It's been a while. Happy Christmas and Merry New Year and all those sort of things...
I'll talk about football, if you don't mind. We all know that's the most important part of my life at the moment: playing football.
After the 3 weeks intermission during the holidays (as per above) this week 2 tournaments started again: the 7 a side (Mondays) and the 6 a side (Tuesdays). You would notice that there is a 0 days break between one tournament and the other; a thing I am so happy about that you would not believe me (and, please, don't believe it, because I am scared and worried about it).
So, Monday we played, 7 against 7, and we lost. We had no substitutes, they were slightly better, but we simply lost 4 - 2. Not bad. My ankles didn't enjoyed the match as much as they would have liked, mainly the left one, as the opponents enjoyed kicking it from the early start. I didn't play particularly well or particularly bad. Simply it was difficult to run after a previous run, but that's age (and kilos... holidays were as usual not kind with my belly, or probably too kind). But this was expected.
What wasn't particularly expected was playing the very next day. Again without subs, against what was supposed to be a strong side. I reached the pitch a bit earlier as usual, to warm up. And it was a fun warm up: first I could not properly run, lets say I was strolling around; second, at the moment I tried some lateral movement, I simply noticed that my left ankle was quite hurting and moving that direction was a no go. I tried to stretch as much as I could, warm up muscles to avoid any damage and notified my teammates that I would be of little use, since I simply couldn't run. Easy as that. So I started in the front, as striker (with my superior strength and height, of course!).
2 - 0 for them after 10 minutes. That's how the match started. But they weren't that good. They had subs, they were younger and supposed to be stronger: you should be destroying us, but instead they managed to score on 2 of our mistakes. I was managing to keep the ball up and trying to create some space and some opportunities for us. We scored one, I scored the second and it was a draw and a match again. Than the defender that was defending on me got substituted and a blonde, tall and handsome young guy came in. "Hi, how are you?" "Is everything fine at home?" and at the first opportunity he simply kicked me on my left ankle, for good measure, hard. That's the kind of thing that can ruin a friendship. From then on every time I had the ball up front somebody started kicking my legs. Randomly. I think in 35 minutes I had something like 10 faults for me (and... well.. I was not moving that much and having the ball that much, so it's quite too many times). I complained. I like to complain, and I was in real pain: mainly for the effects of a second match in 2 days, but also because, you know, when somebody kicks you it usually hurts.
Anyway, by the end of the match we were up 1, and they were pissed off. So, after another kick and another fault and another complain, one of the opponents told me to "shut up, football is a men's game, pussy!"... hehehe... thank you darling, I thought, but "you shut the fuck up", I replied, because I like to keep things simple. Next action he tried to stole the ball from me with his strength and pride; but no, dear friend, you are not good enough, nor strong enough. Anyway, 5 minutes later he have to hop off injured (I had nothing to do on that, he collided against one of my teammates while we were scoring the winning goal...). Revenge is a... we know...
But the interesting thing happened at the very end of the match: after running for a long ball from my keeper, I HAD A CRAMP! It's been 23 years since last cramp! I had been struggling with a tense calf muscle through the whole second half. I tried to do the "rugby player", stretching it during pauses... but finally it catch up with me. So... CRAMPS! CRAMPS! ... and the match ended and we won.
These are my satisfactions of lately...
[The title of this post is an homage to "Guards! Guards!", a book from the late and magnificent Terry Pratchett. Loved it.]