In my inaugural soccer years I was overweight and could not for the life of me run more than ten steps before wheezing. I played goalie. Putting my substantial weight behind the ball, my foremost accomplishment subsisted in my dropkicking ability to soar the ball over my fellow eight-year-olds’ heads. Later years I played defensive positions because I loved to tackle my opponents. I honestly took pride in the fact I could annihilate them. For me, a marvelous game materialized when an opposing player’s coach and trainer carried her off the field after one of my tackles. However, at the time in my life when this day transpired, I played outside midfield. For those of you who identify with the American pastimes baseball and football and know more about cauliflower than soccer, outside mid equates running. I discerned my running ability when my family obtained a dog. She would escape and I would be the overweight wretch so blessed with the task of catching her. I grew a few inches, ran incessantly after that golden canine (yellow blob in the distance), and, henceforth, played outside mid.
I was twelve. My teammates all wore sports bras. Even though my goldfish Betty had more need of a sports bra than I, I still donned one. In our defensive half of the field one of my teammates stole the ball and passed to me on the halfway line. It was the second half of the game. The score was 0-0. I received the ball and turned in one fluid motion. I kicked it a few steps ahead and sprinted. I envisioned beating defenders with mad soccer skills. I imagined scoring. I visualized the ball’s exact placement. I felt the glory. Swoop, slice, swish, I beat one girl. Then another. My vision neared. I sensed exhilaration. Step over the ball, lunge, progress other direction. Another opponent trounced. I nudged the ball to my right side, setting up for a shot. One step and my vision virtually achieved. One more step, my right leg pulled back, seconds from whipping through, ball shot. Leg thundering forward, and my chest throbbed, my sports bra droned. My leg arrested mid-swing and swerved in the opposite direction. Arms frenziedly brandished about as my visualization banished. Diminutive wings thrashed against my sports bra’s interior as I tore across the field, bug-eyed, screaming like a banshee. Ball forgotten, my body convulsed as I ripped off my jersey and tore at my sports bra, attempting to release the trapped bee. I shrieked shock, my body seized, and I managed to grasp the sports bra and release the offending bee.
I stood, calm, shirtless, halfway across the field. I no longer screeched, and my limbs appeared adjoined to my body. I tranquilly ambled to the ball and joined the pursuit to goal. The game ended shortly after, 0-0.
Lesson Learned: If utterly crucial, leave ball in front of goal and dash, squealing, extremities slaughtering air.
Choose: life and physical comfort, or torture and momentary satisfaction in game’s win.