Adversity

October 21, 2009
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My forehead is blistering hot. My legs tremble from being uptight. I slip on my shin guards and pull my hot pink checkered socks over the top of them. I slide on my shorts, and pull my sweats over them. I scrunch my toes while slipping on my cleats, it hurts. I slip on my hoodie and get in the car. It’s raining a little and it’s cold outside. We began our drive at 7:00 a.m. to the soccer field. It’s October 17th and the red clouds signal that there will be a storm later today. I sigh as I pass the tall stunning trees filled with russet, ginger, and crimson red leaves. As the streets change from rough and rutted to smooth and level my eyes seal gradually and I start to drift to sleep. My mom stops the car and I jolt out of my daze. I put my hair up and slip on my hoodie. Getting my soccer bag I start to run out to the rest of my team. Setting down my soccer bag I start to cough violently and firmly. My temperature is 100ºF and I feel like I could pass out, but I am dedicated to my team and this tournament is worth the anxiety. I seem to look sick because half my team gives me this look like today I shouldn’t play. Looking back at them I straighten my face and try to look strong.
I don’t feel like running a mile around the field, but after I run I will confidently feel a little better. I break a sweat as I jog around the soccer field. I can smell the fall breeze as the wind blows at my face. The grass is soft underneath my hot black cleats and I can feel the cool ground starting to cool me down. I am about three quarters of the way done and my heart is unstable in my chest. Running around the last corner I start to slow down and catch my breath. I sit when my breathing is stable and I stretch my agitated muscles I begin with my thigh and move onto my calf, and subsequently then my hamstrings. The grass is wet, the air is bitter; my arms shiver as I start to pull off my hoodie and get ready for my game.
Being sick on a wintry day is horrible, especially when it’s the second biggest tournament of the season, the CYS cup. At the CYS cup all the rush teams get together at the Nike Fields to compete against one another. I slip my sweats off and run to my coach. Our coach is about 6ft tall and is a remarkable soccer player. He has brown hair with a few grey hairs and a bristly goatee that rests on his face. Instantly he tells us our positions, “Sara, Right Forward, Regan, right halfback, Brandy, Center halfback, Rebecca, Center Forward, Marcella, Left Forward.” The fastest people on my team, for the most part at least, are expected to run their hardest and as fast as possible at this game. Lining up at center field, our team captains flip a coin. “Head’s, Tail’s?” The referee calls out. “Head’s,” The opposite team shouts. “Tail’s” we say vigorously right after them. Holding the coin on the back of his hand the referee asks the opposing team, “What side would you like to attack and what ball would you like to use?” “Left side and that black and white ball,” they announce.
Marcella and Regan stand at center field. The other forwards and halfbacks surround them at the sides. Blowing the whistle the referee starts the game and Marcella passes the ball in front of Regan and then she passes the ball over to me. I sprint with the ball in front of me until I am almost off sides. I hear Brandy yelling my name and I turn around and pass the ball over to the left side of Brandy. She runs forward dribbling the ball with the outside of her left foot. Running fast she pushes the ball in front of her and then passes it to me. Passing it to Regan I get up close to the goal box. Regan passes to Brandy, Brandy passes to Rebecca and subsequently she passes to me. I swoosh the ball in the goal and achieve our first goal of the first quarter.
I run to my soccer bag and grab my water and drink approximately a liter of water. The ache and pain that I feel in the back of my throat is burning and my heart is throbbing. Yelling my name my coach says, “Sara, get over here and get in the game.” I can hear my heart thrashing in my chest and the wet green grass sticking to the bottom of my cleats. It’s cold and I quiver at the half field line while waiting for Regan and Marcella to start off the game. Sprinting, I run up to the first defender and block her from getting the ball. As Regan passes the ball to me I lose my concentration and moan while I push myself harder and harder to get the ball. The opposing team has the ball but quickly Amanda gets the ball from them. She scoots back and passes the ball out to mid-field. I run as fast as I can until I get to the soccer ball. Running with the ball I pass the second defender. I pass it to my right, over to Brandy and start to slow down. Seconds later the ball is going towards our side of the field. Im running to the other side of the field but I stop at center field. Im coughing hard and Im having difficulty breathing, my coach calls subs and I heave my hand up.
I am authoritatively out of the game, for now and I continue to stand while I raise my hands above my head and breath. “Sara, are you alright?” with a concerned look on his face my coach asks this question as I cough brutally. “I’m fine, I just need to sit and drink some water. That’s all.” I utter as I glance at my coach. I sit down and I look up to see my dad looking over me with a Tylenol in one hand and two liters of Gatorade in another. I take the Gatorade and open it up and take a sip, I then take the Tylenol and swallow it. My dad looks at me and asks me why I am so dedicated to soccer. It takes me a while to think about it but it’s not hard to comprehend. “I love the sport and my team is my family and I’m not going to let them down,” I say to my dad with the groggiest voice he probably has ever heard. My dad tells me that even though I am dedicated to the sport I should get out of this game because he doesn’t want me getting sicker than I already am. So I look at him with a heartbreaking face and tell him that I guess I have to. Standing up I twist my ankle and grunt while I flaccid over to my coaches and tell them that I am not going to persist the rest of the game. They tell me that I am probably more devoted than anyone that has ever played for this team and that I should stay this enthusiastic about everything that I do for the rest of my life.





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