In the year and a half since my left hip was stitched back together (I’m now part Gore-Tex!) I have not played much soccer. Not through lack of interest or ability, but frankly, because for the first time in my soccer-playing life (35+ years) I’ve actually had to give some thought to the possibility that a body part might not be able to be counted upon when needed and that has been tough to wrap my head around. Prior to my hip injury I’d only had one soccer-related injury in my life (partially torn rotator cuff) and that didn’t affect my ability to play. Believe it or not, I’ve never sprained an ankle, twisted a knee, or had any of the other injuries you’d expect a soccer player to have over a lengthy “career,” and I’ve counted myself VERY lucky in that respect.
Since my surgery in the spring of 2011 I’ve played a few times outdoors (mostly to see if I still “had it”) and not at all indoors, which has also been tough because the few skills I still possess at my advanced age- quickness (as opposed to “speed”), good touch, being hard to move off the ball, and a quick shot- are best suited to the indoor game. Indoor is a double-edged sword, however, as it puts way too much stress on my knees (which, though never-injured, are getting old and creaky) and it requires the quick starting, stopping, and turning that make me wonder if I’ll end up back on the operating table getting my hip opened up again. With all of this in mind, I’ve avoided it. Until now.
The “call” came today from an acquaintance from local indoor/outdoor pick-up matches that he’s on a 40+ indoor team that is looking players and that mine was the first name that came to mind. I’ve emailed the guy in charge of the team to let him know that I’m interested and I guess I’ll know within a day or two if it’s time to drag out my bag, polish up my boots, and get back to work. It’s probably not a good idea, the team will probably play at 10pm on the night before one of my early work days, but if asked, I will answer the call. It’s what I do.