April 23rd, 2009


Return to the Pitch

Last night I did something I hadn't done for some time: had a game of five-a-side.

I started playing women's football at university because it was the only sports team you could get on without being particularly talented, and quickly discovered that I liked it much better than the netball, hockey, lacrosse and rounders I'd played at school. You don't need to be able to throw, catch or hit a ball, and you get to tackle people and roll around in the mud.

When I was working at Reuters I found the office five-a-side team, and we played together for longer than any of our careers at Reuters lasted. I reluctantly quit a couple of years ago because the location and timing of the games meant I was using up my entire evening for approximately twenty minutes on the pitch.

A few months ago some of the more southerly players set up a kickabout at Goals in Beckenham, not five minutes from where I live, but by that time I was in a committed relationship with the AA Driving School on Wednesday nights. But now I am free (FREE HAHAHAHAHA), I can welcome soccer back into my life.

It's been so long that when I was going through my kit I was genuinely startled by my silver astro boots (which are, sadly, boots for playing on astroturf rather than rocket-powered space footwear), as I'd forgotten I had them.

Time marches on and I only knew three or four of the players, but my old acquaintances welcomed me with open arms and there's nothing like kicking a ball around together to break the ice with new ones.

To my astonishment, I seem to have remembered how to play. Furthermore, may I say, I was smoking hot (by which I mean that the ball, on average, glanced randomly off bits of my body in a fortuitous rather than a humiliating way).

Boy, though, you sure use a different set of muscles for footie than you do for karate!