Some feet wearing running shoes, shin guards, and soccer socks on a green field.

Soccer Tournaments and the Work-Rest Balance

I ran three miles last friday! I was pretty proud of that because, as I wrote in my last blog post, my 8k training has been lagging. Last friday, I proved to myself that I was capable of getting back on track (literally). It was pretty great. The next day, I spent three-ish hours playing soccer with my club Power to Change in the spring intramural clubs cup soccer tournament. I like soccer because it fits into my fitness philosophy: doing fun things that conveniently get you fit in the process. In the past, soccer has terrified me, but I’ve been getting better at it lately because I think less about being scared and more about having fun. While I have been known to participate in casual soccer games here and there, I know so little of the sport that I have to re-understand positions and rules every time I play. Throughout the day, my soccer-expert friends tried to explain our strategy, and I would have to stop them and ask them to explain in non-soccer language. In my experience, the best way to succeed in any sport is to pretend to know what you’re doing. For Saturday’s games, I got to play defense (which I’ve always enjoyed because it keeps me far away from the other team’s net) as well as midfielder. I’ve never played mid before, but I ended up being surprised by how much I enjoyed it! I got to see a lot of action. Where I used to shy away at the prospect of touching the ball, I now relish opportunities to join the scuffle.
Two friends kick a ball back and forth on a soccer field.
The Varsity Dome isn't the best place for a photoshoot, but we still had fun.
My friends also began teaching me how to juggle the ball, which I’ve never been able to do. I will forever be baffled by those players who carry the ball down the field and fake everyone out with their fancy footwork. There was a particular moment in one game where I intercepted the ball so smoothly with a little flick of my foot, like it ain’t no thang. I felt like a soccer bro had briefly possessed my body. In the end, we won one game and lost two, which exceeded expectations because I really didn’t think we would win! GO TEAM, WOOOOO I woke up on Sunday feeling extremely sore because I’d gone a little too hard on both Friday and Saturday – I try to leave at least one rest day between big workouts. I spent the day working on assignments, drinking tea, and taking some time to journal and just rest. I'm definitely looking forward to my next soccer adventure!

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