"As I stepped out of the car, I realized everyone was watching....."
Since I have been in Chile I haven't had all too much exercise some random soccer games here and there with my brother and his friends. Of course I needed to do somthing in the afternoons as well. So, I went hunting to see where girls could play soccer.
Of course, nada.
Girls "just don't play soccer" here.
But, I saw a sign in the school saying soccer Mondays to Wednesday 3pm-5pm. So I asked my host-mom if I should do this. The next day she talked to the coach and she told me that I was allowed to go but I would be the only girl, since the rest of the team was guys. (She made is sound like "girls could play" but really it was an all guys team, meant for guys, and only guys. But seeing as how my host-family owns the school they can make exceptions plus the coach wouldn't say no. So I got in.) Of course this was only practices so I could have some exercise.
I started the next day. I didn't bring too much soccer equipment because of lack of space so this would include me not bringing proper soccer shorts. Mmm yeah. But I had lunch (which was really too heavy and I felt really sick) and I went to school, and found the teacher. We drove to the field, and most of the team was already there getting ready. As I stepped out of the car everyone was watching....
I can speak for most of the guys there that this was there first time ever playing with a girl, let alone just seeing a girl wanting to play soccer. So I got lots of looks. I just got ready like everyone else, and waited until I was invited to start passing with them (here it is kind of too "macho" for a girl to do anything equal to a man or to be just as strong) so waiting was my best bet. As I waited under a tree while hearing the whistles and kissing noises I was getting from the school behind me, I was eventually asked to come out and pass the ball around.
I am very sure they were quite interested if I could even pass, so I made sure all my passes were clean and precise, and that I received everyone perfectly. All was going okay. Until we started doing some real work. I had one person I recognized from class and was immediatly paired up with him (the other day he still thought I couldn't speak AT ALL) so we had a nice little chat while we had to run around the field for a while, man was I tired, no sports in two months really does a number on you. Mr Messier's words come to mind "It's easier to stay in shaope then to get into shape" ughh how right that is. At least I don't smoke, or it would have been worse. We commenced with numerous dribbling activites and running galore. I was exhausted. Needless to say at that moment I never wanted to come back to this ever. All I wanted to do was finish this up to at least make sure no one could say "haha we knew a girl couldn't make it through a guy's pratice" so my only goal was to finish with everyone else, and maybe with some dignity.
Eventually we had a break, and everyone started passing again. I was content to be the loner on the bench and relax perhaps, but no I actually had a friend and he wanted to pass with me. So at least I had a nice friend. Then we had a scrimmage. The coach not giving me a position still not knowing how I actually play or where I played. So I just cozied myself up to the spot of left defense. One of the players said something at the beginning of the game couldn't quite get it but I think it had to do with none of them playing with a girl before etc. I asked him to repeat it slowly but he repeated it just as fast, oh well. At the beginning of the game I didn't touch the ball, and the players were faster than any girl I ever had to chase down in Canada. But, I got my break. I went after someone and got the ball (of course everyone had to cooo at it because a girl beat a guy no less) so I earned my respect with that one moment and was then passed the ball. I even almost had an assist. Which the coach was very proud and was going on and on about how I almost had an assist. hahah
Eventually, it was over, I was sore, my calves were, sore, my hips, my ankles.....ugh. And my stomach hurt like no other due to the heavy lunch. But, I did leave with dignity, and my host mom told me later that the coach was impressed because he thought that I was going to be bad, and by the end everyone was asking what my name was of course I have to say it 5 times before they realize that "Taylor" that funny sounding word, is, actually my name. (Someone asked me my name during the game and I had to keep repeating it that the ball went past him...oops)
I got to the school, was giving some yogurt that I happily chugged down, kept getting comments on "oooooooh" your cheeks are so red "you actually played?" ...well yeah.
So I accomplished my goal. I finished it. I think I may go again. But we are creating a womens league Saturday mornings, so I will join that, of course that really does conflict was partying on the Friday night, especially when coming home at 6am is the norm. Oh, and I also had tea with sugar and a celery leaf to help my tummy (mi wata)...I think it sort of helped. It was refreshing though. And, this morning mymuscles ached a lot!