I’m a lucky guy. For a lot of years growing up, I was a sporting young man. Lots of running, jumping, throwing, and…uh, running. Anyhoo, I became fairly adept at playing a number of sports just well enough to compete with the scrubs at local parks. And I played all the time!
When I struck out on my own, I continually looked for opportunities to play recreational sports. From formal leagues, to playing obscene amounts of basketball with friends, and even jogging on occasion just to burn off energy, I did it all! At my peak of athleticism (and aloneness) I found myself on two indoor soccer teams, one outdoor team, a basketball team, and a softball team. Each day of the work week had some sort of game going on!
Fast forward let’s say 15 years…
I should, by all accounts, weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 pounds. Gone are the days of filling every non-working moment with some sort of activity. Long ago replaced by Netflix, couch time, and a variety of cheeses, the athletic days have calmed significantly. Every now and again I’ll peel myself off of the couch and try not to hurt myself walking to the fridge and back.
But for anywhere between 20-40 minutes every Sunday night over the last 15+ years, there’s one thing that has kept me moving a bit. Indoor soccer. Yes, for a few minutes once a week, I force myself to labor up and down a field of artificial turf trying to will a plastic orb into a net more times than the opposing team.
I shouldn’t be doing this anymore. Really. I’m basically in the same league I’ve been in since this madness began more than a decade and a half ago. Most people who were playing at this place back then have moved on. Some have started families, some have chosen recliners, some have surely moved on to the grave. For eff’s sake, it’s an 18+ league. That means some of the people I’m playing soccer against weren’t even born when I started…or they were sitting in a car seat on the sidelines! This thought only just occurred to me while writing this, so I’m trying to type through many tears and joints swollen from tonight’s game.
I think it’s a rare thing to actually get to witness yourself age. Thanks to soccer, I get to do that every week! In my youth I was a pretty fast dude. However, until Alzheimers hits (no doubt in a month or two), I will never forget being in a flat out sprint alongside a 20-something woman who couldn’t have been more than five feet tall. She destroyed me! And this happens all the time. Fortunately, I’m not on the field too long before crawling off crying for a substitution.
I really do enjoy playing, though. If there’s a reason to look forward to turning 40, it’s the hope of joining up with an over-40 league where opposing teams can appreciate a couch like I do and hold the same contempt for these ‘roided up youths and their boundless energy.
Until then, I’ll continue in my strict regimen of dodging exercise until Sunday kickoffs and falling back into a comatose state immediately following the final buzzer. Sure, I could get out more and try to stay in shape. But working out is hard! And thanks to my athletic childhood, I’m able to fool people into thinking I’m actually IN shape, so what do I have to prove? I think I’ve earned a cupcake.
I’ve forgotten my point. Ah well. Goodnight, all.