Baby Seals…

4 10 2009

I know it’s been a very long time since I’ve posted anything. And I know that makes me a terrible person. I understand. I know some of you may be really pissed. Then again, I know most of you could care less. It’s not like I’ve gotten an angry, “dude, why haven’t you posted in a long time” email. But then again I’m not angry at myself. I’m just disappointed.

It seems as if my life has been pretty busy. I would like to tell you guys how fulfilling my life has been right now with travel all over the world, or a new girl that I spend all my time with, or about the research I’ve been doing on curing cancer, or all the volunteer firefighting I’ve been doing. However, if I were to do this, I would be lying. Turns out, my life is pretty much the same as it has been. Although two developments have kept me pretty busy.

The first development is that I’ve been “promoted” at work. You see I use the term loosely. I mean, I did get more money. I do now have a staff that works beneath me (that’s what she said! Can i do that on my own blog?) I get to hire and fire. And let it be known, I will go Ari Gold style when I get to do my first firing. Now, the downside to this promotion, is I actually have responsibilities. As of late at The Gym I’d been doign a night shift which consisted of me turning off the TV’s, locking the doors and going home. It was pretty glorious, aside from closing at 11pm every night. I even kinda became a book worm. It was nice being able to sit at the front desk, scan a card, and sit back down and read my books. Not bad for a days work.

While work is plodding along the biggest thing that is taking up my time is coaching High School soccer. In my vain attempt to be a lot more cool with the Europeans I decided to start coaching some soccer. (The attempt for raising my status with Europeans came when one so lovingly commented on one of my previous posts. So I vowed to become more hip as it were with Europe.) (Of course, this isn’t exactly all true, because I’ve been coaching soccer for over 8 years now. And if it were any REAL attempt to raise my status in Europe, I’d start calling it futbol, but that as we all know would make me sound pretentious. And I can’t have that.)

I’ve been coaching at my current school for nearly 5 years. Enough time to see freshman grow up (use the term loosely) and become seniors and go on to play some college soccer. I’ve also seen kids grow up and completely waste their lives on drugs and failed attempts and being porn stars. (the second half of that statement isn’t true.) However, regardless of talent, or regardless of life’s offerings after high school, one thing they all have in common is soccer, and our annual beach trip.

I get excited for the beach trip every year. I really do look forward to a weekend, molding young minds and continually getting bigger laughs for “that’s what she said jokes” than with my current group of friends. If anything this trip essentially feeds my ego, and indeed reminds me how cool I am. Not that I’m looking for that from high school students, it’s just kinda cool. That’s all.

The make up of this team is a bit different than in years past. In years past this team of athletes was made up of predominantly white students. However, as years have gone by and the socio-economics of our neighborhood have changed so has the student base. Now, our team is probably 90% Hispanic. Which is fine. It’s good to be exposed to different cultures. As I was on the hour long trip to the beach. We as coaches are given the task of driving a van load of students to the beach. It just so happened, I was given a van load of all Hispanic kids. And like most kids this day and age, they have iPods and wanted to listen to it. I’m pretty hip and cool so I felt that I may know some of the songs they would play. However, they all had an inside joke, and for the first 20 minutes of our trip, a mariachi band was seated in all six speakers of the van. They thought this was funnier than I did.

After our drive, and trip to the pizza joint, the boys were all fed, and ready for some chillen at the house. And by this I mean, eating all sorts of crap, and seeing who could burp the longest/loudest/special words. We have little control over this, because were in the other room going over individual goals one at a time. (This year was indeed really tame, as we got reports after the fact that one group started playing strip poker one year.)

The next day we focus on team bonding and generally trying not to talk too much about soccer. The coaches start up a bbq, and lament on the fact we have no booze. Sometimes we’ll walk by a bar with outdoor seating, and sling curse words at the people enjoying a frothy beverage. Our blood pressure and stress level also rises during these months of coaching. After a day spent, surfing, watching college football, visiting some bumper cars, we settled on the beach for a bon fire and s’mores.

Two of the boys, decided it was a cool idea to dig a “hole.” That’s right. Just a hole. For no apparent reason. It reminded me of the Friends episode where Joey digs a hole. However his hole would be used for medical purposes when Monica was stung by a jellyfish. We had no jelly fish stings on our trip. However we did have some need for medical attention.

Youth of today are rumored to always stay inside and never venture out and enjoy life. This is obviously not true for my group of soccer students. Apparently they play a game called Fugitive. It’s fairly simple in it’s premise. One group defends a location. The other attempts to get to that location. If you get tagged, you’re mission was unsuccessful, and you have been “caught.” We decided that after it got dark we would play Fugitive on the sand dunes and attempt to get back to the house.

My team, it was determined, would be attempting to get back to the house. As the leader I dubbed them the Navy Seals. Now I’m not sure if one of my Hispanic players didn’t hear me, understand me, or just plain wanted to piss me off, for he insisted on calling all of us Baby Seals. “Lets go Baby Seals.” Baby Seals! I’ve got a plan.” His all time classic quote came after discussing the boundaries. “Yo, Baby Seals, I got one thing to say about the boundaries… FUCK THE BOUNDARIES!” This quote brought me great joy, in seeing as this particular player is all of 5’3, and possibly 100 pounds. We all had a good laugh.

As darkness surrounded the playing field I got my team into position as we made our assault on the house. All of us began creeping quietly toward the house in silence. If I didn’t know any better I’d say I had a team full of silent assassins moving in for the kill. However I had my team, and I knew at some point they’d fuck up.

As it turns out, I waited patiently in the sand dunes and crept slowly toward the street. It must have been 10 minutes I slowly crept up patiently awaiting any sign of movement or sounds. As I inched closer to the street I heard a member of the opposing team coming my way. As he got closer he heard a twig snap beneath my feet. We both took off running.

About 40 minutes before the game began the head coach stated, maybe we should just play in the streets because that would be safer. This idea was quickly shot down because the dunes around the ocean were hilly and provided some cool cover for all of us. One of the other coaches, actually suggested, lets keep it in the sand dunes because running around the streets at night is not safe for anyone. Especially kids wearing all black trying not to be seen. As our head coach realized he had been out voted, he opted not to play but been the man guarding the aforementioned boundaries.

I wish I had listened to the head coach. As I took off in a dead sprint, I quickly came to realize, that not only was someone chasing me, but this ground was not level by any means. I felt that if I could make it to a certain point I could crawl down and he would zip right past me. I was running at full speed, reeds of grass whipping by my waist and the footsteps of a faster man behind me.

And then it happened. I placed my right foot where I thought land would be. Turns out it wasn’t. Apparently there had been a rock pit about 20 yards from my initial mad dash and I had found it. I landed on a rock knee first, and came to a crashing halt of rocks flying everywhere. Most of them were the size of flat rocks you might use to garden with. Regardless, I was in the middle of it on my back. You would have thought, my first thought was “man I hope I’m alright.” It wasn’t. It was however “man, if I lay still enough, maybe he’ll run right past me and I can still make the house.” Apparently he didn’t run right past me, but he had indeed heard me hit the rock pile. He had caught someone and he knew it. As he approached I could hear him say “I so got you!” But to his dismay, he hadn’t gotten any of his teammates. Just one of his coaches. Laying motionless in a rock pit. Wounded like a trapped Rhino on an African poaching show. He stood over me, looked down in disgust and said…. “oh. Its you.” and walked off.

Later on that night I regained myself and made it back to the house. There was the assailant with a broad smile and a package of fruit snacks in his lap. Victory was his.

As I sat there in the house, with an ice bag on my knee I realized that not only did he not ask if I was ok and left me to die, he in fact had NOT actually tagged me. A thought, that I kept to myself, as I was safely inside the house.

Victory was mine.

Until Next Time…

SarcasmAsAWeapon@gmail.com

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3 responses

4 10 2009
meagank

the image of you as a Rhino brings ME great joy.

7 10 2009
CMS

Football is most definitely more relatable material to those of us on the other side of the pond…

12 10 2009
sittingpugs

And now you’ve written yourself a sports inspirational (depending on what happens in part deux).

You amaze me…you do not cease to amaze me.

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