Your pre wrap breaks. You forget your shin guards. Your tan lines are awful. The sock tan is worse. Having to break in new cleats. Forgetting your other jersey, when your team has to change. Your body, black and blue, from all the hits and scraps. The smelly pennies, why does YOUR team always get them?
The ugly horizontal stripes, pasted across your team’s jerseys, would make anyone look bad. The turf beads, that never seem to go away. Cleats starting to rip, after only having them for three months. The parents of the other team, screaming that you should be carded. Laughing when you don’t.
Having to carry the ball bag every single time because your an underclassmen. When you make an assist but the announcer doesn’t call your name. When your coach puts you in a position you don’t normally play. When it raining so hard you can’t see the other side of the field. Fitness tests that never end. Taking the walk of shame after a big loss.
Not being able to eat that cookie, because it’s game day.
But it’s game day!
That happiness when your announced in the starting line-up. When you get to the field and it isn’t turf. When your coach calls your name to go warm up. Looking at the new cleats catalog, and the excitement when your mom says you can get a pair. Getting out of class early for away games, and watching everyone be jealous of you.
The music that pumps you up before a big game. When your favorite team makes a comeback. When you make a great save, and you know your team’s proud. Winning tournaments, and having the medals to prove it.
Going in for a 50/50 ball and winning. Hearing you coach say “great work”. When you actually have your cleats, after thinking you forgot them. Feeling great, knowing you worked hard to help your team win. When the ref doesn’t call you offsides. When you finally make the PK (it’s a lot harder than it seems)
Watching your teammates, your family, run up to hug you after scoring the winning goal.
The energy. The intensity. The strength.
The drive to win.