Summer has definitely arrived here in North Carolina, which means it's time for Summer Heat, the laid-back version of adult soccer -- no off-sides, no throw-ins, no slide tackles, 25-minute halves.
I played soccer for the first time in last year's Summer Heat, and had a great time. We started and finished well, and ended up near the top of our division.
I didn't find a team last fall, but did make it onto a new team for the spring season. Spring and fall leagues are a bit different, adhering more closely to the rules -- slide tackles aren't allowed, but throw-ins are throw-ins, and off-sides are definitely called. My spring team played at a higher level than my summer team, and to be honest, it was difficult and frustrating at times. In fact, it was so frustrating for me -- feeling like I wasn't doing my part for my team -- that I didn't blog about it at all. But my teammates, all of whom have many years of experience, were kind and gracious, tutoring me when I needed it and putting up with my rookie mistakes.
I decided to rejoin my old team for this summer, mostly just because I missed the people, but I'll go back to my spring team for the fall season and beyond. I'm hoping to be ready for the fall much better prepared to play than I was when spring started.
I wrote last year that soccer is like meditation for me -- when I'm playing, I'm completely focused on the moment. I feel the same way when I'm skiing at or near the limits of my ability, but soccer is quite a bit cheaper and more readily available.
I'll post updates here during the course of the season.