October 28, 1997

Had a very nice game last night, it was tough, fast, and clean. The other team didn't complain, had great sportsmanship, and were good players, so it was a lot of fun. What was more fun was that I was back in some semblance of physical shape and we had three women substitutes and it was really nice to be able to just sit out for a while and breathe.

Breathing is good.

The night itself was frigid, at first, or so it seemed to me. The nights are getting longer and colder, and seem even longer after daylight savings is gone. So I was shivering the whole way to the game, and grumbling and whimpering about how *cold* it was and how I was going to freeze like crazy, and I had a red turtleneck, my red soccer jersey, a Big Dogs red jacket on top of that, shorts, lycra leggings, a short pair of socks, shin guards, and normal red soccer socks. And I was still cold.

Washington Park is within the University oF Washington's Arboritum, so it's surrounded by some of the most beautiful park areas in the city. Especially in the autumn, and this autumn in particular, as they have a lot of Japanese Maples, that, in this sudden cold snap, have turned utterly gorgeously brilliant reds. But at 9pm, it was dark enough to just turn it all into a blur. The field itself was one of the last ones that were cintrex, which is a mixture of crushed brick and sand, and was lately turned into cushion turf, which is a much easier on the knees mixture of rubber tire crumbs and sand.

I played fullback. No one wants to play fullback anymore, and I'm starting to find that it's something that, when I really pay attention to what I'm doing, learning and trying, that it can be something of an art to defend with everything I have. To always put my body behind the ball to make sure that it never gets by me, and then always push it up with whatever I happen to get into contact with it. The other nice thing is that when I play fullback, I get the ball a lot more than when I play up forward, which is kinda irksome, sometimes, but then since I don't play up that much, it hasn't been a problem, lately.

They were big and fast, and were good about flooding guys up the middle. There were often three or four men in our backfield, so it made for pretty interesting coverage when the woman on my side would also come up. But they didn't pass to her very often, eventhough she was wide open, so finally I just had to leave her, and go for the guys. They started by passing to her some, which is why I had to cover her, but then stopped, which just made my job easier.

It was really fun to play their most skilled player, to keep him to the outside, to take only really crazy angle shots, and to only allow him enough room to try stuff that, percentage wise were bad shots. It was fun to make it so that he had to stay on the outside line, and pass in rather than taking it by me and in towards the goal. John said, afterwards, that it was like I kept just turning it away. If they blew by me, that was one thing, but if it was ever a free ball, or if they had, in any way, no control of it, I would get it and keep it in front of me, and clear it cleanly away. That was very sweet to realize that it was visible outside me as well as within because of intension.

It was sweet to run again, too. To just stretch all out and fly. I'd forgotten, with the problems I'd had the two weeks previously, what it was like. To just run all out without pain and without worrying about breathing and to keep up with someone that I knew was fast and a good ball handler. To always keep inside him, to mirror his every movement of the ball with my own movement, to keep him outside simply with my presense. Got a few good bruises and he tried, twice, to pass through me and the ball didn't manage to quantum tunnel.

But by the end of the first half, I shed my turtleneck as it was too damned hot, and I felt much, much warmer as a whole and, amusingly enough, relaxed for the first time in a week. The exercise blew away most of my tension from the last week, and it felt very good.

Exercise. So odd to always complain and bitch and moan before I do it, and it feels so darned good when I do, it's astonishing.

What amuses me even more is that I haven't weighed myself for something like a year plus, as we lost our balance, sometime before the mass remodel of the master bathroom. I just weighed myself recently, and I haven't changed pant sizes or waist measurements, just shirt shoulders don't fit me anymore, and I've had to get a few new dress shirts, and I've gained ten pounds, somewhere. Likely all muscle, but I'm not sure *where*, other than the evidence of the shirts...

Problem is that I'm used to thinking of myself as 150, not 160, so... I'm doing the old common-sense losing weight thing. More exercise, less eating. Not much more to it, and I'm not looking for weight losses like Ceej's. Problem is that if it really is muscle, then it's going to be really hard to lose by exercising, of all things. Of course, with enough time I might just realize that this is How I Am, and not worry about it. It's nice to have a powerful body.

Got home, washed my hair in the laundry sink and a satisfyingly small amount of blue went down the drain, showered, ate dinner with the John Fellow and slept with interesting dreams that I forgot. I should write those down...

Worked like crazy all day today... from about 9am, and it's about 8pm, now... so I'll just sign off for tonight.

© 1997 by Liralen Li

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