Monday, September 12, 2011

You're Fired

My primary outlets for stress, extra energy, and my compulsion to sweat, are running and hiking.

But if you have read my About Me page (and I apologize if you's been months since I've looked at or edited what is probably a sloppily organized smorgasbord of non-importance) then you may also know that for a large portion of my life, soccer was my one and only.

In fact, I first started running (track) because I realized I was fast....and I realized I was fast because of soccer.

Next, I started distance running (i.e. more than one sprinted lap around a track) in order to improve my endurance for soccer.  At the orders of a coach who I played for in Marin, I started running 30-45 minutes a few times a week by the time I was 16.

I swiped this from a facebook friend.  I am top-left, brown hair and obnoxious smoochie face

The focus was always soccer, and running was just a necessary burden that came along with it.

Today, the focus is running.  All I want to do is run up hills and around lakes for no purpose at all.  I never think about soccer anymore (which I played ages 5-18, and then casually in college for one year plus a couple of indoor games at law school) except for the occasional nightmare where my legs won't do what I demand them to while playing, or I where I delay a very important game because I can't get my shoes or shinguard on.  Serious PTSD from stressful soccer games?

Well what do you know: I played soccer this weekend.  I tried at least.

There is a turf field in San Francisco along the waterfront of piers (it's called Telegraph park, and is appropriately in the vicinity of Telegraph hill) that hosts a pick-up game on Saturdays at 1:30-3:00.

I showed up with the Gentleman, who was also a soccer stud growing up (yes it's true, if we had kids they would be very good at soccer...and if they weren't I would go all Tiger-Wood's-Dad and force them to be).  I ran 12 miles prior to showing up, out of Saturday-habit and because I had the time.

Soccer Studs

There were about 16 people there -- all adult dudes, many with doucher attitudes, and one other woman.  By the end of the 1.5 hour slot, there were 27 people, 3 of which were women (including me). 

It became pretty immediately apparent that this was an advanced pick-up game of sorts -- the other players took it very seriously to the point that the Gentleman and I were disturbed by the lack of sportsmanship.  There was heckling of certain players, and anger when a team wasn't doing well. 

Long story short, it felt really good to run around chasing that ball like old times.  I was wearing sneakers instead of cleats which I totally blame for my decline in ball control (couldn't be the years of not practicing!).  One highlight was getting slammed in the face by the ball....with sunglasses on....which led to a righteous cut on the bridge of my nose. 

Note to all runners: do not play hard soccer if you want to improve your long runs. 

Sunday, I tried to run, BUT: my butt was sore; my calves were sore; my back muscles were EXTRA sore; my left ankle feels a little strained; my shins are bruised; my face is throbbing; and I have a nice new set of blisters on my feet.

I have one more very good and one very very bad thing to share about my weekend.

The Good: we got a last minute invite to see the Fleet Foxes (with The Walkmen) concert at the Greek Theater in Berkeley.  Fleet Foxes have steadily been my favorite band for the past few years, so it was really enthralling to get to see them live for the third time, and at a gorgeous venue.



the Very Bad:  a really unique, valuable, and sentimental piece of property in San Francisco that my mom inherited from her father in 2007 suffered a devastating fire on Saturday, right about the time I was playing soccer just a couple miles away.

Picture from the local newspaper

My poor mom is inconsolable, even though luckily, no one was hurt. 

The top apartment flat and all the tenants' belongings are demolished; the second floor flat and the business on the ground floor (a Radioshack) had minimal physical damage, but have to be rebuilt because of smoke damage.

Can you imagine losing all your belongings?  Yeesh. 

Honestly, it was hard for me to feel much sadness after watching footage all weekend of 9-11.  Nothing seems like a tragedy in comparison to that. 

Still, the fire has brought a lot of drama and fear into our family (how much will insurance cover? How can we convince Radioshack to return after reconstruction?).  My mom had just finished with a long remodeling job this past July.

Anyway let's end this on a happy note!

What sports did you grow up playing? Were you competitive, and do you still play now?

What band have you seen in concert more than any other?  For me, Incubus and Dave Mathews Band are both in the 5-6 times range.  hehe.


  1. I was on 4 different teams in high school (Berkeley High... oooooo). Gymnastics, diving, soccer and field hockey. I was okay at diving but kind of the comic relief in the other three. All my friends were doing it and they loved me so it worked out :)

    I have no repeat concert goings... my concert experiences are remarkably limited.

  2. sorry about your mom's loss...I cannot imagine loosing everything...the pictures would be the worst for me..

    In high school and college I was on the swim team and the basketball team. Yes I was competitive. I don't play anymore but I coach. juging...Bryan Adams..4 times..I am Canadian and I am in my also Bon Jovi as a repeat...3 times all 3 to make my husband happy. and then there is Keith Urban...repeats...5-6 and next one coming up on Oct 8 with my kids who think he is cooler than Santa and I won a meet and greet so one of them will get to see him up close. Also repeat...several of french no not Celine.

  3. Ugh, that's terrible. I live pretty close to there & I remember seeing the engines. So sorry to hear it.

    Other than track & xc, I did gymnastics, but not super-competitively. I've retained very little since then!

    As for repeats, I think I've seen Tori Amos more than anyone else -- 3-4 times, maybe, & going again in December. :)

  4. Yikes. Sorry about the fire. I'm sure your family was relieved that no one was hurt, but dealing with insurance and repairs is never fun. I've seen several bands 3-4 times, but the band I've seen the most is Cafe Tacuba (from Mexico). I think I've seen them 13 times since 2000. They might be my favorite band.

  5. So sorry to hear about the fire! How awful :(. My friend that I train with plays soccer, and she's really struggling to fit it in with marathon training. I was a total weinie growing up and did nothing athletic. Even now, super extreme social kickball (that's actually the name of the league!) is sometimes more than I can handle. I don't have a competitive bone in my body.

  6. Oh my gosh - I have the SAME dreams/nightmares. Except mine are with gymnastics. I either have trouble putting on a leotard and hold up the meet, or my body won't do what I tell it too. So frustrating, especially after 12 years!

    As for concerts, I've seen U2 twice. And would go again in a heartbeat.

  7. My cousin lost everything in a fire several years ago. It still impacts her, I can tell; I honestly don't think I've had time spent with her since then that the fire doesn't come up. It rippled through her life. I hope your mom helps the people who lost everything - it's changed their life.

    I played soccer when I was a kid, younger than you. One time my dad came late to a game and saw me passed out on the field! I had been full on hit by someone on the opposite team and fell backwards. It happened to knock me out; not sure if the elastics with beads on them I had in my pigtails hurt, but they sure didn't help!

  8. Whaaaaat? I am so sorry to hear about the apartment building. It always sounded like it was a real piece of San Francisco history, and it is really depressing to hear that. Tell your Mom I'm thinking of her!

  9. I'm so sorry to hear about your mom's property! That is horrible! I hope everything works out with her insurance company.

    The band I've seen the most is No Doubt.

  10. Sorry about your Mom's place! Fire is freaking scary. Now that I live down here in wildfire country, fire freaks me out more than it used to.

    So, we tend not to repeat bands much, but I've seen Dave twice. Every other band I've seen, has only been once, each.

    We saw Jack Johnson at the Greek in Berkley in 2003 (good lord I'm old) - really nice venue!

  11. Sorry about the fire.

    In high school I played field hockey, Tae Kwon Do and Tang Soo Do. I wasn't too passionate about field hockey, but it did introduce me to running.

    I haven't been to too many concerts, but I'd say my favorite was a Nine Inch Nails show a few years ago in Sacramento. Trent Reznor is gorgeous and I really enjoy his music, even though I am a country fan.

  12. Stinks about the fire. I can't imagine losing all of my stuff. Yeah, it's just stuff, but some stuff you can't replace. Hope the insurance doesn't screw around and takes care of things ASAP.

    Sweet return to the soccer field huh! You've got the battle wounds to prove it :) I played competitive softball through HS and played here and there w/friends in college. I did play coed for several years and just hung up my cleats this past summer.

    Band I have seen most times live? Trail of Dead. They freaking rock. Every. Time.

  13. So sorry to hear the bad news! :( Hopefully, insurance will make things a little better!

    I played soccer and volleyball in high-school. I loved soccer but, I loved volleyball more. I was voted as most-improved in soccer and best-defensive player in volleyball...glory days! :) I now enjoy watching my son play soccer and I love to play volleyball on the beach with my family.

    Bands..."Tower of Power" and "War" my husband is a big their #1 FAN!! :)

  14. never played sports cause I was too short and too busy being a big ole nerd/slut...okay kidding about the slut part. Damn you and the bf's babies are gonna be mega athletes...meaning CASH MONEYYYYY. Kidding. Sorry about your mom. My friend is lost her house in the wild fires in Texas. I can't even imagine. Memorabilia, photos, etc. :(


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