Friday, January 30, 2009

In Which We Haz a Sad

I think I retired from soccer tonight. After having worked reasonably hard in the gym for the past few months, dropped some poundage to make my creaky knees happy, and pumped up the cardio fitness... I embarrassed myself pretty well on the field after all that. Knees were stubbornly sore, feet forgot how to be quick, legs decided they didn't want to be fast, former decent touch on the ball apparently took off for Maui sometime last week without telling me. We play in the bottom division and I can't keep up any more. Not even with the girls.

So I am washed up at 41 after 32 years of playing, with about a ten year break there in there to go to grad school and have the kid and stuff. Highlights were a 3rd-place finish in the Indiana State Cup with my women's team when I was in high school (no high school girls' soccer in South Bend back then), a season and a half on the club team at Northwestern (no varsity soccer in the Big Ten except for Indiana and Michigan back then, and the verbal assurance that I could walk on at Notre Dame didn't come with any scholarship money attached), and a co-ed championship in Tucson in 2000 that saw my teammates vote me Player of the Match in the final game. Permanent souvenirs include missing cartilage in both knees and a patch of scar tissue on my left shin that will never go away.

The days of goofy tan lines are over. I am now relegated to 40 Year Old on an Elliptical Machine Land. Ah well.


Anonymous said...

Nooooo ... don't retire! Unless you've lost your love of the game (which it sure doesn't sound like you have) can't you just shift your expectations a tad?

Or maybe you could take the course I took (as a non-soccer player who wanted to start at age-45) and step in the goal. It always kept the heart rate up for me!

Of course, I'm talking indoor soccer - which I'm guessing you're not. Do they have that in AZ? It might be a good option to stave off retirement.

Anyway - don't give up after 32 years ... IMVVHO!

Boltgirl said...

At 5'4" I'm a little on the short side for covering the goal, especially when we already have a 6'5" dude on the team who takes up about a third of that space just by standing there.

And my knees can't take the pounding of indoor (our only facility doubles as a roller hockey venue and so has a hard surface).

It's okay, I knew this would happen eventually--was just hoping it wouldn't be this week.