Sunday, May 17, 2009

Playing Soccer Sick

As I've mentioned before, I play soccer on Saturdays. So yesterday I went to the soccer game, even though I am short oxygen (because of my recent anemia diagnosis). We lost, 3-2, but we were short three players so I think we did pretty well under the circumstances. I let everyone know I would be short of breath, but they didn't quite get it. I would do one great run, but then have nothing left for a few minutes - but I'd still be on the field and my teammates would presume I could at least hobble together a defense, which I couldn't.

So I started to just pull myself off the field when I was out of breath. That seemed to work, if only because it brought me boatloads of sympathy. ("Are you okay? Are you injured?" I even got a ragtag first aid team to meander their way to where I was lying on the grass one time, just outside of the field. "Need some water?") My team did finally figure out that I could not be consistently reliable.

It's like having half a gallon of gas in the car. The car runs beautifully for a little while. But then - it's out of gas. You have to wait to until there's more there before you can start the engine again.

At one point, though, I thought - hmm - they still do not get this. Our offense had a corner kick, so all the defenders (except me) moved up to play offense. One of the forwards from the other team - who was playing next to me - said something to her defenders like, hey, they left us with only one defender here, so kick the ball up fast if you get it. I said the unspoken thought: "And it's the anemic one that they left back here!" She laughed and said, "Yeah, and it's the anemic one!"

This may just be my last game for the season, as we have two weeks off, and then the first two Saturdays in June I'm unavailable. This is probably better. I probably am overdoing it just a little to be playing soccer, of all sports.

But before I forget - I need to recite something that happened a couple of weeks ago. As I may have mentioned before, this is a team that "plays to drink," so we almost always go out for a beer after the game. A couple weeks ago we were at "our" bar ("Bottoms Up"), and I said, "You know, I never drink beer except for after soccer games." One of the guys (who prefers to remain nameless) responded, "The only time I stop drinking beer is during soccer games!" So funny. We're such cards. Love that team!

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