Tagged: soccer

All too short a date


Eno Quarry at sunset
The view at sunset

Today was a good day. My wife and I have been talking about how I can learn from my experiences in the corporate world to better manage my time, other people’s time, and my overarching priorities. My life is richer for working in futsal and soccer in my off-hours, but in order for the endeavor to grow, I need to grow with it. Today we also talked about what I’ve learned from flying airplanes: the importance of meticulous planning and, of course, checklists. How can we bring this kind of regimentation to the complex routines of our futsal and soccer activities?

There’s a lot of work to do on that front, but in the meantime, we had a very successful day. The futsal clinic at Lyon Park this morning got off to a rocky start, when we found the gym locked and confusion on the part of the management about when we were supposed to start. Our coach, Rob, got the kids busy outside while I sorted it out. We had 12 kids, which made for two spirited 3v3 games. I think 3v3 may be the ideal profile for children this age, particularly ones of average skill. The focus of the morning’s drills had been trapping and passing, and to our delight, the children began passing while playing 3v3.

Rob and the kids outside the gym at Lyon Park
Locked out of the gym

Then my wife and I hurtled north to Snow Hill Road Park to launch Durham Atlético’s first outdoor soccer league. It went surprisingly well, and most everyone seemed pleased, even though the high noon temperature was about 90 degrees. The four teams were well matched, and the grass was in good condition. The only concerns are the field’s length–at 98 yards, it’s a good 20 yards longer than what is ideal for 8v8 soccer with out-of-shape adults of ordinary skill–and also the start times. One team thinks we need to start our games later in the day, due to their work schedules. We’ll see.

Adidas Brazuca
Fancy new balls

I threw down $200 for this pair of balls. They normally sell for $150 each, but I got these premium match balls, replicas of the official ball of the 2014 World Cup, in a “mystery ball” promotion that Soccer.com uses to liquidate overstock that they’re apparently not allowed to discount. It was a splurge, but I think it’s well worth it to put decent balls out on the pitch for our first soccer season.

After we came home I took a shower, but only after weighing myself and being thrilled to be down to 175 (and down a couple quarts of water, too). I finished a book called “Move Fast and Break Things,” about which I hope to write soon.

At sunset, I went to the Eno Quarry. I hadn’t been there in a year, when, on a similar late-summer evening, I’d gone with my friend Marc and our friend from college, Steve. That was a lovely end to summer, full of middle-aged bliss and nostalgia. Tonight, there was me in the middle of the pond, sometimes swimming, sometimes hanging on the piece of floating timber. I lay on my back in the water and watched planes fly overhead. The sky was so blue I could see the dust particles on the surface of my eyes.

Shakespeare said it best, that summer’s lease hath all too short a date. But if you plan for it, if you use your time well, and if you try to mark the occasion of changing seasons, the passage of time doesn’t seem so frightening.

Tomorrow I am flying to Southern Pines with my flight instructor. He says I’m nearly ready to solo. I should be undergoing a pre-solo stage check with the club’s chief instructor soon.

It’ll be another exciting day tomorrow, but before I go to bed to make it arrive sooner, my wife and I are going to finish watching the Isabelle Huppert film “White Material.”

Back home, two months later

It’s been six months since my last post. I’ve been quite busy during this time. I finished the soccer course in May (and was gratified by the excellent evaluations from the students).

In June, I went to Boston for a conference on the “new economy,” which has interested me for several years. While there, I found time to attend a pre-World Cup friendly between Portugal and Mexico. Afterward, I wrote about the Mexican national team for Al Jazeera America.

In July, my father came to visit and we built a pretty cool shed in the back yard. It’s still not quite finished, but it’s perfectly functional. After I put up the siding and attend to a couple of small punch-list items, it will be ready to hold a chicken coop.

From late July until mid-September, I traveled. Starting from North Carolina to Brooklyn by train, I stayed for a few days before heading upstate to a family fishing camp in the Adirondacks.

In early August I traveled with my wife to Finland and Germany. After she returned to the States, I carried on, visiting Prague, Innsbruck and Brixen (near the Dolomites in Italy). In the Alps, I reunited with my father, and we hiked with a friend of his for a few days.

Finally, in September, I spent 10 sometimes-difficult days in England, where I visited four community-owned football clubs, along with Stonehenge.

Now it’s nearly Thanksgiving. I’ve been back in the U.S. for a little more than two months. I’ve written a couple of pieces, and I’ve been commissioned to write another based on my summer walkabout. Most importantly, I’ve begun work on a project that is an outgrowth of my deepening interests in local development, community wealth-building and soccer. I plan to write more about it in the coming weeks and months.