Bookmark #910

Oh, how I have missed the thump of my feet on grass, all my focus on the game, the ball, the rules. Nothing weighs on your mind on the field. For about ninety minutes, the only sound that matters is the beating of your heart. There is an unimaginable disconnect between the real world and you as you skid and stumble and graze your feet. I only learned it much later in life, of course, the importance of that hour and a half, but that carries no weight over how things have changed over these years. And, of course, to laugh at the ridiculous misses, the absolute fumbles everyone makes. In a casual midweek game, everything is allowed. For a little while, you are not reprimanded or blamed, and all anyone tells you is that you did something well, that you tried well. The permanent scrutiny of life is left at home or in a backpack with your other clothes—the ones you wear when you are out and about in life. Last night, under the glow of white halogens and on top of the green turf, I was the most alive I have been, and god, I have been alive in this life, its eventfulness, its ever-present demands and problems from me.

To know your body’s limits do not stop at the ninety-minute mark, to feel the exhaustion seep in like the sweat does onto your shirt, to feel the ache in your legs, and to know you can still do this all day, to know that you can run for all the seconds left in a day, to know that you can keep going as long as it is required, to know that you can be on time when necessary, to know that you can take a blow when it comes your way, to know that you can slip, fall and get up like it were the easiest thing in the world, to know all this and more, and, which is more, to come home with all that in your heart as it pumps blood to every corner of your body, to every last edge, to every crevice, and to feel the surge of it all—what a wonderful, wonderful thing it is to experience. And then, the cold shower, each drop felt precisely as it trickles over you, and then, the rewarding, effortless sleep as you instantly lose yourself in it, and then, waking up to the first light and beginning anew.

Nothing did ever get any better than this.

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