One of the biggest downsides of falling flat on your face is that you can’t see the reactions of the people around you. Sunday night was an example of that for me as I played forward for my ‘Over 30’ women’s soccer team.
I am of the generation of women who had to learn soccer as an adult. Back when I was in high school girls played basket ball, volley ball or ran track. This is my excuse for not having the greatest of ball skills. In the past I’ve compensated with speed, but the further I go ‘over 30’ the greater that speed diminishes.
For these reasons I usually play defense. For these same reasons, I was really thrilled Sunday night, while playing forward, to get past the last defender and have a breakaway. I was to be me and the goalie. I finally was going to have a chance to score. For those same reasons I was devasted when I stepped on the ball instead of dribbling it. (Loyal teammates insist that I was pushed which was why I mis-stepped….) I went down, hard, mostly because I was trying to regain the ball rather than catch myself.
Laying there, contemplating the putrid color of the really lousy artificial turf, my abysmal soccer skills, and how hard it was going to be to get up, I heard my teammate asking the ref, “So the goal counts?” It turns out that everyone else had a great show as I lay with my eyes facing downward.
Eyes in the back of my head, though, would have allowed me to see my teammate, a 2nd grade teacher and usually Miss Empathy herself, hurdling over my prone body to score a goal. I was given the assist for “playing possum.”
© Laura Hedgecock 2009