By nature, I am a competitive person. I don’t understand the concept of playing games for fun. I play games to win, winning is what makes them fun. However, there are those who believe otherwise, and when I am engaged in activities with these people, my competitive nature can seem extreme and I will admit, even a tad annoying.
I grew up in a neighborhood with so many kids there was never a shortage of things to do. We played kickball, Kick the Can, tag and tennis, and everything was a competition. We didn’t even go sledding in the winter for fun. We raced. Every activity resulted in winners and losers.
I was an athlete in high school, but beyond that I have had little opportunity to participate in any activities that have allowed me to express my competitive nature. So I set out to find something that would meet that need. As luck would have it, I came across a women’s indoor soccer league right in my town. Now, mind you, I have never played soccer, but I figured I’m fairly fit and I know how to run, so why not give it a try.
Well, last night, during my very first game, I quickly realized that this sport requires more than just knowing how to run. As a rule, I tend to be more of a greyhound when it comes to running. Quick bursts of speed followed by long naps. This is a sport that requires me to be a Border Collie. I was completely winded well before half time. I also fell once, tripping over my own feet in a most ungraceful fashion, and I took a soccer ball to the face. However, I did manage to score two goals, and by the time I finished, I realized that I haven’t had that much fun since my days of kickball.
But the best part was that these women were playing to win. They played hard and fast and I was impressed. So while I do sometimes let my competitive nature get the best of me, I learned that in the game of soccer, not only is that ok, it is absolutely encouraged. Perhaps I have found my niche.