Who would have thought that FIFA's 2010 World Cup would prove to be such a willing teacher? I sure did not and yet, with these matches being in my backyard so to speak, I have consistently learned new and surprising things about myself. In honour of this momentous event coming to a close I feel inspired to share these new realizations. Here goes (in no particular order)...
I DO enjoy watching soccer on TV. Who knew? I had no idea. I have never before been so captivated and addicted to watching any sport on television. In the past I have naively claimed that watching soccer on TV is like watching chaotic ants dancing. Alas, it is not so. The rhythm and precision with which which these players execute their moves is mesmerizing. After all of these years I admit I was wrong. I love the World Cup.
I am diseased. All along I have been infected with a disease that has only now come to my attention...I call it the “Unable-to-keep-your-mouth-shut-during-a-match-disease.” There is no possible way for me to watch a soccer game and not a)Hold one-sided convos with players/teams b) Make ridiculously embarrassing sounds of excitement, despair, or any other emotion that arises. c) Feel the need to offer my verbal condolences to the losing side. It's an illness and I am looking into getting medication.
Vuvuzelas are our friends. Having lived in Africa for multiple years I have already had time to develop a relationship with the obnoxiously loud and uncalled for nature of a Vuvuzela. But guess what? It is physically possible to develop immunity to the incessant hooting of this excessively used celebratory instrument. I know, because I have. It is brilliant. Attention: Vuvuzela-ers...hoot away at all hours of the night for no apparent reason, your racket is dead to me. HA.
Player look-alikes. I have begun to take note that far too many times I have looked at a myriad of players and said to myself, “Oh my goodness, that Spanish (German, Uraguan, fill-in-country-here) player looks just like [so and so] from home!” Can it really be that these players really,truly look like my guys friends from home? I doubt it. Having the same freckles, facial hair and hair colour does not a look-alike make. Homesick much?
Work out regime. When it comes to watching the World Cup matches I can't not care. Me caring means that for the entire 90+ minutes I have every muscle in my body clenched as deep stress and excitement overtakes me. Thus I have inserted this viewing pleasure as part of my weekly work routine. Boy, am I toned let me tell you.
I Heart Soccer Talk. I am completely obsessed with holding conversations with knowledgeable soccer fans (usually of the male persuasion) whilst dropping impressive soccer vocabulary, repeating what I heard analyst say the night before, and giving my take on the previous match. I even got into a convo with my trainer at the gym this week. I sounded so smooth and soccer-educated you have no idea.
Compassion. I am sad to say that the close of the World Cup does offer me some relief. One thing I have definitely learned about myself is that I am WAY too compassionate during these games. Every missed goal, every goal keeper mistake, every team error twists my heart in pain as compassion overwhelms. I have to cover my eyes when they show the losers on their knees crying and for some reason I find myself channeling the players' moms and imagining how heartbroken their Mommy's are. I realize this is weird but I can't help it. I wish I could transport myself into the TV at times and give these sad little fellas a hug. If only. It would really do my vicariously-aching heart some good.
Soccer, Futbol, Football...Call it what you like. It's a beautiful game.
Oh, and GO SPAIN!!!!!