We've all seen it happen. That kid that fouls a little too much on the basketball court, that kid that gets up to bat and the bat is bigger than he is, that little girl that gets up for her piano recital and the performance sounds like a screeching cat. It happens- and looking back, I'm not sure that my reaction was always right. I might have giggled to my husband, let out an awwww, or made a comment- but never, did I ever, mean to be hurtful. But the thing is, we all must remember that we all have eyes and ears... and feelings and hearts.
Monday nights have been my girl's night out for some time now. I play in a women's soccer league and have a Blast... Literally- we're the Vintage Blast. We started indoor for the very first time last fall and never won a game our first season. Fast forward to last night, and we showed up to play for the championship. Okay, let me be real- to play in the championship for the "West" division- because after a few sessions of getting our asses kicked we begged the front desk guy to separate the women's league into two divisions- The great teams making up the East, and the not so great teams making up the West... and we've enjoyed playing so much more ever since. We've gotten a lot better too- and I'd like to think it's not JUST because of the early twenty-something au-pairs that just happened to join our team (although I'm pretty sure it is).:)
I'm a rough player. Always have been, always will be. I grab, elbow, pull, yank, kick... that's just what I do. I like to call it aggressive, some others might call it mean. After three kids and with the addition of fifty pounds to my high school frame, my "roughness" might be kicked up a notch to a whole different level. I struggle, and I really mean struggle with my weight issue to the point that I could blog forever about it- oh wait, I used to do that... It's something I battle every.single.day... but I'm not gonna boo-hoo over that right now- This is my summer, and I do plan on starting to bring sexy back- just y'all wait.:) But my point is, I'm never trying to be a dirty, unsportsmanlike player- It's just that I'm an out of shape Mama that can't move like she used to, so sometimes I resort to fouling. I'm human. It happens.
What also happened last night is the fans of our opposing team started off as "cheering"... and ended up crushing me. I heard the opposite team's player back off from the ball and yell up to the fans in the stands, "I'm not going after it, I'm scared of her." I heard the women from the stands yell back, "She's so big she needs to play football or rugby, she's way too rough to be out there." "Get her!" "Look at her, she's huge." And that was just what I remember before I tried my best to block them out and hold back tears. These were grown women- I believe even some mom's of the younger players on the field.
I was humiliated and hurt. And it made me really think about what my actions will be in the future and about how we should all behave. Because last night, when I finally got home, called my mom, and cried, I realized... It happens. I was someone's little girl out there on the field last night. And people of all ages can bully and be bullied. Remember that- I know I will.
Words sting like a knife, they really do. Luckily, I had girlfriends to pick me up. One lady even posted our picture on Facebook and said we were champions. The harsh reality is- we lost- a good ole' ass whoopin' where the other team was classy enough to score and put the nail in the coffin in the last thirty seconds to win by at least seven. But guess what- We are champions. Sticks and Stones Bitches, Sticks and Stones. This brute will see ya on the field in a few weeks. Play on, play on.