Things come about during life. We are asked to become involved in something unexpected. At times those activities turn out great, while other times unfulfilling. When coming across something that becomes motivational, it can be challenging to miss time. Still, the prior commitments are important and fulfilling. A wedding and vacation took time away from coaching football. The two events were fun to be a part of. While missing the two games, my mind thought of how the kids were doing. Thankfully, my buddy was sending me updates as the games unfolded. The first game turned into a closely fought contest. While the second game missed was decided early. A unique experience can leave you wanting to drink up every minute. Helping to coach football has been one of those experiences. But, it’s a bummer to realize we simply can’t be in two places at once.
The first game was during a wedding. Even with some thought of how making both could work, it simply did not. The marriage of my cousin took precedent on this Saturday in September. It wasn’t expected to be a particularly difficult game. The football game was our first home game. As the first text came in before the ceremony began, things looked good. We had a 12-0 lead going into halftime. Based on our previous defensive performances, there was a feeling of confidence. Reading about our lead and putting the phone away brought excitement, with my full attention turning to the ceremony. It was a beautiful ceremony. The cocktail hour to follow saw a game ending text come through. Fulling expecting to read good news, I stepped away from the group and pulled out my phone. The message showed something unexpected. Our opponent had mounted a comeback tying the game at 12. There was a question about how the game would proceed. Playing in this league for the first time, it wasn’t clear whether there would be an overtime period.
As the cocktail period continued, strange feelings of uncertainty filled my emotions. My mind wondering how the 12-point comeback had happened? Past performances had me in slight confusion. Later learning of a turnover and some other missteps. But at the time, there wasn’t any way to know. There became some anticipation waiting to receive word of the final result. Moving through catch up conversations with family my wonderment continued. When the result text finally arrived, it was met with some nerves. The game result turned out to be positive. As before, after feeling the phone vibrate, I quietly excused myself from the talking group. Excitement and some relief captured my emotions in the moment of reading our kids had won on my phone. My buddy translated the heart attack finish overtime had provided. The win moved our record to 2-0 and though it would have been exhilarating to be on the sideline, watching my cousin get married was a gift.
The second game was missed due to vacation. It was a fun trip to Palm Dessert. The trip also took me away from a week of practice. This missed game would be different because two other coaches would miss the game. The head coach headed out of town for the weekend with his wife. His wife also coaching the football team, they had a softball tournament to attend. It left the game to be coach by the assistant head coached and two other coaches. Thinking about this game didn’t cause much anxiety. Our kids seemed to prove themselves in the overtime game of the previous week. The thought would be getting through that test would give the kids more confidence. As the game unfolded, there seemed to be more confidence with the kids. The first text update came in at halftime. We were up 14-0. Similar to the halftime score from the previous week, my mind went to comfort with our lead. However, because of my shocking comeback of our last game, I tried holding back the thoughts of holding our opposition down in the second half. This time our defense showed its dominance from the first week. The text came in with a final score of 36-6. It was great to see our defense held up during the second half. The offense just continued to extend the lead. I learned a couple days later, our win set up a battle of two undefeated teams for the following week. It would be a game for the top spot in our league.
There doesn’t feel like much of a cerebral palsy aspect to missing a couple football game. The only bummer was not being at those games to support the kids. It’s interesting though how even without being present things impact our thoughts. Our team was in my thoughts during those games. Even throughout the week of missing practice, I found myself glancing at the clock and thinking about them practicing. We can become invested in the simplest of things. Just being part of a team can bring some unforeseen purpose. Cerebral palsy can hamper the ability to become part of the world around us. It causes many feelings of being different, even if those differences are slight. But, those updates from my buddy seemed slightly more than just updates. They provided a feeling of still being part of the team. After a few games, it still seems we have a good team on our hands. Even better, they’re a great group of kids. With the excitement of the last couple weeks behind, it’s going to be fun to watch this team the rest of the way.