The people that follow me on Twitter or Instagram might already know it. About two weeks ago, I swallowed all the pride I had left in me and asked Moldavo if I maybe, pretty please, could rejoin the team. No, that definitely wasn’t part of my plans for this season. But oh, how I missed football…
My original idea was to take a break from football altogether. Catch up on some school work, get my social life back on track, and think about whether or not I wanted to continue with my ‘road to the World Cup’ at all. Football had started feeling like a bad relationship, where all happiness and joy has been absent for years, but you can’t get yourself to break up, because you’ve been together for a decade.
Then, I got an unexpected offer: to come play for v.v. Riel, a team in the lower amateur division in Holland, and I decided to say yes. The team trained once a week, for an hour, so that would allow me to still be playing football, whilst not feeling the pressure. However, after having joined them for one training session, my hamstring was so painful that I decided to stop playing immediately. Sometimes, our body can send us signals, when we are unwilling to listen to the brain…
About a week after my announcement that I was done with football for a while, I was watching a game between Moldavo’s second team and Miecroob Veltem. My former teammates won with 4-0, and together with some injured players, I cheered the Moldivas to their victory. However, when I was in the car back home, something unexpected happened. Before I had even left the club parking ground, tears started coming. And not those dramatic movie tears, that reflect the light while they travel down your cheek in slow motion. No, big, fat, ugly cry tears. I was surprised. Apparently, the hurt was deep.
In the days and weeks that followed, in which I finally let my hamstring get the rest it needed, I started missing football more and more. ‘You don’t realize what you’ve got until it’s gone’, the cliché says, and never before had I felt it more. I suddenly couldn’t remember why I had dreaded going to practice for the past months, and I actually started actively working on my recovery. I knew what I had to do. I also knew it was going to be far from easy.
Do you know that scene in Friends, where Chandler somewhat by accident throws a memorial service for Ross, even though he’s not even dead? That’s about what it felt like, when I contacted Moldavo with my request to come back. Pretend to leave first, see what kind of nice things everyone has to say about you. and then come back like nothing happened. But sometimes, your pride, and what other people might think of you, is just not as important as doing what you want to do most. I wanted to play football again. And I was going to have to deal with every single consequence of that.
Cliché but true
Since last week, I have been back in training with VC Moldavo, and I’m likely going to make my first match minutes again this Saturday. Four weeks of doing practically nothing had its effect, because after an intense training earlier this week, my muscles were so sore that I literally couldn’t sleep from the pain. Something about karma…?
But the crazy ting is, even though I could’ve never predicted things to turn out the way they did, it did work. It was long ago that I had so much fun in going to training as I do now, enjoying every minute I get to be on the pitch, working on that One Big Goal. My love for the sport is back, and perhaps stronger than ever before.
What I learned from all this? Every illusion you have about being able to plan your life, can go out the window. Things never happen the way you plan them. But if you stay honest to yourself and the people around you, and follow your heart no matter what the cost, odds are everything will work out in the end. Another one of those awful clichés. But it’s pretty darn true!
Thanks for reading, talk soon! 🙂