This entry is dedicated to Holli and Mark. Separately, because they've never met.
Mark plays soccer in a local adult league. Holli plays soccer, well, everywhere. I played soccer a little bit, a few years ago, hardly enough to mention.
After talking to Mark I decided that I need to play this fall, in one of the leagues around town. I got some new boots and started braking them in. I thought a nice light jog would do that well. I left my house, jogged down the hill and across random peoples lawns (they didn't seem to mind really). I decided to jog around the outer edge of the mall parking lot, nice wide flat stretch of grass to run on. As I rounded the far side of the mall, I heard a sound coming from up above me, high on a hill. I looked left, right, and then jumped the fence that separates the mall grounds from whatever wooly wilds lay beyond. I trudged up the hill, through bushes, sticks, and briers. I emerged from the overgrown foliage onto a soccer field. Actually two soccer fields. I was in awe. There were dozens of children ranging from grade school to high school running drills. A coach made his way over to me and asked if I wanted to train with the high school boys, they could use another man. I declined. He took this as modesty and said "Well, there's a pretty serious game across the street at the main fields." (Main fields? I didn't know Bellevue had ANY fields.) "Come back sometime if you wanna' help out though." Not wanting to look like an idiot I headed out the main drive and across the street. Walking up to the pitch I was scared. Standing on the sideline I was scared. When the man first asked me "You sub blue?" I was terrified. He came to the side line and asked "Why you don't wanna' play?" I responded that I was no good.
"You want to know how get better?"
He grinned at me and ran back onto the pitch. A few minutes later he ran off the field and stood beside me panting.
"You play now."
So I played.