Jacklynn + Soccer = 0

Living without regrets also means doing things that you would regret not doing. Unfortunately you never know if you’ll regret doing something until you do it. A risk I’m willing to take. (Against the best advise from the friends who know how socially handicapped I am and from my own pleading sensibilities begging me not to).

Kyle had pulled the ol’ bait n’ switch yesterday: Inviting me to a game of pick-up soccer at the nearby park and then feigning a headache at the last moment. Curse you, Kyle! Curse you and your hypochondria! There was absolutely no reason for me to go anyway. On the contrary, there were several reasons for me not to go:

#1. I haven’t played soccer since elementary school. And when I say “played” I mean: Stand around on the soccer field during recess.

#2. I have no foot-body coordination.

#3. I’m not athletic and dislike running.

#4. I wouldn’t know anyone there.

#5 I would add no benefit to any team I was on. Jacklynn + soccer = 0

But whatever, I figured it was for my own good. Getting out and meeting people who lived in my neighborhood. While their enjoyment of community athletics was a sure sign that we would have little in common, I was optimistic that they would have a some nonathletic and/or malnourished friend on the sideline cheering them on over their used copy of Oliver Twist. I always give things the benefit of the doubt: Hey, if I’m going, there are bound to be other people like me!  People who were just going to have fun and literally “kick around.” Ok, and to be fair I have always liked soccer.

After mentally preparing myself and sending Kyle hexes via texts, I waddled down to the park fashionably late. There was no way I could attend this sort of thing early or even on time. It would give others the unfair image of me as some sort of authority in soccer, life, or sports. As I peaked over the hill, I could see a bunch of guys (Oh wait, no! Between the leg hairs I could see maybe two or three girls too!) hopping around in their forced-casual soccer outfits. Some modeling knee-high soccer socks, shin guards, shiny shorts, and, I assume some had pulled out their cleats for this humdinger. I was probably the youngest one there with at least half of the players looking like hip dads. Early in the game the group split off into two factions, the new faction taking with them the other three girls. This would have been a good time for me to have run off into the woods never to be seen again.

Again, the beaming thought “I should not be here” radiated from me. I’m quite sure that underneath the kindness of the other players they were thinking “Yeah, you don’t. Please go away. You’re depressing everyone.” There is just a fundamental disconnect between me and sports, especially when I have to play them. I felt the same way when I played tennis for high school. When I was unable to stop the sarcastic dialogue that would play through my head when the tiresome sport phrases were barked at me in husky voices: “Hussle!” “Get in there, Jacklynn!” “Defense!” “After it!” “Five more!” “HUSSLE!” “HUUSSSSLLLEE!” I am not competitive. A girl in a leg brace beat me once because I didn’t want to hit the ball too far from her. That is who we’re working with.

I was immediately recognized as negligible to the team. I was often open because, heck, there was no reason to block me. And besides, when I got the ball I usually kicked it to the other team anyway. The other players would get the ball, hold on to it and  thoughtfully plan their next move. They would do weird things with their foot that would make the ball avoid the feet of their opponents. They would kick backwards and forwards and aim at things. They did not, like I did, immediately kick the ball away from them to whoever was nearest. That’s what no formal training whatsoever means, people. I also feel like the other players did not charge people as much as I did. This probably means it’s not a “thing” to do in soccer.

Other differences:

#1 No one else hid behind other players when their team mate was desperately looking to pass it to someone.

#2 No one else whimpered when ever they got the ball. At one point the phrase “Oh my god, I don’t deserve this ball” was used.

#3  “Good effort” was used exclusively for me during the game.

#4 I felt the needs to pass the ball to someone who had the ball already because I was obviously standing in his way. This caused him to loose the ball.

#5 I Even though I think using ones arm to block the ball isn’t allowed, no one said anything when I did it repeatedly.

 After an hour and 15 minutes I caved and asked a boy what time it was, said I was late for something, and then ran off after some saying some self-deprecating words about myself. CLASSY. 

I’m being dramatic, I know. Like I said, I don’t mind soccer and it wasn’t terrible, but these were serious business soccer players. They did not need me dinkin’ around thinking about corgis on their field.…Jacklynn Muddling Around in the World and in Your Way.

Matt said it made him feel stressed just hearing about my adventure. But experiences! What would I do without them?

He says that I would probably meet people that interested me doing things that interest me.

He might have a point there.

Your Turn:
  1. carissa says:

    Your trials and tribulations touch me. I also tried to play soccer last week with similar results but in order to pretend that I was being useful I ran quickly in circles in the general direction of the ball. I tried to make one shot on the goal and nearly hit a fireman in the face who was stretching. It might be good to be reminded every once in a long while why we don’t actively seek out team sports.

  2. Jacklynn says:

    We are roommates in life, not just in Laramie. Why did either of us pick soccer? WHY?!

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