Confessions of a Social League "Athlete"

It’s 3PM and an expense spreadsheet is staring back at me from my computer screen, the numbers don’t add up and I don’t know which part of the formula I’ve screwed up. Why is excel so hard? My mind drifts and I’m looking out my office window when “DING”, a WhatsApp notification breaks my moment. 

“Hey man, you playing tonight yeah? 6:30PM, we only have 5 and I couldn’t get a keeper”.

“Yeah. Shotgun not keeping”.

I looked up from my phone at my colleagues and wondered if they actually knew they were sitting next to an inner suburb Division 2 futsal superstar. It’s early in the season but the mighty “Tenacious Turtles” were sitting 4 games undefeated at the top of the ladder. Not too shabby for a rag tag bunch of mates who hadn’t played since high school 5 years ago.

As 5PM approaches, the tension builds and I look at my sports bag lying next to my desk and run through the contents in my head “Top. Shorts. Socks. Shoes. Tape…. Check”. It’s going to be a tight schedule from work in peak hour traffic so I do a quick google maps check to reverse engineer the trip. If it’s a 23 minute drive from work, 10 minutes to get changed and a 5 minute stretch means I need to leave here at 5:50.

I fix the errors on my spreadsheet as the clock on my screen turns to 5:45, quickly shoot it off to my manager, grab my suit jacket, my bag and head out the door right on schedule. Someone catches me as im halfway out the door and starts to small talk about “Married at First Sight”. I want to say “Nobody cares about MAFS Linda” but I politely nod and head to my car. 

On the drive down, the “Tenacious Turtles” group chat is in overdrive. One person’s late, another forgot their shin pads, there’s a 2 paragraph message from our resident eager beaver talking about how important it is to “follow your man” and “let’s make sure we finish our chances” tonight. I pull up to the centre as a final message pops up “Where are you idiots? Kick off in 15”. I sprint in, bag in hand, half my suit already off to see the other team in huddle, deep in concentration. I look at my bunch of misfits and see everyone scrambling through their bags gettings changed. I decide to get changed on the sidelines and navigate the merry dance of changing into my uniform without revealing too much to the general public. I wonder if Cristiano Ronaldo had to do this at some point in his life?

As I pull on the green shirt, a change hits me as our snapping turtle logo sits proudly on my chest and I transform from a 9-5 business analyst to a self-proclaimed Div. 2 superstar athlete. There’s no time to warm up and the ref rushes us on for kick off as we're arguing with ourselves on who’s taking the first shift in goals. I take the kick off with a pass to my team mate and he preceeds to shoot from halfway where it goes about 5 meters high and wide of the goal. “Err… Sorry lads”.

In a tough encounter, we come out on top 7-5 after an early scare and alas my 40 minutes of stardom ends for the week. 

“Kebabs Boys?”

“Done”

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