Matt’s Thoughts: Starting the New Year right

Call me crazy. Call it a third life crisis. Call me Springsteen trying to resurrect the glory days. Call it what you like but I’ve made my return to the turf fields of indoor soccer, much to the dismay of my 34-year-old knees and hamstrings.

I caught the soccer bug after the recent World Cup and felt a need to get back in the game. After all, soccer was my childhood and my passion for so many years. Those years came and went, and my career became my focus and soccer took a backseat. I got a promotion; I boosted my portfolio, and I picked up a mortgage along the way. My time away was not in vain but it was now time to be a kid again.

It had been about 5 years since I last played in any organized league. I signed up as a free agent at the indoor arena down the road and was soon picked up for an Over 30 Coed recreational team needing players to fill their roster. My mentality going into the first game was just to have fun, meet some people and treat these games as an effective cardio workout.  

That was a good thought in theory but once the whistle blew my competitiveness came back to me and I wanted nothing more than to win. What I lacked in endurance and rustiness, I made up for it with pure adrenaline. I found I still had some talent left in me. The competition that night was not the most skilled team, but they had subs and were made up mostly of military personnel and were in shape.

They matched my energy, but I had my happy feet again. I was dribbling through defenders and finding the open man with space. All my troubles and stresses were gone, and my only worry was not pulling my previously mentioned hamstring.

We jumped out to an early commanding lead of 7-1 going into the second half. Then the adrenaline wore off and the Christmas Tree Cakes and beers I had consumed the previous weeks had finally caught up with me and I could barely breathe and subbed out. This team of soldiers “rallied the troops”  and made an impressive run and came back to take an 8-7 lead.

I finally caught my wind and subbed back in and scored the tying goal. At this point my shirt was drenched, I was out of breath again and I began to worry I was going to throw up. Going 5 years without playing will do that. They scored another 2 goals to pull away with a 10-8 win. Game, blouses.

My final stat line was 3 goals and 4 assists (this league keeps stats which is awesome). I don’t like to be a consolation guy when it comes to losing but I felt 17 and rejuvenated again that I didn’t care about the score. It’s crazy with how much we have going on in our everyday lives that we forget what’s good for the soul.

I’m now playing on 2 different teams 2 nights a week and feel physically and mentally healthier. I share this with you not to just humble brag my impressive stat line but because I hope to bring this same energy in 2023 with the Message Pitch. The everyday grind will take its toll this year but in the end being able to contribute to this podcast with my best friends (cues studio sitcom “awwwww” soundbite) revitalizes the soul. Find and keep your passions.

Wishing you all the best in 2023. Thank you for your continued support and making this fun for us. There’s plenty of more to come….Oh, and GO BIRDS!!

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