Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Be careful what you wish for redux

Like my daughter I too had a dream. I dreamt that one day, I would be asked to come in off the sidelines and join with the locals as they played the beautiful game (aka football, aka soccer).

The other night we were coming back to the villa from a walk on the beautiful black sand beach when we saw that the locals were starting up a game. As we walked closer it happened. One of them kicked the ball off the field and towards the ocean, just ahead of where we were standing.

I saw this as a sign from above. Quickly I raced over to the waters edge and rescued the ball. Standing a little ways from me was one of the players. He motioned me to kick it over. Heather quickly added her verbal encouragement. I did a quick drop quick and managed to (barely) get the ball back to the field. I must have been ok, because the guy turned to me and said "Do you want to play?" (or something to that effect I am sure).

I didn't wait. I entered the field, tried to say hi to my new teammates (limited english) and it was game on.

Very quickly I realized that I was wayyyyy over my head. The feeling really sank in when they did a corner kick that I tried to head (my limited natural vertical jump was very impeded by the sand), missed, and had to move quickly to avoid being run over by the Bali guy who was at least 3 feet up (and successfully made contact).

The locals were all very nice. They would pass me the ball and even tried to set me up for a goal (which I whiffed badly on). After a few minutes I could tell that they had finally realized that I really had no game. I stayed a little while longer, got in the way and had a few balls hit me, and even managed to pass (kind of) to a guy who passed to a guy who actually scored.

Then It was time to leave the party. I said thanks to the guy who invited me over, and didn't look back as I headed for a medicinal soak in the villa pool. Mission accomplished.

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