I haven't played soccer. For a year.
It shouldn't seem as dramatic as it feels, but after playing for 15 years, to know the game has officially ended is a weird mixture of feelings.
Playing soccer, once upon a time, could have been described as my passion. My living purpose. At one point in high school, I was on three separate teams. After the passion, it felt like some sort of long-term relationship: comfortable, stable, something to go home to and something that was there, day in and day out.
Long story short, now I've gone a year without soccer.
Sure, I can yoga my little heart out, but does that really compare to the rush of defending your net from a tie? The thrill of scoring the winning goal or playing right alongside your best friend? And no, playing non-competitively or a pickup game every now and then just isn't enough for me. It's not the same feeling as having a team work so hard for the win and then finally achieving it.
As much as I can say I hated suicides, conditioning, or a losing streak, I think what's worse is how much I miss it. The perks of playing are far better than not. But work gets in the way, school gets in the way, and next thing you know, you haven't played soccer in a year.