Until last month it has been 25 years since I played in a soccer game. At a friend’s urging (thanks Kim) I signed up to play with the Marin Womens Soccer League (http://www.mwsl.net). I was very honest on the application indicating that it had been eons since I actually played soccer but had played competitively in my youth and Varsity through High School. (And no, I am not the kind of former high school athlete who waxes poetically about how much I rocked soccer in high school. I mean I did, but that’s another story. )
Long story short I got assigned to the team that my pal Kim plays on. The team captains sent me a nice note indicating that I’d been ‘drafted’ which is cute and made me feel warm and fuzzy until I realized that they probably don’t turn people away. It’s Marin, for crying out loud where we don’t keep score for kids sports until they are like 18. There are two divisions in Marin Womens Soccer; Open and Over 35.
Thankfully my pal Kim plays in the Over 35 division because having to play against women in their 20’s or even early 30’s scared me. Let’s reiterate – 25 years since I’ve played soccer!
So how does it feel to be playing soccer again after so long? One word: awesome. I like to play halfback which means I spend most of the game running back to help defend and running forward to help on offense. We don’t have tons of subs so I’ve been playing a lot. Now while I am a long distance runner, running and sprinting up and down a soccer field is a challenge.
Surprisingly my skills, while rusty are not that bad. I’m a bit shy of charging a player who’s about to kick because frankly I’m afraid to have my teeth knocked out. I get anxious if I have to dribble because being I’m afraid of losing the ball and I prefer to boot it or pass and I have never felt confident about my speed (or lack thereof). But I do have a lot of fun and yesterday I scored a goal. I’m not quite sure how I did it but I’m told it looked pretty good!
So other than brag about my playing what is my point? I guess it would be that it’s never too late to try something old. If you loved swimming as a kid, you can take some masters swim classes. If you loved riding your bike, look into joining up on a local weekend ride with a bike coalition or bike club. If you played guitar in a garage band in your teen years, contact a local music store for lessons or post and ad on Craigslist for fellow middle agers who still love to rock!
So carry on mid-lifers – and have some fun!
Now go run!