My Thirty Second Season
I didn’t do any vegetable gardening this year, but I did have a soccer season, which bodes well for next year’s garden. It was not my 32nd season, though; it was my 30 second season. Actually, it was my 10th season of playing. It would have been my 11th, but I missed last year due to bodily restraints. Aside from a couple of seasons played back in prep school, I didn’t play for 30 years, so really didn’t start until my mid forties, in 1996. My kids started playing and I had been drafted as a coach. Since I remembered nothing of the game, my mental speculations as a coach led us to a spectacular losing season. I saw a flyer for an adult league, and joined, to learn the game. I had read some sastra about soccer, but needed a guru to really learn it. As is true of most things. Perhaps it was a midlife crisis that spurred me to start playing, but at least I didn’t buy an Arrest Me Red sports car or try to trade my wife in for a younger version.
I went to Tulasi’s last game. It was playoffs. I was going to sub for Tulasi in the last minutes of the game if the outcome was determined. Best laid plans...it was tied up late in the game and stayed that way. The last game of the day was the championship game. One team was short a man at kickoff. His teammates were on cell phones and knew others were coming, but the ref was impatient and game time had arrived.
I asked the captain if I could step on the field for the start of the game, assuring him that if the ball came to me, I would step off. I had hoped my adopted team would control the ball and carry it forward for a while, but after about 30 seconds, the ball came to my side. Knowing I would fall over if I accelerated too fast, I broke into a trot, getting up to about ¾ of my old speed, eventually, which was max for me that day. I judged I could get to the ball at the same time as the opponent, and instinct took over. Then I saw a teammate closing fast so I kept running right through the sideline, and plopped down on the bench. It was a total of about 20 meters, but I was huffing and puffing. It took me a couple of minutes to catch my breath again, but I had played in the 2006 season. Which is probably an analogy for my involvement with Krishna Consciousness – in it, but just barely. Maybe next season.