I have been dreaming of this moment for a long time. I love team sport, and my team sport is soccer. And sadly I haven’t been able to play for a couple of years now.
Last night I got up the nerve, put on my soccer kit, my boots and grabbed a water bottle and a flat of beer. I was determined to play at least one shift of soccer just to say I could.
Instead I played over 20 minutes and felt like I was contributing. It was more than just a token appearance, it was an actual participation as a team mate.
I loved it and loved reconnecting with the lads, some of them I have played with for 23 years. It’s more than a game, it’s the camaraderie, the stories, the jabs we give each other, and the beer afterwards. I loved running, I loved tackling, I loved the beer in the parking lot after the game. Loved it all.
I made the decision to play simply because I wanted to push myself. It would be really easy to just go to the game and watch, but given how I am feeling now I really needed to test my mettle. When you are given an opportunity to do something you love you really must take the leap and do it. I took the leap knowing that I could get hurt, or I would suck, or the pain of running for the first time in two years would mean a long bout of physiotherapy and pain management.
Well, I didn’t suck, I ran hard, didn’t get hurt - sadly Gillies may have a concussion and Chris may not be walking today so I don’t say that lightly. Soccer is a tough sport.
I am typing this knowing the day after pain is probably sneaking up on me, my shoulders are tight and my hammy is like hard loaf of bread (not quite a rock yet). But dang it was worth it and I am going to be smiling all day long.
Fusion SC, thanks for allowing this old guy a chance to play. You made my week and I am going to see you on the pitch again very soon.