You're Fired

My primary outlets for stress, extra energy, and my compulsion to sweat, are running and hiking.

But if you have read my About Me page (and I apologize if you's been months since I've looked at or edited what is probably a sloppily organized smorgasbord of non-importance) then you may also know that for a large portion of my life, soccer was my one and only.

In fact, I first started running (track) because I realized I was fast....and I realized I was fast because of soccer.

Next, I started distance running (i.e. more than one sprinted lap around a track) in order to improve my endurance for soccer.  At the orders of a coach who I played for in Marin, I started running 30-45 minutes a few times a week by the time I was 16.

I swiped this from a facebook friend.  I am top-left, brown hair and obnoxious smoochie face

The focus was always soccer, and running was just a necessary burden that came along with it.

Today, the focus is running.  All I want to do is run up hills and around lakes for no purpose at all.  I never think about soccer anymore (which I played ages 5-18, and then casually in college for one year plus a couple of indoor games at law school) except for the occasional nightmare where my legs won't do what I demand them to while playing, or I where I delay a very important game because I can't get my shoes or shinguard on.  Serious PTSD from stressful soccer games?

Well what do you know: I played soccer this weekend.  I tried at least.

There is a turf field in San Francisco along the waterfront of piers (it's called Telegraph park, and is appropriately in the vicinity of Telegraph hill) that hosts a pick-up game on Saturdays at 1:30-3:00.

I showed up with the Gentleman, who was also a soccer stud growing up (yes it's true, if we had kids they would be very good at soccer...and if they weren't I would go all Tiger-Wood's-Dad and force them to be).  I ran 12 miles prior to showing up, out of Saturday-habit and because I had the time.

Soccer Studs

There were about 16 people there -- all adult dudes, many with doucher attitudes, and one other woman.  By the end of the 1.5 hour slot, there were 27 people, 3 of which were women (including me). 

It became pretty immediately apparent that this was an advanced pick-up game of sorts -- the other players took it very seriously to the point that the Gentleman and I were disturbed by the lack of sportsmanship.  There was heckling of certain players, and anger when a team wasn't doing well. 

Long story short, it felt really good to run around chasing that ball like old times.  I was wearing sneakers instead of cleats which I totally blame for my decline in ball control (couldn't be the years of not practicing!).  One highlight was getting slammed in the face by the ball....with sunglasses on....which led to a righteous cut on the bridge of my nose. 

Note to all runners: do not play hard soccer if you want to improve your long runs. 

Sunday, I tried to run, BUT: my butt was sore; my calves were sore; my back muscles were EXTRA sore; my left ankle feels a little strained; my shins are bruised; my face is throbbing; and I have a nice new set of blisters on my feet.

I have one more very good and one very very bad thing to share about my weekend.

The Good: we got a last minute invite to see the Fleet Foxes (with The Walkmen) concert at the Greek Theater in Berkeley.  Fleet Foxes have steadily been my favorite band for the past few years, so it was really enthralling to get to see them live for the third time, and at a gorgeous venue.



the Very Bad:  a really unique, valuable, and sentimental piece of property in San Francisco that my mom inherited from her father in 2007 suffered a devastating fire on Saturday, right about the time I was playing soccer just a couple miles away.

Picture from the local newspaper

My poor mom is inconsolable, even though luckily, no one was hurt. 

The top apartment flat and all the tenants' belongings are demolished; the second floor flat and the business on the ground floor (a Radioshack) had minimal physical damage, but have to be rebuilt because of smoke damage.

Can you imagine losing all your belongings?  Yeesh. 

Honestly, it was hard for me to feel much sadness after watching footage all weekend of 9-11.  Nothing seems like a tragedy in comparison to that. 

Still, the fire has brought a lot of drama and fear into our family (how much will insurance cover? How can we convince Radioshack to return after reconstruction?).  My mom had just finished with a long remodeling job this past July.

Anyway let's end this on a happy note!

What sports did you grow up playing? Were you competitive, and do you still play now?

What band have you seen in concert more than any other?  For me, Incubus and Dave Mathews Band are both in the 5-6 times range.  hehe.