Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Me gusta fútbol

During high school, soccer was more than my life. Soccer was me. I didn’t identify myself as anything more than a soccer player; I doubt any of my classmates saw me any other way, either.

Soccer was my focus. Soccer was my drive. I put everything I had into soccer.

During high school, I didn’t skate.

I played soccer.

I played soccer with all that I had, despite my high school’s weak soccer program and overzealous, inexperienced coach. I was a big fish in our little pond. I reveled in my role.

I never questioned the frequency with which I cried during practice. And it didn’t seem odd that I sobbed in the shower after most games.

I was caught up in being The Freshman on Varsity, The Two-Year Captain.

By the end of my first season, I was too involved in soccer to realize that I didn’t like it anymore. I plowed through three more years, recognizing my misery but refusing to acknowledge the source.

It wasn’t until my freshman year of college that I let myself see the role soccer played in my life. I went to the first tryout for the club soccer team. I played horribly. It wasn’t likely that I would make the team. I didn’t go back. I didn’t miss it.

I didn’t miss it for four years.

I started playing again this fall. It felt different. And good. In high school, I played soccer because I was supposed to. Now I’m playing because I want to.

Actually wanting to do something instead of feeling obligated to do it – holy motherfucking obvious! – makes all the difference.

I’m sincerely glad that I’m back on the soccer field.

The fact that he manages the facility I play at is just a perk.

Albeit a cute one.


Brandon said...

ha! i loved this post. i was a soccer and baseball captain in high school, and then completely quit both until just this last year when i started playing softball.

stepping on the field for the first time brought back waves of nostalgia, which i quickly drowned with a beer. my results, unfortunately, weren't quite as favorable as your own ;)

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