Back to back games on Saturday, and back to back losses. It’s tough going when you’re 9 years old, just learning field positions, getting a feel for dribbling and passing, and barely in shape enough to play an hour long match on a big field, with only 1 sub to bail you out when you’re pooped.  Other players are pushing and shoving; parents, including moi, are shouting on the sidelines:  “Go for it!” “Shoot it! Let’s Score!” “Hustle back on defense!” As if our chorus made any difference.

We’re fresh off the Olympics, done with the Oscars, ramping up for the NCAA tournament. The imperative to win is everywhere. Just do it.

I love the irony that Lou Gehrig’s disease, named for an all-star athlete, presents a different training plan. The battle language so often used with cancer or heart disease or obesity doesn’t hold for ALS. Because there’s no treatment, no cure, we’re not “fighting,” nor will we be victorious, at least not in the way we usually think of wins and losses. Acceptance, not aggressiveness, is the offense. Endurance, more than hustle or might, is the defense.

My daughter was bummed out walking off the field on Saturday. Our consolations and congratulations for a game well-played no doubt sounded lame. There will be more games, and more shouting from the sidelines, hopefully some wins and undoubtedly more losses. We’ve got a long season ahead.


~ by Stephanie on 03/08/2010.

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