Last night, I took T1 to soccer training. For some reason all other activities, except soccer, cease for school holidays. That’s OK, though. Our trips in the car to and from training, and the hour we spend there are fast becoming my favourite moments of this year.
Given it’s holidays, numbers were down at training. When we arrived, it was just me and T1 and the coach. Coach J and I assembled the goals and netting while T1 cleared a huge dog poo off the pitch. Two others from the team arrived, then two more dribbled in, making only five in total.
I stood to one side and observed, occasionally I chatted with the only other parent present. I ran to fetch flyaway balls sailing high over the goals, as I do each week. Training looked extra fun last night, though. Lots of drills to focus on goal scoring, and a few dribbling drills. In the final ten minutes they played a quick game of three-a-side, and Coach J asked if I’d step in as goalie.
But of course, I jumped on the chance while adding that I reserved the right to squeal like a girl.
I stopped a few! The old reflexes are not completely out to pasture yet. I’m not going to lie, though, there were a few times when I was scared and I did actually squeal at one point. But I saved my best effort for the last kick at goals. It was coming straight at me, off the boot of Coach J. It was coming fast. Reflexively, I ducked my head, and turned side on. I think I squeezed my eyes shut. I felt the ball collide somewhere about my midriff, which was covered by my arm, and then it bounced off with huge force. I know cried out an expletive.
It all happened so fast. I looked up. All the kids, especially T1, were grinning widely, with shouts of acclamation. I took that to mean I stopped the goal. Coach J, too, was smiling and genuinely impressed with my skills…erm…luck, that should be luck. It should be noted here that Coach J is a young man, probably very early 20s, who is a very skilled soccer player. And I am a middle-aged woman, who is way past her prime fitness levels, a pudgy mum, and have no soccer skills whatsoever. So, I’m totes proud of me. And a little chuffed that T1 was dazzled by my efforts.
And then, after the cheering and grins ceased, training was over for the week. T1 and I helped pack up and then headed for our home district. At the door I took off my shoes, and he, his soccer boots.
And we came inside to the warmth of home and lasagne for dinner.