Our last soccer game of the season was tonight. It probably won't come as a surprise to anyone that I'm one of the quietest members of the team. When I first started playing almost 5 years ago, I was full of apologies.
"Sorry! My fault."
"Oops! Didn't mean to bump you."
I got a little more feisty as time wore on. I no longer apologize unless I know I need to, and I stand my ground. When you push me (figuratively speaking) I push back, within reason. You want to play dirty? I'll play rough but clean and fight you for the ball until the end. But I'm still kind of quiet.
Now, this season has been pretty tame. I play in a women's competitive division, but we have more fun than competition. But tonight, hoo boy. Did we ever have competition. Or, at least I did. My usual position, defence, involves a lot of standing behind people, staying between them and the net. This team tonight just didn't get it. I'd be standing, stock still, guarding my player, who would then proceed to walk backwards, directly into me. I'm NOT moving. They'd push back a little more, I still wouldn't move. Then, because I wouldn't move, they'd complain to me instead. And then to the ref, who fouled me once for, well, standing, which made no sense.
"It's a big field, you know"
"Do you have to stand so close?"
"Relax, there's no need to push."
Now, if I had done anything other than stand there and get walked into, I could probably use some of this advice. But I haven't. The more I was quiet, the more I didn't respond, the more annoyed they would get, especially when I would then proceed to strip them of the ball. And I'd occasionally comment back. Feeling snarky. "It IS a big field. And you chose to stand right here in front of me. How strange." I hate ending a season on a snarky note. But....we do get to play them again this spring. I can't wait.
The kicker was when the, um, *largest* girl on their team (lets say easily outweighed me by 40 lbs) moved to walk back into me once again, then went to take a ball and dropped her entire body weight (plus that nice graitational force) onto my big toe. Ouch ouch ouch! I suspect it will be black and blue tomorrow. It's already a little scraped up, and the nail is slightly split (how it this for grossness over your morning coffee?). So much for an early sandal season!
The other downside of the night was me taking a ball in my rib cage. It totally knocked the wind right out of me. You know the feeling where you can't breathe and you're involuntarily crying? That was SO me tonight. The worst part? The ball was shot by my own keeper, about two feet away from me. This means hexagonal bruise patterns on my stomach tomorrow. So sexy.