Thursday, August 18, 2016

Soccer Day

Before the game I heard one regular player say that he wasn't going to play because it was too hot. The guy saying this is a Haitian, so I said, "Really, its too hot for a Haitian.  I've never been to Haiti, but I've been to Florida so I know it's hot in Florida.  Cuba's south of Florida and I hear it's pretty hot there too.  But Haiti is even further south so it has to be hot there.  So how can Pennsylvania be too hot for a Haitian?"  The guy hung his head and said something about his back hurting so I mentioned that I was sixty years old and I was going out, which was all it took to get him to change his mind and agree to play.  One thing about these Latin American men, its easy to play the "macho man card" on them.
The prison I am in is a "Special Management Unit", which means they keep guys who have done bad things locked in a cell for 23 hours a day.  The prison has a small "Cadre" of high security prisoners who are here to do our time as oppose to being here for punishment, so we are only locked down at night.  Which is why I am able to play soccer and softball and able to go to the art room.  This is good for us in that the fewer convicts the fewer problems.  The down side is that we often don't have enough guys to play organized sports.  So when a few guys decide not to play soccer there is a good chance the game will be canceled due to lack of players.  This is why I had to play the macho man card to get the Haitian to play.
I recently learned that a soccer field is actually called a pitch.  Odd but that's the name.  So the Haitian manned up and came out so we had a full team.  Good game.  One of the Jamaicans pulled a first and played barefoot.  The pitch is good grass, but the problem with going barefoot is that everyone else wears cleats.  It turned out to be a smart move as he moved faster than ever before and every opponent he encountered was aware of his bare feet so were careful around him. He had a great game.  I asked why he played barefoot and he said that's how he played growing up in Jamaica. It was an interesting lesson.  I played goalie the entire game, which I was fine with do to the heat. Soccer is a great workout for me.
Today I made arrangements to start playing racquetball regularly with my buddy, the former soldier.   Without softball all the exercise I get is the two days of soccer and feel like I can handle more. Racquetball is a fast game with just the right amount of movement that I get a good workout but don't have to push to exhaustion.  I could walk the track or even jog, but I know I won't keep that up.  A competitive sport is a different matter.  That I will do and push myself, so I'm looking forward to playing racquetball twice a week.

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