I sometimes have the feeling that I am living a real life comedy. Like my life could very well, right here, right now, be filmed by someone in real "Truman show style", and turn into a kind of "Linda Andersson's diary" (quick sidetrack thought: Who would play ME in that role??! A penny for your thoughts!).
Have you ever had this feeling?
As I mentioned in my New Years update, I have some ambitions to join a women's soccer team this year and to start playing actively again. This is why, yesterday evening, I had signed up for a test training at......let's just say a very good local team (VERY GOOD!) ;))
By request of my Swedish friend and colleague, Anders, here is what happened....
Tuesday January 4th: Try-outs for....well let's just call them "FC Really Freakin' fit Kids".
07:30 Finally got out of bed. Feeling really tired as I woke up several times during the night. YES I admit it.... I was nervous! After all, I haven't played "real soccer" in 10-11 years.
17:50 Meeting up the coach of "FC Really Freakin' fit Kids", for joint transport to the training location. Open the car door and see 2 very young girls sitting in there, also on their way to the soccer practise.
18:27 Arriving at the training location. Getting really nervous, wondering "What the hoot am I getting myself into?!".
18:30 Enter the womens changing room to leave my stuff. It's packed with girls who look half my age and I ask if someone can please tell me where to find a toilet.
18:32 The toilet has 3 booths, I use the middle one. 30 seconds later, two girls enter talking about ME and I hear them saying, in German:
- "Oh my goodness! Did you hear that the new girl is like 27-28 years old?!?!"
- "WHAAAT?? So old?!?!"
- "Yes, that's what I heard!!"
.....now I'm thinking "Should I interrupt them, telling them that their a liiiittle off and that I'm actually 31, going on 80?", but I decide to just focus on the task ahead and remind myself that "Age is nothing but experience....and some of us are just more experienced than others!".
18:40 I go to the hall and see some of the girls warming up and this is when I realize I'm about to train with "FC Really Freakin' fit Kids". I see "Ronaldinha", "Romaria" and "Davida Beckham" juggling with the ball and am thinking maybe it would have been a good idea to practise a bit at home before coming here?
18:45 Time to start. Everyone gathers around the coach who speaks about tactics in Swiss German for 5 minutes. Words understood: Roughly 3 (I understood something about BALL, PLAYERS and HUNGARY...(well it could have been HUNGRY but it felt out of context....). I try not to over-analyze the fact that I have no idea what was just instructed, hoping it has nothing to do with what's about to happen and still, just focus on the task: Play soccer. At least I know how to do that?!
18:50 Short introduction of another new girl (guesstimated age: 18) and myself. When the trainer introduced me, he switches to "High German" (standard German, so I can understand. Very nice of him actually!) and says "This is Linda. She is a bit special as she is 31 years old!" .....and I hear gasps, giggling and murmuring breaking out in the crowd of players and the feeling of uncomfortable drastically increases. He continues "She used to play in Sweden, but she hasn't played for 10-11 years (and at this stage I see some jaws dropping). She has been playing a little bit here now in Schaffhausen though, with some guys from work and the parents of kids going to the International school!". Here the thought of a possibility strikes me: "Some of the parents I play with could be parents of some of these kids..... Help!!"
18:55 We are divided into 3 teams. 2 girls teams and 1 team with guys from the "FC Really Freakin' fit Kids" mens team and we play matches a' 10 minutes, rotating between the 3 teams. Am struggling a bit to keep up the pace but struggle even more with the ball technique. Am mostly running around, chasing people, trying not to look too confused.
19:15 We are on a break. My face is strawberry-red, like always when I do sports (actually it was always like this, even when I was really fit!).
Coach: - "Are you allright??"
Me: - "Yes..."
Coach: - "Are you sure? Your face is very red!"
Me: - "Ah, that....nothing to worry about! It always happens when I do sports!".
Coach: - "Maybe some fitness training?"
19:25 Time to play again. I focus on the game, nothing else. It goes ok'ish, but after having underestimated the speed and hardness of the ball and misjudging the positioning of my head when I hit the ball with it, I feel very very dizzy (but pretend everything is fine....naturally....).
19:45 On a break again when 3 of the girls come up to me and say "Are you really 31?", to which of course I answer truthfully "Yes.....a bit of a dinosaur!". Then a moment of love breaks out in my heart when they say "Wow! We thought you were max 24-25!!! You look much younger!" and I'm wondering if I would be a good parental candidate to adopt them? ...or if maybe during next practise I could bake and bring them some cookies and offer to wash their shirts?
20:00 The whistle blows and the game is over. I feel ok, but.....well......old.
20:05 The coach asks me "So, you will come again?". I say "Uhhmmmm yes!". He says "Great! Here is the training program." and hands me some sheets of paper and says "Please call me if you can not join any of these trainings.". I say "Thank you!" and look down at the schedule.....now here is the reason why this is "FC Really Freakin' fit Kids": Training 6 times per week!!! AOOOOOUCH!
20:15 As I'm waiting for the ride back and the "FC Really Freakin' fit Kids" girls start coming out, one by one of the changing room. They say goodbye with high-fives..... I naturally miss the first high-five as I was prepared for a proper-classic-lady-of-my-age-hand-shake. I say no more.
21:15'ish I'm back home.....feeling pain almost everywhere. Especially in my back and in my head (from the underestimated speed of the ball....), struggling to find back that smile on my face that is there so frequently these days, and inform Chris that it is not very likely I will go again and feel much better after hearing the words "Well I'm proud of you for daring to try!" ♥....and honestly, today I am too.
That was the re-start and re-end of my soccer carrer....well at least at this level. Now searching for a team on a lesser level with max 3 trainings per week. Believe it or not, even after this humiliation, I have NOT given up hope.
Refusing to believe age is something else than just a number ;))