Crossing the Touchline

28 Sep

Sunday marked the start of my second full season of playing soccer as an Adult.  I started up for the Forsyth Fusion’s Adult league back in the Winter season of 2010, and have been playing ever since.

Sunday was a warm afternoon – a full sun and temperatures in the 80’s.  It made play more challenging for sure, but it was well worth the sweat.  I took up my normal position in the back, but had several opportunities to get shots on frame.  My game continues to improve in a lot of dimensions – but still has so much room to improve.  Until it does, I continue to rely to some degree on athleticism and persistence to try and bridge the gaps.

My definitions of athleticism and my goals have changed a lot since starting to play soccer.  I started playing soccer as a fairly typical “Gym fit” person.  I was in the gym 2-4 days a week at lunch, doing the usual set of exercises mostly on free weights.  There were lots of isolation exercises that were in my set – bicep curls, shoulder work, and so on.  I’d occasionally get on a cardio machine too.

The first month that I played soccer, I was debilitated the next day – quadriceps and hip flexors that were so sore and tight that it was hard to walk.

Gradually, I started to shift gym work more in the direction of “Functional” fitness and strength that I thought I could use on the field.  In came more squats, lunges, deadlifts, pull ups, Burpees, Medicine Ball work, and anything else I thought I could do in the gym.  The result is being a lot stronger, a lot leaner and really having purpose for getting to the gym (versus the old days of just going to get away from my desk).  I’ve really come to understand why having purpose to workouts, beyond just being fit or strong is a greater motivator!

Back to Sunday’s game – we ended up winning by forfeit after our opponent failed to have a critical number of players show up for the game.  Our team ended up joining another team that was short of players for their game, so we still got our game time in anyway.  I’ve come to realize the process, not the outcome is what’s critical to my happiness and satisfaction.  Did I get my minutes, touches and an opportunity to contribute?  That’s what’s important when you get to age 34.

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