Here’s another nice blast from the past!

The Time I Was Afraid of Balls

This particular story is from a weekend when I went to watch a couple of the soccer games in the Bay State League Tournament because, well, I was “friends with one of the managers.”  That “friend” is now my boyfriend, folks.  I wanted to be supportive, so I went to a 10:00am game in the scorching heat and stayed for a 2:00pm game in the torrential rain. When I arrived at Waltham High School in the morning, I got out of my car and sauntered on down to the fields.  I got a bit nervous because I wasn’t sure which field to go to until I was close enough, and by close enough I mean standing on the sidelines, to tell which game was the girls’ game and which game was the boys game.

Anyways, because nobody else I knew was coming to the games until that afternoon, I walked over to the boys game and plopped myself down on one of the benches by myself.  No big deal.  I had my Dunks iced coffee, I had my sunglasses, and I was ready to watch some soccer.  Two minutes into me sitting there and a few big goal kicks later, my mind began conjuring up endless possibilities of where that damn soccer ball could go.  I started imagining play after play, each one resulting in that soccer ball flying right to me and having the most awkward moment of my life trying to retrieve the ball or throw it back into the game.  I started panicking a bit and texted Katrina:  “Petrified a ball is gonna fly right at me and I’ll have an awk moment struggling to throw it back in.”  I tried to stay where I was, but as the memories of my college roommates throwing random objects at me and forcing me to throw them back just for comic relief came flooding back, I had to move.  It was too hot to sit in the sun anyways, really.  I first opted for standing behind a small bleacher set, but that wasn’t really working for me either.  I finally settled behind a couple of families sitting underneath a tent behind one of the goals toward the corner.  I had to be safe there, right?  Plus, I had one solitary branch worth of shade to sit under to try to keep cool.

Fast forward to the afternoon.  Brett and Katie kept me company during the rainy second game.  They were sitting on the third (top) row of the bleacher set, and I was standing on the ground next to them because the bleachers were soaked and I had sat all morning.  This is when my nightmare happened.  Out of nowhere, the soccer ball came flying right toward us.  Instant panic.  And I froze.  The ball went zooming past Brett and landed on the ground behind the bleachers.  “Athena, that’s you.”  I stood there, frozen, and through clenched teeth said “Brett, if you do one thing for me ever, please just go. get. the. ball.”  And he did!  Hopped right off that top bleacher, retrieved the soccer ball, and the game continued on.  PHEW.

Thank you, Brett Amidon, for saving my life.

Why is the thought of every single player, coach, and spectator watching me in this situation so horrifying?  It’s not like I have a fear of being in front of crowds… I do presentations all the time, I danced my entire life in front of auditoriums and stadiums filled to the max, and I love being the center of attention telling a funny story or joke.  I mean, I put myself out there just in writing this blog, and it’s not like I’m that un-athletic!?

But I guess balls flying right at me is where I draw the line.

What about you guys?  Any awkward sporting event moments you’d like to share?