a journal on hiking and traveling around the Philippines

Friday, November 16, 2007

What Football Taught Me

 I discovered football  when I was 13 years old. It was a weekend and I was in school for a project. I was walking in our building and from the veranda, I saw uniformed kids in the football field. At first it was just the colors of the uniform that caught my eye – dark blue, neon green socks. Then when the game finally started, I instantly felt attracted to football. I’m not sure what it was – maybe it was the way they pass the ball with their foot or how they move aggressively towards their opponents but I knew it was the kind of game I wanted to play. I stared at the game intently for a few minutes and then it was time for me to go and work on our group project. 

After several months, football tryouts were held. At first I was hesitant to join. I didn’t know crap about football but I wanted to learn how to play it. Plus, I have phobia on athletic teachers. I hated PE since I was a kid because my previous PE teachers were all mean. It was traumatizing for me. They would correct me bluntly about the way I do jumping jacks, etc. Geez, give me a break. It was just grade school PE! Anyway, what gave me guts to go to the try-out were two things a. My friend Valerie who was also trying out told me that the coach was really nice b. I wanted to play soccer so badly!

One afternoon, in my sneakers, I finally showed up at the football field and met with the rest of the team. Instantly, I felt at home. Not a lot of teens showed up and there were several seniors leaving the team after graduation so almost all of us who attended the tryouts were accepted in the team after undergoing rigid training. My flawless, white legs slowly turned into dark brown with scars. My calves went from plump to firm to muscular. My pale complexion got burnt too but I never regretted joining the football team. It taught me to always fight for what I want, to be assertive and aggressive, to be more passionate, to protect my teammates and to overcome fear – to face every opponent – no matter how taller or bigger they are.

For me, football is not only a game of intelligence (utakan?! Hahaha) and strategy, it is also a showmanship of passion and bravery. If you don’t get what I’m trying to say, try watching one football game so you can see the way football players struggle for each goal. It’s really very attractive and fast too. Some people say that they feel bored with football because it takes too long to score a goal but what they miss seeing is the beauty in the way each goal is scored. That’s why it takes long.

Aww..I miss football. It’s so hard to find people to play with now that I’ve moved to a bigger city. I joined the office football tournament but I will have to miss it this Sunday due to commitments I made in advance. Oh well. Beach football is coming up next summer so it shouldn’t be long until I get to play again. Yo Rufangssss…san na kayo?! Miss you guys...

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