple friends. I was oddly comforted by not being the oldest person on the team. I felt my lack of skills and practice were enough of a liability, so I was happy to meet the gang and see we ranged in age from early 20s to 50s.
Most players have recent soccer experience and I would put them in the “solid skills and know what they are doing” category. I’m neither but the few of us who don’t know the rules or strategy were kindly coached through the game.
I was happy to occasionally touch the ball, played defense somewhat adequately and had some sprint/hustle in me.
Funny enough my best soccer knowledge is from my grade 6 teacher Bette Turner. I still remember how to throw in or kick, to keep my arms in check and be fierce.
It was a lot of fun. I realize I’ve missed co-ed sports, something I played a lot in the military and haven’t in the 12 years since.
Thursday was a rude awakening. I was very sore. I had counted on baseline fitness of walking and cycling but that was clearly a mistake. After downing ibuprofen I walked VERY SLOWLY to work. I took some comfort in the admissions of my twenty something team mates who were also feeling stiff and tired.
Something I didn’t expect was how good it felt to connect to people in this way. I’ve missed it and look forward to soccer and post game drinks on Thursday nights.
There’s something about outdoor team sports that’s very invigorating and I’m glad I decided to give it a try. 😀