Last night I played flag football for the first time and I am FEELING it today. My husband is a flag football junkie and has been for years. I enjoy watching him play and hearing his passionate stories about games, teamwork and his interactions on the field. I fully support him in his passion and am grateful that he has this outlet for his competitive spirit and also an activity that he loves that keeps him physically fit.
He was hosting his inaugural co-ed flag football tournament last night and I offered to help however I could, as it turned out - that meant playing. Each team needs at least 3 women on the field at all times. Our team had only three women (including me) which meant that we played non-stop for 2 full games. Being totally new to playing, I was nervous and totally out of my element. In fact, I was nervous for that entire 2 games! I have no idea how to play offense, I don't know routes and I have no faith in my ability to catch a ball, let alone catch it while running. I didn't want to be a liability to the team so I put in maximum effort on defense and tried to look like I wasn't totally clueless on offense (I know the opposing team caught on by the time the first half was over that I was definitely NOT a threat). But, I liked defense, I had one job which was to rush the Quarterback and try to pull his flags before he could throw the ball - and I even got close a couple of times. I surprised myself by playing fearlessly and my competitive spirit was in full effect. It was a lot of fun trying to catch the QB and I loved the short bursts of running, it reconnected me to my days as a sprinter. But ooooh my, did I start to feel my hip flexors and my glutes in the second game. I was firing totally different muscles than I am used to using in distance running and even in my yoga practice. While nearly every muscle in my body is sore today, I feel good. It felt good doing something new and being uncomfortable. It felt good being in my husband's world and getting a glimpse of what that feels like on the other side of the sideline. And I have a lot of respect for the level of play and competition that the players and teams engaged in. It was really cool seeing strong, competitive women on the field making serious plays.
I also experienced what I believe many of our new clients feel when they first come to a class - the realization that everyone but you knows the language and the movements; the courage that comes with putting yourself out there and trying something new with new people, who all seem to know each other; and the sense of accomplishment that accompanies completing this new activity and moving your body in new ways; and the flexibility and confidence of being outside your comfort zone.
I'm grateful for opportunity to play and try this sport that means so much to my husband. It was a tremendous experience playing with his team and learning from the other players. And I'm looking forward to learning more, and trying again.
I am an animal loving-Vegan runner, I practice and teach Kundalini Yoga and I love to cook and eat flavorful plant-based food.