Monday, November 10, 2008

Another Soccer Loss and A Lesson Learned

My son George is a member of the Minisink Valley Green Thunder Travel Soccer team and they've yet to win a game. Last season was their first as a team and they were bowled over by larger more experienced opponents. No matter how many goals the other teams scored on them Green Thunder kept trying and learning. It's been a great experience to watch a group of children improve with each game.

Yesterday's game was tough. The other team was rough. The last time they met a girl from the other side punched my son in the stomach. The officiating left much to be desired. The toughest blow on the kids occurred when the referee did not call a goal made by Green Thunder. The goalie grabbed the ball but missed and our team did what they were taught and followed through on another attempt. Members of the other team raced into the goal trying to stop the point. One member of the other team (not the goalie) used his hands to knock the ball out of the goal. No goal. No hand-ball penalty. The wind was knocked out of our team.

One bad call after another left the kids feeling like there was no way they could win even though the score was 1-0. George was kicked in the hip and was uncharacteristically slow to get up. When he did, he was hurting. His teammates saw their chance of coming away with at least one score fading. His coach took him off the field and he iced the injury. He had tears in his eyes but he also had his jaw firmly set. I could feel the electricity of determination coming from him. He went back in the game and scored our team's only goal.

Despite being down and injured, I've watched my son's constant determination. He keeps trying no matter what. Even after playing in the worst weather conditions or against teams displaying poor sportsmanship he enjoys what he's doing, playing even after the whistle has blown and the players head home. It makes me think of writing.

Everyday I start out with these high hopes- today will be the day where I can go in the zone and pour those words on the page. Reality usually intrudes and my writing these days can only be described as being in a continual state of interruption. It would be easy to set it aside and decide to write when life cooperates but then like Georgie, I set my jaw (a trait inherited from my grandmother) and I think if I can at least get a page then I'll still be in the game. Like my son, I'm out there enjoying the thrill of the game.

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