Kale has two teeth now. I forgot to mention that with yesterday’s entry, but we had that first one Saturday and Sunday – poof! – there was the other one right beside it like a little buddy holding hands in a game of Red Rover. They are sharp, those little gnashers. Kale likes to chew. So far, not on me – thank god.
I’m listening to Kale mutter and squeak in his room at the moment – not sure if we will escalate into full on unhappiness or if we are just awake and talking in our space.
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Well, its about four hours later now. It did escalate and so I rescued him and we played and then we took Mooki for a walk in the gorgeous weather. It smells like spring. It smells like spring soccer, actually. That’s a smell I haven’t smelled in a while – the smell of muddy grass and early flower buds. I love that smell. It reminds me of so many soccer games in my past. Important games. Games we lost and games we won. Games that were do or die. Games that I came home bruised and grass stained. Games that we celebrated afterwards.
I miss soccer, a lot. I miss the game, and I miss the comraderie of a team, and I miss that smell.
I’m half thinking of looking for a spring soccer team. Here in the Lower Mainland, soccer is played September to May, with cup play starting as early as March, and a summer league that goes June-July. There are four divisions and within those divisions there are some subdivisions. I’ve only ever played division 3, although I very easily could have played in division 2 but now I doubt very much that even division 3 is in my cards. They have a classics league which they divide into silver and gold and it’s an over 30 league. Years ago, when I played, it was over 35. I remember there was a great to-do when they announced they were hoping to lower the age to 30 in order to get the number of registered players up. I turn 35 next month (!) and so either way, I’d fit into that league. There is a New Westminster team in the winter – I don’t know if they field a summer team or not.
But there it is, festering and growing like a gremlin fed after midnight in the back of my mind and on days like today when I smell the smell of muddy grass all I want to do is pull out my cleats and smack around a ball and I can practically hear the whistle and hear the thwock thwock as the ball gets passed and the field chatter of the game.
I kept all my gear – I had just bought new cleats before hanging them up. My gear is in storage and would require a dust off and my cleats a new layer of dubbin. It’s been years since I played. I quit for a few reasons – the team I coached / managed / played on was self-destructing. Too many players lost, not enough coaching staff… it just wasn’t the same team anymore and like all things that change, sometimes they change into nothingness. And it was also easier to simply stop playing because I had so many health issues going on and was spending far too much time at physiotherapy.
A sports injury specialist told me that one of the occasional symptoms of ulcerative colitis when its not well managed is what’s called symptomatic arthritis. Your body displays all the signs and pain of arthritis in the joints without actually destroying them. Once I started seeing a new gastroenterologist and we worked out a new treatment regime, the ulcerative colitis became managed and my joint pain faded and eventually disappeared altogether. I feel strong now, and joints that once felt stiff and rough feel fluid and capable. But it was easier to remain sedentary. I justified myself by joining a gym, which I only half heartedly worked out at.
I wonder if I still have what I had. I was a skilled and strong defender, not afraid of the ball and not afraid of making plays. I had a voice on the field – I was a drill sergeant and a leader. I don’t think I have run more than five minutes at one time since I quit soccer, a fact that depresses the crap out of me, to be honest. I’m not woe-is-me about my weight anymore, and I hardly care about the shape of my body, but man, my conditioning is non existent and I’d like to get more active. I wonder if a team would take me. I wonder if I could still do it.