The soccer field has been the bane of my existance for over a month now. Once a point of refuge, now a location of tainted love. It is not the team — they are a joy. They run like emus, stalk the opposing offense like lionesses on the prowl, and even often have a nice passing game that advances us up the field. The problem is me.
Typically I spill my spirit in a team sport, using my emotions to fuel my sprints and my technique to rock some major ball kicking skills. Lately though, it feels as if any instinct I ever had about soccer has been shoved into a rusty tea kettle and left under a unused Grateful Dead bus. I have been playing as though I never attended a soccer practice once in my life.
For example, last Monday night at a reasonably timed 9:00 game (that’s 21:00 for those of you still thinking about Extreme Boot Camp), a ball was hurled by the opposing team’s goalie down the center of the field, right towards me. Take a wild stab at which of the three I did:
A. I headed the ball not in any particular direction, but enough to change the direction of the play.
B. I chested the ball and passed it to a fellow team member.
C. I ducked away from the ball as it barely grazed my shoulder, and then instantly wanted to lie face down in the turf and have my cleats be removed from my feet because I am no longer worthy of bothering to wear them.
It’s not just trapping the ball with various body parts that is evading me. When I’m challenging someone for the ball, I don’t ever feel like I’m going to win it — so guess what? I don’t. I am not running hard enough to keep up with my co-ed marks, even though reason concludes I should be able to. My few shots on goal are wild and never even aimed at the goal — the seem to be flinging themselves to the right. Any skill I had at the game has been cracked like sea glass and left under my feet so I step on it and bleed.
This all has been bothering me for some time, and after last week’s pathetic display of soccerism, I realized it was time to take charge. Soccer is supposed to revitalize me, not leave me feeling like last year’s stale ice cream cones. So I have developed a plan:
1. Pump Me Up
I will pump myself up in two ways before the game: by thinking of things that make me angry (like litter or people who hurt other people) and by listening to get some music, which in my case tends to be Blink 182’s All the Small Things, the title song from the new remake of Fame, and My Chemical Romance’s I’m Not Okay. (Suggestions are welcome, by the way.)
2. Faster Faster
I will run faster than I want to or think I can, and simply utilize the subs more. I will even run fast during one of my weekly runs, just to practice.
3. Positive K
I will make a more valiant effort to win the ball by keeping my head in the game, and by believing in my ability to do so.
I will drag Ken (or let him drag me) out of the apartment and out to a field to practice kicking the ball at the goal. Over and over again.
Yup, it’s time to revamp my style, to stop hindering my team, and to play like I’m a Buffalo girl and not a wimp. I want to love soccer again, not dread it.
Feeling tired? Try a new kind of fatigue to boost your energy with Fitness Boot Camp. Check out my StudentStuff post here.
A little teaser to wet your taste buds…
With Jazzercise fading into the past (though I do anticipate its revival – if roller derby can make a come back, leotards can too) and the Support Our Troops ribbons continuing to make sales, aerobics instructors everywhere have combined strength and endurance training with the popularity of patriotism. The result? Fitness Boot Camp.