Every year you know it’s happening. Every year it’s neatly scheduled between the end and beginning of the season. Every year you can see it coming from miles ahead. But every year it feels like a terrible hangover after a night of too many tequila shots at the local bar. The summer break.
Because I’ve had to cut my season short a little due to an injury, I’ve been ‘soccer free’ for several weeks as I’m writing this. And even though on one side I can feel that the timing for this break wasn’t bad after a both physically and mentally intense season, the soccer player inside of me is going insane.
Of course, I know that the summer break is this long (usually at least two months) for a good reason. After a season of devastation, the grass on the pitches needs to grow back, players and coaches go on holidays to sunny destinations across the globe and everyone takes some time to prepare themselves for the upcoming soccer year. But after a week or two, I’m tired of taking things easy and I have lots of extra energy that has nowhere to go. I try to fill my days with useful tasks: work, the graphic design home course I’m currently following, doing fun stuff with friends, and as long as my piggy bank allows it a trip to Sweden every now and then. But when I turned on the FA Women’s Cup final in England last week, a match between Arsenal and Chelsea, I got a knot in my stomach. Soccer, I miss you.
Time to party and get wasted again?
To be completely honest, sometimes I doubt my choice to invest this much in soccer. Is it all worth it, the sacrifices I’m making, only to be outpaced on the field by a 16-year old girl? Haven’t I started much too late, and am I on the way to chasing an impossible dream? Wouldn’t it be much easier to go back to the old Emma, the one that loved partying, drinking and smoking above all else? But then the summer break comes. Two months of no soccer shows me that this sport is making me so much happier than all those other things ever have.
Sometimes you need some distance to see if you really love something. Whether that thing is a sport, a job, a hobby or a person. Few sayings are as cliché as ‘you don’t realise what you’ve got until it’s gone’. But clichés are clichés for a reason, and this one is definitely true. The fact that I’m already counting down the days to the new season is the confirmation I needed that my heart really is with soccer. And when you, dear reader, hear this anecdote, I hope you take some time to think about what makes your heart race. Because being able to chase your passion is something that I wish everyone can do!
Happy summer holidays, talk soon! 🙂