with the change of the seasons, the ball begins it’s roll towards goals. off feet, between legs, through the air–not always sure and true but never forgetful of the points that lie in wait.
another year of youth soccer wrapped this past weekend. around 2,200 miles logged through a half dozen states or so. long drives, cheap hotels, craft beers, KindTM bars, grapes, oranges, vegan pizzas, ugly socks and moments. moments of joyful play, painful losses, car naps, good songs and words. sometimes many, sometimes few. boys and pops. i know i am on a count down when it comes to these moments. they grow…UP. boy #1 is job searching, living out of town for stretches, talking about his next life and wants…#2 has school, girl, guitars and a slinging hash at the pool. changes (turn and face the strange). here’s to one less season of soccer, still a few more but i’m remembering to savor all the moments on the ball even if there is another one through.
it’s easy to mouth off in defiance, “ain’t nothing or no one gonna stop me from living my dreams…” but in reality just about everything is set-up in this life to do just that…stop you from living your dreams. but that is where you come in, have the determination to be your own person, set your own sights, and follow through on “you.” it’s gotten a little cliche’ but “you do you” isn’t such a bad message. do you, and push through, you can get there…where ever there is for you.
“Ultimately, sports are just about as close to what one would call the truth as it is possible to get in this world.” –Harry Crews
if you aren’t a fan of sport you probably think all the hyperbole about kinship, brotherhood and soldiers together in battle is just a bunch of nonsense that boys use to justify that somehow playing a game is an important task. having spent more than a little time watching boys play together as a team (i played a little myself even) it’s hard to deny the bond that grows amongst team mates. sure, it can at times be cliqueish, it can be ever-changing, and it doesn’t always happen for all kids. but i know for a fact that when boys go at a singular task together, and really, truly buy-in to caring about each other and have a willingness to fight as hard for their team mate as they would for themselves, that a connection is made that makes for a victory of spirit–that win or lose on the field–makes for pretty special trophies. sports ain’t for everybody, but they should be.
21 years ago one of the things in my life that i am the most proud of entered the world and a big, smiling brute of a baby. i only wanted a few things for him, be healthy, be happy and be better than me. so far he has been all those things and more. many think 21 is a marker for manhood, most men know that this isn’t true at all. sure it’s significant, it’s a door that is unlocked for boys to do some things that men do. not much more. i think he knows this, he knows there are many things he wants to achieve and i believe he will on his journey to manhood. i have noticed a fearlessness and passion of late that clues me in to the man he will be and there’s not a day that goes by that i am not proud of all that he has and will be. he truly is one of the great loves of my life. happy birthday wild. happy birthday.
cliche’, sure, it’s the journey, not the destination, etc. and so on. but it’s true. as i continue to age (for some damned reason) i am more and more aware of this old, tired fact. now to just slow down and live a little more of my life with this recognition at the top of my mind.
after a huge fall of soccer that included pulling double duty as a starting Varsity high school player as a freshman and helping the club team go undefeated in league play to make the jump up to the next level for spring, the spring has rolled into early summer with reward(s) for all the hard work. a cup, the U.S. Youth Soccer, Kentucky State Open Cup to be exact. for all the success in soccer, the trophies, the medals, the t-shirts, the atta-boys this item has been elusive. but no longer. great coaching, super commitment and a winning, positive mindset are all huge parts of this whirlwind run of the last 10 months. but it’s isn’t over yet…more for sure…