Wednesday, September 24, 2008
This is the football field around which I've run at least forty gazillion laps since the early 1980's. When I was in high school, my mother organized the fundraising effort to put down a track surrounding the field.
For all the grief I give her, she really was very inspirational as it related to our participation in sports. She played softball into her 40's and encouraged us to play; she made me join a bowling league with her (my highest score was 198, yes it was); and when she was young, she was one of the first females to letter in varsity basketball at Gloucester High School. This was in the days when women only played half-court.
Have I mentioned here lately how old I feel when I say stuff like that, things like, "My mother played basketball when it was only a half-court sport," or "My great-aunt took a horse and buggy to get to town," or "I must have my 13-year-old show me how to do anything that has a wire attached to it," or "You won't believe where I found a hair growing today?"
Last night I attended a Mathews High School j.v. football game, and today I watched two Ware Academy soccer games. Can I tell you that in spite of being a 43-year-old female, I wanted to jump right out onto both playing fields and tear things up? I wanted to race up and down the soccer field, kick the doggone ball until the stuffing came loose, tackle someone on the football field and later score the winning touchdown.
Yes, I even want to play football when I'm watching it from the sidelines. Would you believe that I have actually played a game of football on the MHS field before, under the lights, in front of an audience, and it did not happen when I was ten toes up asleep and dreaming? Would you believe I scored a touchdown, only it didn't count and I was so pissed off I couldn't see straight and steam was coming out of my ears? Would you believe that I was so angry that my touchdown didn't count I cannot even remember WHY it didn't count? It had nothing to do with me, but something to do with someone else. I'm sure of it.
By the way, even though sometimes I have been known to embellish or tweak the facts of a story for effect (or because I can't remember the facts), the truth is I really did play football on this field, one game: the Powder Puff game. Girls played football, and boys played cheerleaders. My heavens there were some ugly looking cheerleaders that night. And there was at least one female who was robbed of a touchdown, but she's not bitter or resentful or anything, even over 25 years later..
My point is....I'm not sure. Actually, I belive there are several.
I thank my mother for influencing me to love participating and competing in sports. The best memories of my life have been around high school (and county league) sports -not watching but participating.
I can't watch a sporting event without wanting to run out and start playing, regardless of the sport.
I was a darn fine football player, and I did score a touchdown. Whether it counted or not is absolutely, positively, 100% immaterial.
I was made to play sports, not watch them. Just ask my children, they can tell you. I embarrass them on a weekly basis as a spectator who feels that no age is too old to get out there and compete, or at least to scream with the enthusiasm of a Middle-Aged Wanna Be who wishes she could play and who will not get old without a fight.