When I was eight, my parents signed me up for a soccer team.
I’m certain the coach explained the fundamentals of the game, but equally certain I was too busy picking dandelions to listen.
I had a dim notion I was supposed to kick the ball toward the goal, but it wasn’t until my teammates began screaming at me during the first game that I learned it made a difference which goal I aimed for.
Determined to hone my skills, my brother and I set up a makeshift soccer field in the backyard. We created goals by flipping lawn chairs on their sides and kicking the ball at them. This worked splendidly until all our goals had giant holes in the center and no one in the family had anyplace to lie down and sunbathe.
You would think I might have given up at this point, but I went on to join the middle school soccer team. My goal was not to fine-tune my athletic prowess or enjoy team camraderie. My goal was to keep an eye on the football team practicing on the adjacent field, and to wonder whether the cute quarterback noticed I chose his number to adorn the back of my own jersey.
It was boy craziness that eventually derailed my budding soccer career at the end of my sophomore year in high school. I developed a string of crushes on members of the cross country team and found soccer practice greatly hindered my ability to ogle the boys on race days.
Unless you count the lawn chairs, I don’t believe I ever scored a goal in a soccer game. I was quick on my feet, but not particularly skilled at ball handling.
I’ll pause for a moment while you all snicker at that one.
I don’t look back with regret on my failed youthful soccer career. My goals out there may not have been the ones I was supposed to aim for, but they suited me just fine.
Are there areas in your life where you shot for the wrong goal or didn’t make one at all, but still turned out OK? Please share!
And please take a moment to admire my fluffy hair and pink lipstick. That’s the result of some serious AquaNet and Wet-n-Wild, folks. Who says I don’t have reasons to be proud?