After a return to soccer following my eighth grade retirement from the sport, many analysts thought that that would be the final curtain on my career.
How wrong they were.
Temporarily maddened by the triumph of knocking over children while avoiding their flailing cleats; I - apparently; it's all a little hazy - sent an email to the local rec sports coordinator expressing an interest in joining some sort of a team this winter. He acknowledged my email. I mentally acknowledged his acknowledgement. And that was that. Until a few days ago when a request for two additional players arrived in my inbox.
I thought: !!!!!!!!!! Then I thought: !!!!!!!!!! Then I wrote back and said OK but I'm not, you know, good. And the team captain wrote back and said, buck up, you'll be fine, welcome aboard.
Having thus committed myself I created a good intentions list. Good intentions are so important, aren't they? Ninety-nine percent of exercise, really. Thus, I promised myself that I would, very soon: Stretch. Start running again. Practice dribbling around those little orange cones. Buy some little orange cones. Oh, and find something sporty to wear that isn't a pair of pajama bottoms. And cleats! I would really need to get some cleats and start breaking them in before...
The second email arrived: "Roster set. First game Friday. See you all there!"
What HAVE I done? Remember when I signed Patrick up for soccer and he said, oh no, I'm going to be terrible, this is awful, I am going to be humiliated, why oh why?
Well: OH NO. I'M GOING TO BE TERRIBLE. THIS IS AWFUL. I AM GOING TO BE HUMILIATED. WHY OH WHY?
I am so worried I'm about to make an utter fool out of myself. Me. On a team. With people I have never met before in my entire life. People - if their email addresses are to be believed - with soccer names like Guillermo and Enrique and Kailee.
Also the game is at 9:30. NINE. THIRTY. On a Friday night. That's like, second glass of wine o'clock. Have you ever, seriously, looked around your living room at 9:30 on a Friday night and said, "Wow, I wish I was participating in some vigorous sport right now." No. No you have not.
do you want to know what happens when a wider footed woman goes to her local sporting goods store and asks to see a selection of cleats in her size? The sales guy looks dubiously at her elegant albeit curvy hoof and steers her toward the men's section who in turn tell her to try the internet.
And do you want to see what happens when a wider footed woman proceeds to order cleats off the internet?
The grey and black sole on the bottom belongs to my running shoe. The hot pink and orange... teeny tiny wedge shape arrow head bone crushing thing on top came in a box labeled Cleats. Ha! They are lined up at the heel and both, incidentally, purport to be size 7.5.
Now I ask you, do those two things look like they are even remotely the same size? No.
I can't believe I signed up to do this.