Tonight is (my) first blueberries game of the season. I've been thinking a lot about soccer. Me and the world have, you know with that whole "World Cup" thing happening right now. So I've been thinking on this sport that my dad put me in shortly after I could walk. Thinking of all the years I played and what they were worth. Thinking of the season I had to pull out early and how I assumed that would have to be the end for me. You take off 6 months and you come back out of shape, out of practice, out of confidence. That's not the recipe for moving up in the premier world. But somehow I came back with something else, I wasn't over-thinking it. And due to a number of other details out of my control - what should have been my scariest, worst tryout - was my best. I knew no one. I hadn't been competing. I was trying out for the same league that I'd pulled out of early last year. What were the odds? Low. I moved up. I became a part of what would be my favorite team.
But what is the point of all those years? What's the point that I didn't quit playing soccer in 10th grade? Well, I'm engaged to a guy I met on a co-rec soccer team. And who knows, maybe I'd still have joined it if I quit back in 10th grade. Then again, maybe not. It's just delightful to me to look back and see that this thing that became a part of my life so early on - introduced me to the guy with whom I'll be spending the rest of my days.
I can't just leave it at that though - because I don't think the guy is the end goal of it all. I don't believe who you spend your days with is more important than who you become - before them - with them - maybe even after them. This sport also crafted deep parts of who I am, taught discipline to my stubbornness and teamwork to my strength. Taught me that sometimes it pays to sprint the field and be the only one down there by the goal.... but more often, it pays to wait for a good teammate to join you. Your glory might be less, but your score will most likely be higher. There's nothing better than a good teammate that you don't have to see to know they're running the opposite sideline and setting up for you - nothing better than creating something beautiful with someone you trust. That's what soccer taught me. And perhaps it's fair to say, that's what soccer brought me.
I'm glad I didn't quit the berries that first season. That's another thing soccer taught me, part of that disciple and stubbornness. Don't quit.
I'd never have met that guy making dollar bill rings with Chris.