Tuesday, October 26, 2010

In The Wink Of A Young Girl's Eye...

Circa 2004 or 2005, Edmonton team. I'm the unattractive red-faced, short-haired, squinty thing in the middle of the back row.

Remember how I was talking about joining a football team after all these years of not being able to find one?

Well, this past Sunday I was able to finally play in a game.

I was SO excited. I knew I'd be a bit out of shape. Also a bit rusty on the field. But the girl who invited me on Facebook said that it wouldn't really matter, and they'd be happy to have me there. It was only a recreational league.

When I got to the field, I felt insanely awkward. I didn't know any of the girls. And I found out that this was a playoff game of sorts. And I also found out when I got there that they were all REALLY young, except the girl who invited me, and she was super fit. The woman had the body of a colt. I have a body like a stack of marshmallows.

When the game started, I was a sub-in with another girl. We were watching the game from the bench, and she leaned over to me and said quietly, 'Don't tell the refs, but I'm only 16! My sister asked me to come play because they needed people. I can't wait for my school soccer season to start up again!'


I leaned over and said in a loud, mock-whisper, 'Don't tell anyone, but I'm almost thirty. And I haven't played in 6 years!' (I had to swallow some wild, nervous laughter.)

The moment came when I was able to get out on the field. I started off pretty good...

Which lasted for about 2 minutes.

The other team looked like they were made up of female Marines. Which, being from this area, they most likely were.

At one point during the first half when I was trying to regain the ball, the muscles in my thighs seized up. Buckled. WOULDN'T WORK. I fell over sideways like I had forgotten that my ankles were shackled together. When I got up and started running around again, I felt very, very dizzy.

I had not realized until that moment that I was too out of shape to play. I voluntarily sat out the second half. If I thought it was embarrassing to uncontrollably keel over on the field while I was still conscious, than it would be mortifying to actually pass out.

At halftime, I did thank the woman who invited me for giving me the chance to come out and play. At least I tried. And I got to see just how out of shape that I am, so I know just how far I have to go to get out of that state. I'm pretty disgusted with myself, to tell you the truth. It was a fail of epic proportions.

I really wanted to leave after that, but I felt like that would be running away with my tail between my legs. I'm 29 effing years old, not 12. So I put on my big-girl pants and stayed to watch the rest of the game no matter how awkward and embarrassed I felt.

I'm glad I did, I missed watching rec football and they were really good. There were people on the team that strongly reminded me of people I played football and Gaelic football with back in Edmonton.

'Our' team ended up winning, so they're going on to the next playoff game. They were very nice and asked me to come back, and I told them I'd be back when I was 30 pounds lighter (and I also wanted to add '10 years younger').

I took off the big-girl pants when I got in my car, and I cried all the way home from the field. A big, red-faced, wailing, snotty cry. Other drivers must have been apalled.I was miserable for the rest of the day.

And you know what?

Luckily I have this little gift of turning an epic fail into a funny story to amuse others. Thank you, Genetics, for letting me be this way.

I went to work the next morning, and I told my friends about it. I did all the actions and everything. The more they laughed, the better I felt.

Like I said, at least I tried. And I got a funny story out of it. That's the most important thing. And I probably needed that cry for many reasons. I hold a lot of stress in. It kind of felt good.

Ok, Mr. Cleese. It's your cue!

There's something else that's bothering me, but nothing to cry about, don't worry.

I'm not one of those people who has to have a ton of 'followers' reading my blog. At my last count, I had 79.

I'm totally cool with that! For someone who had never expected more than 5 people to read my drivel, 79's a ton! I don't actively go out and canvass for people to read my blog. I don't wear a t-shirt advertising my link.

But last night, I came home and saw that the number of followers is now 78.

I'm LOSING follwers??

That kind of makes me feel a teensy-weensy bit insecure.

It's sort of like when someone quietly 'un-friends' you on Facebook with no explanation. And you don't even realize it till months down the road when you decide to leave a comment on their profile to see how they're doing.

I kind of feel like, 'What did I do? What's wrong with me?? Why don't they like me anymore???'

I love the internet. I hate the internet. These are things I just shouldn't care about. So why do I?

Not gaining any followers doesn't bother me a whit. But losing them? Really?


Anonymous said...

Hey Kyna, I love reading your blog but until just now,hadn't a clue how to "follow" you. Actually "following" someone online sounds a bit creepy now I just typed it ... ewww,sorry! Anyhoo, I just added your blog to my Google home page,so hopefully your number of followers will have gone back up to 79 again!

Dawn :)

Kyna said...

Dawn: Haha, thanks :D

Actually, 'Following' is a Blogger thing. If you have a Blogger account, you can click at the top of my page, click 'Follow' and you publicly get counted as someone who likes my blog. Following does sound kinda creepy. Like I'm the leader of a cult or something :P

But at least I know now that you like it, so the number will be back to 79 in my head ;) lol

Bub said...

As one of your stalkers (and you thought 'followers' was creepy), I'm here to stay. Scared yet?!

Maybe your lost follower doesn't have an account anymore and that's why they've disappeared.

As for the too-out-of-shape football experience, view it as a goal (heh) to aim for - there's nothing you can do about the 10 years younger bit, but you can get fitter and whoop their asses!

Byddi - We didn't come here for the grass... said...

Oh you poor thing - I totally understand - on both fronts. But as you said yourself - all is not lost if you end up with a story from it - especially a funny one - because at the end of the day our life boils down to a collection of the stories we have from living it!

Liz said...

Hi Kyna,

I wouldn't let the football game get to me, after all you've made that step now, so why not continue going and then a couple of weeks or months down the line when you're used to running for 90 minutes again you'll be laughing all the way home :)

I've lost 'friends' and 'stalkers', it's no big issue - especially on facebook considering I don't ever update my status, I can't blame people for deleting me... But those people who no longer stalk your blog could simply no longer have the time anymore, or as Bub said, they may have deleted their account or it's become inactive...

Their loss anyway!

Zoe said...

Well, I hate to say I enjoyed a funny story at your expense, but thanks for sharing it! At Least You Tried is a big thing. In my experience, the regret from being too afraid to try is maybe a little bit worse than the embarrassment of trying and failing. And that missing follower... Their loss, I'm afraid. Maybe they prefer to be grumpy and un-entertained.

Kyna said...

Bub: You can stalk me anytime ;)

Yeah, I figure they might have just closed an account. But still....:P

There were women on my last indoor soccer team that were in their 40's, so I know I can do it. It'll just take some time and some willpower lol.

Byddi: Haha, I'm all right today. After one or two sleeps the embarassment fades quite a bit. :)

Liz: I'm going to try and join up again in the spring. The season's pretty much over. If I had just been chunky and a little out of breath, I wouldn't worry about it. The fact that I physically felt really bad...like I was going to faint...that kind of scared me a little. I'm going to train up in the next few months, and we'll see what happens then :)

Zoe: Haha, well I'm glad you got a laugh out of it, makes me feel even better! I used to be too afraid to try anything. I was very shy. Very scared of Failure. Now I poke Failure with a stick every once and awhile to see if it'll chase me and catch me. This time it did. But it doesn't happen very often ;)

Al said...

what is it about this medium that makes us poke fun at ourselves?
No, wait, I do that anyway.
Is it part of a Canadian sense of humour? It certainly is a rule in Oz to laugh at yourself.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Awww Kyna, don't worry, we all have those marshmallowy moments. I've been having one for the last year, and am TRYING to look less like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, but sometimes I seem to misplace my motivation. You're just out of practice, but you're only 30ish...not 130! Maybe the rec soccer league will help you to find your motivation, and you'll be showing those 16 year-olds how soccer is really played in no time :D As for stalkers un-following you, that's just crazy. It's their loss though, not yours!

Anonymous said...

Can I be #80

Pilot x

The Garden Ms. S said...

Hey Kyna, you had a great smile in your old football photo and I bet you did in the game you just "participated" in. :) Good on you for getting out there.

Don't worry about the followers thingy, I think a third of mine clicked on "follow" and kept on going. That's the internet. And, I *loved* this story. :)

Kris said...

Hey, don't cry, kiddo. Remember, the real losers are the ones who no longer even try! And always keep telling your stories. After all - a joy shared is doubled, a dissapointment/ loss shared is halved. So keep on sharing and know that we're caring (shameless rhyme here). :-P

The Idiot Gardener said...

Here's one for you. I recently tried to play football for the first time in about 20 years. I knew I was unfit, but being a man I figured my "skills" would make up for the shortfall.

I've always played as a sort of defensive midfielder, ever since I stopped growing at five feet eight and a half inches, as God intended, which made me slightly too short to remain as a keeper. When I played regularly my nickname was leadfoot (as in the metal, not a string you keep a dog on).

Anyway, I was kanckered within minutes, which didn't help my chances to stopping some young fit nancy boy who kept sprinting past me. Five minutes in I decided to use the "skills", and got a red card.

I thought it was a right result. I got to sit it out, but didn't look like I'd failed. The other lads just thought I was a cyclepath and ignored me in the bar.

Here's a real funny one; I guy I know through work is about 32 or 33, and he plays football regularly. He'd been suffering with what he thought was continual heartburn for a while, which he attributed to indigestion. Anyway, he was playing one evening and had a heart attack, albeit a mild one. What do you think he did? Did he ask his mates to call an ambulance? Did he ask someone to drive him to hospital? Did he even ask someone to drive him home? No, he asked if he could go in bloody goal for a bit!

Now, that's dedication!

Kyna said...

Al: I don't know if it's a blog medium thing, or a Canadian thing. It's definitely a Kyna thing lol. I feel sad for people who can't make fun of themselves.

Clare: Haha, yes I know I'm not a crone or anything like that lol. I'm hoping I do find the motivation to get back into it...I still think I'd enjoy finding an older team though. I don't feel like I have a lot in common with these younger girls...and part of the sports experience is finding a group of people to bond and socialize with.

Pilot: Haha! Yes, you can be #80 :) I didn't even realize you'd read my blog.

Ms. S: I usually do have a smile on my face when I'm playing, except when I'm lying on the ground because my legs won't work!

Kris: Some sound advice there :) And nice poetry!

IG: Haha! I feel slightly better now. I had the same feeling before I went and played...that my skills would overcome all. My skills were rustier than a bicycle chain left out in the rain. Good strategy with the red card, why didn't I think of that? :P

On the other hand, now I feel like even more of a quitter. If your buddy could continue through a heart attack, what's a little dizziness or charley horse?

Marguerite said...

Kyna, so very proud of you for trying out soccer again. Too often we are deterred from doing things we love because we're afraid of not being good enough. I'm sure if you go back and play regularly things will only improve. The internet's a funny place, sometimes you get too much information when you're better off not knowing. Hubby emailed someone the other day and they didn't respond to him but he knew they had seen his email. Spent several days worrying about why they never responded. They did eventually respond but he had himself so worked up in the meantime without even knowing that person's story. Sometimes I miss postcards.

Tweedlebug said...

Oh wow, I remember that photo; I've definitely lost some weight since then. As for you, how can you use the word unattractive when you have such a gorgeous sweet smile? You're lovely both then and now. Soccer-wise, it would be really rough coming in at the end of the season like that; I had a hard enough time trying to remember what I was doing (and keep up with the running) at our first indoor soccer game of the season last week, and I had only been gone for one season. Do consider joining up with them at the beginning of next season, and I'm sure you'll have a blast.

Laurrie said...

This episode was exactly my experience 15 years ago, and you told it so well, right down to the body like a stack of marshmallows and the miserable cry on the way home. I too was excited to join a women's team (it's soccer here, you know), only I was 46 at the time... the rest of my story is just what you posted. After 15 years the telling has gotten better and better (my soccer skills have not), but I sure suffered defeat and disappointment back then. Thanks for the memory and for a great tale.

Potato Queen and Mulch Boy said...

Mmmm, marshmallows. You know, you can line up a bunch marshmallows on a piece of aluminimum foil and put it in the toast over on toast till they turn golden brown, and then take them out and they will look like little loaves of bread only they will really be perfect toast marshmallows...

Oh, I'm sorry, you all are talking about sports. Kyna, your story reminds me of about 15 years when I had a similar experience: friend begged me to go play Ultimate Frisbee with her, they needed girls for the team quota, it would be fun, bla bla bla. We get there and the team is made up of super-fit SERIOUS players (many military, I'm in DC) who definitely want to WIN. Meanwhile I'm this tall, skinny, underweight weakling who can barely run, and can hear the players rolling their eyes as I huff and puff ineffectually up and down and up and down the field (apparently you're never ever allowed to stop running in Ultimate Frisbee). I will never fill anyone's girl quota again.

BUT regarding your faintiness and sickiness: were you nice and hydrated during your big comeback? Not enough water is a killer, and you'll get dehydrated way quicker in sunny NC than you did up nawth.

Is the Wiz said...

As somebody clever once said, Try something, fail at something, try again, fail better. Story of my life.
May I be your 781? Thought I'd signed up to follow you but probably didn't do it right so I just read you via IG, whic I use as a sort of "if you liked this blog you might also enjoy".

Melissa said...

yea - I totally laughed out loud at your expense. thanks, a ton! And I love reading your posts. I find them clever and funny. so there.

Shyrlene said...

Kyna - no disrespect to young athletes, but life is TOO short to be about competitive sports when we mature a 'year or two'. (Though a little "high sticking" to someone who looks a bit too fit... just kidding! ... a little...) ;D

GardenJoy4Me said...

Kyna girl not only do I have you on my blog roll because you are a fellow Canuck .. and number one son has married a South Carolina gal (you being in the north sort of makes it a funny connection (or is that just me?) anywhooo You are one funny gal that always makes me laugh and think when I read your posts .. talk of being out of shape .. lord girl .. I could win every award available for that one .. don't be so hard on yourself .. think of what you have accomplished in your life ! Like getting Chuckles through his illness .. you are one hell of a woman with the capacity to make us all laugh at something or other .. that is GOLD girl so you are wearing medals from "Life's Olympics" BIG TIME !
Joy .. very out of shape menopausal freaking out every two minutes Canuck woman ;-)
PS .. I have to admit that "follower" thing .. creeps me out too .. eeeekkkk !!!!
PPSS ... OK .. that wv is still doing that "lets creep her out again" thing as well, is that on purpose ?????

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I think it's great that you tried again and I also agree that maybe if you start up with them at the beginning of the next season it would be a good way to get back into it.
You are much younger than me, and I secretly wish I could find a team of some sort to try.
My last sports experience out of high school was joining my friends alehouse softball team. My first hit ended up with me falling flat on my face on the way to first base. I was so embarrassed.

Jess said...

Kyna - I'm going back reading some of these posts I missed during my break last fall, and even though you know I follow you anyway, I added you 'to the blogs I follow' so your number will now be like it never lost one.

You are funny, and look at that, a little bit grown up too. I know I can't play tennis the way I did in High School, but I definitely definitely DEFINITELY never would go back!

ps. happy anniversary!