Or being completely awkward at soccer, which was probably more the case. Prodigy or not, I attended my first session of NikeNYC’s “Pitch Fit” last night. It’s a soccer-themed workout held on a turf field at Pier 40 in Manhattan, and the latest addition to our Nike programming. The session was designed to get everyone pumped about the upcoming Women’s World Cup, and I think it’s working.
We started out with some warm-ups and drills that were fairly intense. We did squat jumps, spider man push ups, stretches that put us in compromising positions, and more.
After the workout portion of the session, we moved on to drills. I saw soccer balls come out and the coaches were saying things like, “Shuffle sideways, spring to point A, and we’ll feed you a ball.” At this point I realized that I was terrified.
You see, I had a very brief soccer career that began and ended when I was 5. It was one not so glorious summer session of little kid soccer that involved penny’s and a kid’s dad as the coach. From what I remember, we basically played games. The other kids would run around chasing after the ball playing offense and defense. Me? Not as much. It was summer and I can only assume I was feeling hot, sweaty, and resentful. So instead of following along and chasing the ball, I twirled and talked to people. I remember my dad trying to gently coerce me into playing with the other kids. I just wasn’t interested. Then and there, my team sports career died, never to be rekindled again. This led to a life of avoiding team sports, fearing them slightly. I’ve always declined opportunities to join sports teams because I don’t really know how to play. Rules, where to be, when to be there… these things are all very unfamiliar to me. So instead, I stick to sports I can do on my own. Running, ice skating, skiing, etc.
Fast forward a million years, and I’m standing in the middle of a soccer field being asked to do soccer drills and play “keep away.” I tried to move around during the game of keep away, but I really didn’t participate much. After that we played an actual game of soccer. The coach looked at me and said “You look like you can score. Stand here!” He put me in the front. All I could think was “Do I tell him my soccer history now, or later?” Either way, we played our little game, I ran around, touched the ball once or twice, and was satiated with that.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the field, Jay, who grew up playing soccer, was having the time of his life.
All in all, it was a fun session, a good workout, and we had an awesome view to boot.
I’m looking forward to next week where I can slightly more confidently face my fear of soccer and team sports. This leads me to the Hill Help of the day: Sometimes when you’re afraid of something, the best bet is to just try it. You might be better at/like it more it than you think, and each time you face a fear, you chip away at it until it’s eventually gone. And conquering a fear is always a very good thing.
Here I am, looking like a prodigy!