Today I am thankful for playing old guy soccer.
Yup, this is pretty much how I felt at about 5:50pm today:
Two Men on Soccer Field — Image by © Gary Salter/zefa/Corbis
An email came across my desk today that made me smile… “Parent Pick-Up Soccer Games” was the subject line. How can you say no to that??? I almost did. There’s work I need to get done, I don’t have my work out clothes on me, I don’t have time, I might get hurt, and what if I suck were amongst the handful of excuses that went through my head. I set the idea aside and was going to be content with skipping it and getting other stuff done.
That’s when I got the text. “Brenda wants you to play soccer!” Not gonna lie, I got a huge smile on my face while waiting in line to check out with my new contacts at ShopKo. How awesome, I was actually wanted on a team! Me, the guy who hasn’t played anything remotely close to competitive soccer in oh, I don’t know, 21 years. My ego feeling inflated, I decided it was a sign and I should go play. It wasn’t until after I got to the field that I realized I’m pretty sure Brenda wanted me to play so we had even sides 🙂
It was an absolute blast! For a while I didn’t even feel my age, I was a total kid having a great time playing a game with other kids without a care in the world. At no point in the fun did I think of family responsibility, work responsibility, or anything related to responsibility. It was pure play and it felt amazing.
Don’t get me wrong, my play was anything but amazing, but it was fun regardless. Chasing each other down, sliding to try to block a goal, trying passes and shots that I had absolutely no right to attempt, and smiling the whole way. Even getting burned and losing my jock several times while Adam blew by me, around me, over me, and in a couple of cases, right through me… Nothing could wipe the smile off my face. Hell, I was even laughing at myself when Brenda and I both went for the ball at the same time and I realized why soccer players wear soccer cleats (like Brenda had on) versus soft topped Vibram Five Fingers (like I had on). The entire time we were giggling, smiling, helping each other, teasing each other, and enjoying playing with each other.
While now, a couple of hours later, I’m a little stiff, a little banged up, and feeling a little tired, I’m still smiling and thinking… Thinking, why don’t we do this more often? Why don’t I take more time to play and enjoy playing just for the sake of having fun. Between this and the escape room we did on Friday it seems like I should be doing this more often. I know, there’s a balance somewhere that needs to happen between responsibility and play, but how often do I put the focus in the wrong spot or not make play more of a priority? Times like this remind me of how I need to do a better job of making this a priority.
And as I’m thinking about that and typing this blog, I’m still smiling about how much fun it was to have a parents’ pick up game of soccer so this old guy could play and remember how much fun it is to have that much fun! 🙂