There are always certain memories that stick around in your head from when you were a child, whether you like it or not. For me, the moment everyone began cheering my name on that grassy field in my home town, my mind took a snapshot. To be quite honest, I have never been a sporty girl — soccer was short lived, and though I dabbled in tennis and softball, it never stuck.I remember my first introduction to the world of soccer through TIAS and that memory has stayed with me till now.
I grew up on Vashon Island where athletes were always celebrated and praised. Though my parents tried to get me to join a ‘team’ or a ‘league’, I was more the artist.
Even though I have little to no sports fanatic cell in my body, I can’t deny how good of a memory that day on the soccer field is. When I was in the five to six-year-old age range — the most popular position in soccer happened to be the goalie. The battle for who it would be, could be compared to a flock of hungry seagulls’ fighting over bread; we probably sounded like them too. I remember constantly and excitedly raising my hand when the coach assigned places- but I never was chosen until that day. Like a mosaic painting, the fine detail and lines of the memory are smudged but the colors are still vivid. The sky was a clear blue and the grass a perfect green; much like the default Windows XP background that is too picturesque to be real.
Now if you have ever been to a children’s soccer game, let alone any sports game where the players are under the age of ten for that matter- you probably know how it goes. There’s always a few kids who sit and play with the dirt. There’s always a few kids who cry and fake an injury. There’s always the kid all-star who tries to make every score. I, on the other hand, was a stander. I stood looking at the other kids awkwardly, waiting for the ball. When I was passed the ball, I had no clue what to even do with it.
After being handed my dream position as goalie, I stood huddled over myself in a weird, Spider-Man stance; I was trying to replicate what I had seen on TV and in movies. Unfortunately and predictably, the game was nothing less than lousy and dull. I think two or so goals were made for that epic half-hour match. We were tied near the end, and we had one last play. It was much like one of those cheesy sports montages from Angels in the Outfield. The ball was being passed; I remember my tired eyes were bored and preoccupied with some patch of mud. Then I saw the ball heading towards me; I panicked, and not being able to move my mind and feet in sync, I jumped in front of the ball.
Again — like most of my childhood memories — I probably felt a lot cooler than I looked. No matter what I looked like though, could change the fact that I blocked our goal. The game was over and everyone shook hands and cheered, we tied but I didn’t really care because I was the star of the game. Parents and kids alike came up to me asking “where did you learn to do that?”
I don’t remember what I said back to them, but I was probably trying to be as smooth about it as possible. Needless to say, I had a smile on my face the rest of the day. My parents even treated me to ice cream; which again, is kind of a big deal for a kid.