Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Remember, Remember....: Soccer/Football/足球

Hope you aren't getting tired of the constant barrage of blogposts. If so, tough.

Soccer fans...making football
fans look normal since 1928
Some of you may know that before I met running, my first (sport) love was soccer. I played in the city league as a girl; I played on my high school team for four years; I played on IM teams in college, and I even coached AYSO U12 boys a couple of years ago.

I am also crazy about the World Cup and pretty much think it is better than Christmas, which is saying a lot because I adore Christmas.

Hence, when I heard about the a two month long soccer tournament at SIAS, I couldn't wait to relive my "glory days." Joining the Rejects team, as I affectionally called us because we were students and teachers who didn't have a department to join, was a blast and a great experience. 

Initially I thought it would be a fun way to keep in running shape because my motivation to run is directly to correlated with the outside temperature. 

Yes, I find it ironic that the thing I hated most about soccer-- running-- was my primary motivation to join the team (who am I?!). Although it did help me exercise, I was painfully reminded that I am no longer 8 years old, or 16, or even 20. My knees and hip ached and groaned after just kicking the ball around for a few hours. Wimps.

We had a great team who may have not had the best record  (our total wins was, um, zero), but we lacked in skill and talent, we made up in heart and spirit.

At the end of the tournament, we played the two best in the league, and almost tied with both. Everybody loves an underdog, and we definitely gave them both a run for their Chinese RMB.

Interestingly enough, girls playing soccer is almost unheard of here. In a university of 20,000+ students, we had one Chinese girl join. She had to play on our team because her department wouldn't allow girls on their team. Crazy.

Apparently, girls who play contact sports here, especially soccer, is the equivalent to those who play tackle football in America or buzkhashi in Central Asia.

Riding on a horse, swinging a dead goat. Very manly

Playing against some of my former students and seeing their surprise and amazement never failed to crack me up. A few almost couldn't believe that I was the same person who taught them how to say their "th" sounds (who am I kidding, most of them still can't).

Overall, despite the old lady joint pains, impressively unbroken losing streak, chilly/smoggy weather, I had a great time.

I love how many amazing opportunities we have here to participate in, and I am so thankful.

Right before I nailed him in the head with the ball

Failing as  (I think the score that game was 1-7)  
Grass Warmers! 
And the best part was that we wore totally authentic counterfeit FC Barcelona uniforms/kits! Since Barcelona is my favorite European pro club team, when fellow teachers saw me wearing it, I told them that they recruited me to play with them in Spain on the weekends. Strangely, very few believed me.

Totally legit

1 comment:

  1. just read this post.. loved it :) thanks for sharing!