Thursday, May 19, 2005

Beginner's Mind

Well, it's been awhile since I've had something worthy to blog about.. that is, something new and different. But this week, something new and different happened.

I joined a soccer team.


Ok, think of "team" rather loosely; like, in terms of a bunch of women from their twenties to forties, most of whom have kids and exert themselves more from running after toddlers than logging the miles on the roads. But nevertheless, we are a team, of sorts.

I've been hankering to play a sports-like game with other women for a while now. I was too late in the know to join the hockey team (but I have my sites on it for winter 2006!!) and found out about this soccer thing. Now, I have only played soccer a couple of times in my life. We're talking junior high gym class and when I was in Guatemala and we spent the night in a small village while backpacking to a lake. Apparently the locals looked forward to the gringos showing up so they could whip our butts in a match. It was good cross-cultural fun, but certainly no suprises on who was putting in the most goals.

Anyway, as a junior high student when faced with the options for fall sports, I was intimidated by all the cool girls who had been playing soccer since they were 3 and opted for field hockey. Later i dissed the team thing all together and joined cross-country team. Much, much more fun. Until I found Ultimate in college and well... that was great except i couldn't keep up with the partying. But, back to me playing soccer.

I was assurred that this team was for everyone, old highschool stars and newbies alike. And though i was one of the few without cleats, shin guards and my own ball, I wasn't the only one who was passing the balls several degrees away from my target. We have a coach- an actual coach! And I had to laugh when he directed us to take a warm up lap. Um, *a* warm up lap? what happened to 5 laps, or a mile? Over lunges and stretches he encouraged us to be gentle, back off if it started to burn. I looked around with a grin. Yup, we aren't spring chickens anymore. I haven't even turned 30 and I'm being told to take it gentle!!

But gentle is right up my alley these days. While appreciative whistles and glances of appreciation followed those who brought some skills to the field, there was a greater abundance of laughter and "sorry!" that filled the air as balls missed their targets and we fudged drill after drill. A dad on solo duty for the night pulled up with 2 little girls in a red wagon to cheer mom on. How cool is that?

This is the perfect intro to soccer for me, and though I let about a gazillion goals get past my defensive stance during the scrimmage, I kept reminding myself to just be in beginner's mind. It's a game, I'm out to have fun. And, to learn new skills and perhaps get over the stupid self-talk that kept me from joining soccer 15 years ago. I feel a bit humbled, but more appreciative of the company of women I'm in, and to just *play.*


Blogger xz said...

that rocks!

10:11 AM  
Blogger Bartlebee said...

you are inspiring.

1:58 PM  

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