Monday, March 19, 2007

Succumbing to Peer Pressure

One of these days I'll learn to say "No."

After four weeks of not being able to run without severe pain the bruise behind my knee finally healed to the point where I could jog. By Wednesday last week I was back to full strength.

So when I ran into a teammate out on the town Saturday night, I easily succumbed to peer pressure and promised to show up and play indoor on Sunday. Well it didn't take much. I do love it. Outdoor soccer's a far more beautiful game, but indoor is still a blast (pun intended for my Baltimore readers)

Then at half time our goalie asked me to take the net. Though I tried to convince him to stay in goal, in the end I still took the gloves. You'd think by now I would have learned, but no.

Completely tossing aside the fact that over a month ago I destroyed my knee playing goal, I got in there anyway. Then, hotdogging, I dribbled the ball to mid-field and embarrassingly my pass was intercepted. Sprinting full field back to the net I managed to pounce on the ball just as their striker was unwinding on a volley. He finished the volley on my head. With a groan of pain he flipped over the top of me. Panicked, I somehow jumped out from under the pile and simultaneously apologizing and frantically surveying the field for the ball... it wasn't in front of me, behind me or in the net. I finally located the ball in my hands.

Seeing the pain he was in, I didn't feel right complaining... but my left pinky wasn't functioning, my elbow was bruised and then it was my head he injured himself striking. Ironically, he'd bruised his knee on the back of my head in the same spot I'd tagged on my own knee a month ago. He limped off the field under his teammates' arms.

The referee awarded them a direct kick on the top of the key which I thankfully read, dove and got a hand on. I feel bad injuring a player in a rec league, but as the ref reassured me after the game, I didn't do anything wrong, but he felt he had to give them a kick since their player couldn't walk. Normally I'd add, "What about my head?" But clearly I'm not using it.

Why am I leaping onto the ball as their striker is about ready to volley it in a rec game? Some day I'll learn to say "No."


Anonymous said...

my rec hockey league (indoor and outdoor included) has seen 2 broken noses (stick induced) in the past 6 months, luckily not mine. i definitely play more conservatively now, because i limp after every game.