Saturday, August 19, 2006

What Doesn't Kill Us . . .

What doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger. I’ve never put too much stock into flavor-of-the-month inspirational books that build on adages like this one. For one, they never seem to work in the sports world. Well, okay maybe it did for Lance Armstrong, who overcame cancer to win a series of tour de France bicycle races. But that’s an anomaly.

I don’t think it’s going to work for me. Not after last night. My older son Greg signed up for a three-on-three soccer tournament. He hasn’t played competitive soccer in almost ten years. And he signed up his younger brother Scott who only played soccer for fun, also many years ago. Then they talked their younger nephew into playing. His playing career ended in something like the second grade.

Greg’s worst mistake was filling out his four-man roster with your’s truly. Besides being 53, I’m not athletic. The closest I’ve ever come to winning an athletic competition was a chess tournament. Oh, and the water balloon toss at the office picnic. Sure, I coached kids’ soccer but only in the those-who-can’t-do-teach school of sports.

Nevertheless, I figured it would be fun. Greg hoped my age would place us in a bracket of weekend athletes like ourselves, rookies out for a little exercise and entertainment. My boss did worry me with the comment, "Maybe they’ll figure you must be the Pele of Ann Arbor playing at your age."

Oh, well. I told Greg I would only trot onto the field if somebody was injured, or during the final minute of the game when players would be so winded from their efforts that I might be able to keep up. Afterall, the open adult division was for ages 18 and up. But then my nephew begged off, saying he had other commitments. Oh, oh.

More oh-ohs when we arrived at the fields and saw the other players "Oh my god. They have uniforms. With NUMBERS on them," my wife Wendy said. My sons and I just made sure we had the same color t-shirts on.

And my boss’s words were prophetic. We were placed in the more competitive division. When I heard a player on another team say his college soccer squad had just finished their two-a-day practices, I thought to myself, "This can’t be good."

And it wasn’t. David would have had better luck with Goliath WITHOUT the slingshot. Custer was more successful at The Little Big Horn. We played against the team with numbered uniforms, then against the team with the college player (he wasn’t even the best on his team). After the games, I asked Wendy the score and she said she lost track. Thank god there was no mercy rule.

Only my sons’ grit and determination made us competitive. Greg actually scored two goals, one each against the above teams and we were only losing 1-0 at halftime during our third and final game. I tried. My legs ached afterwards and I’m sure I’m going to lose the toenail off my bloody big toe.

But I did come out achieving one of my goals. I did NOT have a heart attack. I had warned my boss that was a possibility. Well, maybe in that respect, that which didn’t kill me made me stronger. My heart muscle anyway.


Blogger Kacey said...

Another Weekend Warrior bites the dust! You need to learn that youthful sports can be taken in small doses by teams of one! (Like snow-skiing, water-skiing, roller- blading, swimming, pool and perhaps jacks. You just have to learn never to commit yourself to a team event, where you feel it is do or die --- because you just might! Wendy, is his life insurance paid up?

1:03 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

Bet you did great. I played soccer in college for a year; I became a weenie after I discovered it's much rougher than it looks.

4:32 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

I see you've managed to prove out my personal theory, one I thought up after my motorcycle accident last year. In short, "What doesn't kill you, very often hurts like heck!"

6:32 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Hoo Boy Dave I thought you would be smarter than that Buddy, you could do yourself a mischief out there you know.

6:22 AM  
Anonymous Terri said...

That WAS a coincidence that we both blogged about winning/losing.
And bravo to you for trying! I can see you now....feet elevated, pillows at your back, ice pack on your toe....and poor Wendy running back and forth catering to the aftermath of a sports star.
Ah...the price of competition.

6:22 AM  
Blogger poopie said...

Dave, if I had your address I'd send you a t-shirt with number ONE on it.

2:34 PM  
Blogger Nankin said...

Oh my! Like you said, at least you didn't have a heart attack.

2:59 PM  
Anonymous schnoodlepooh said...

Congratulations on still being alive! I'm glad you survived.

11:08 PM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Soccer? Too much running for me. Glad you are still around to tell about it.

5:37 AM  
Anonymous enforcer said...

just some advice, you might want to carry some ace bandages and ice to your game's

6:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

till next year right?

7:02 AM  
Blogger Me said...

You are a brave, brave man!! Or crazy! At 39 I wouldn't have tried that! I'm proud of ya, fella!

8:48 AM  
Blogger pissed off patricia said...

When the other team shows up in professional uniforms, it's time to hitch up the horses and head back to the barn.

2:43 PM  
Blogger molly said...

How brave you are! You survived. The only sports I'm allowed to play these days are the spectator kind. Harder to get hurt that way!

10:25 PM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Dave ~~ Glad you survived that little game. Not one of your better ideas !! Thanks for your comments on the Butcher Dance. It took a long time to get there, but it wasn't too bad.
Take care Dave, Cheers, Merle.

7:15 AM  
Anonymous pride and podunk prejudice said...

You lost?! Got matches?

8:06 AM  
Anonymous bonnie said...

P. S. Guess what I found upon googling the spelling for overrated, before sending a comment to Gene?

8:33 AM  
Blogger Margaret said...

I admire you; I am not athletic either, although I do run. If I had to do something like what you did, I would cry, have a tantrum, and refuse to participate.

7:51 PM  
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