The last time I played soccer of any type was about 25 years ago. I was still in high school, still had more energy than I knew what to do with and running up and down a field for roughly 90 minutes was no big deal. So on Friday when I was putting on a pair of indoor soccer shoes once again for the first time in a quarter of a century it’s probably not too much of a stretch to say that I was a bit nervous. In high school coming off the bench was something I would have disdained. On Friday, I welcomed the thought of only being played as necessity required – for example, if one of the other players lost a leg.
I can’t say that I was ever any kind of elite athlete but when you play a sport for 12 to 13 years you eventually develop a feel for the game, the style of play, momentum etc. When I did finally enter the game on Friday I found I had absolutely no touch whatsoever. Passes didn’t go where they were supposed to or were delivered with too much or too little power. I also quickly figured out that I was no longer the fastest person on the field and that stamina for an out of shape guy in his forties is much different from stamina for someone in their twenties or thirties. Very different to be honest.
So all in all, Friday was a humbling experience but fun nevertheless. Note to self: not only is slide tackling something that will get you in trouble with the referee in indoor soccer, it’s also not so good for any body part that isn’t immune to friction. As a result of a couple lapses in memory (again we can blame age or lack of practice) I have a couple good reminders of why slide tackling on an indoor field is not such a great idea. I also got in trouble for having socks that weren’t long enough. Can you imagine getting kicked from a game for having socks that aren’t long enough? I had to borrow a pair from another member of the team. I hope that she has an extra strength setting on her washing machine – something just short of “fumigate” mode.
My wife and I are talking about seeing a Timbers game soon and introducing Ella to the game of soccer up close and personal. It would be really fun to have Ella take an interest in a sport that I at least know something about. As far as her swimming goes, I can only marvel at the different skills and strokes that she is learning. At least with soccer I can attempt to explain what “offsides” constitutes.
As I write this Ella is explaining to me that she just played soccer yesterday with some friends at a birthday party. I wonder if she remembered not to slide tackle?