I was never a football player growing up, but I always wanted to be. I played in grade school and junior high, but I wouldn’t necessarily say I was “coached.” Not playing in high school was a blessing, as I had the opportunity to be involved in a variety of other activities, however I also missed out on something that I absolutely love, which is one of the few regrets I have looking back at my high school years.
That all being said, when I moved to Columbus I had the fleeting thought of playing semi-pro ball, more to meet people and experience the game again, but between scheduling and being out of season, I gave up on the idea for the time being. A few weeks ago, one of the regulars at the shop and I talked about the idea, and mentioned he played for a team. I checked it out and ended up trying out. Being that it’s been a solid 12 years since I put pads on, as well as the fact that I have never been truly taught the finer techniques and skills of the game, I was apprehensive and feared I would make a fool of myself. Part of me wanted to prove that I still had the abilities, despite the lack of experience. The tryout wasn’t extremely difficult – I was in equal or better shape than a majority of the other players, but I noticed a defined experience level that I was lacking. That being said, I was still able to hold my own, and managed to snag an interception during live drills.
Yes, semi-pro is far different from the days of high school, but at least the tryout gave me confidence and the knowledge that I could hang with the big boys who have played the game throughout their youth. I decided against playing, mostly due to scheduling issues, which still haunt me, but also the knowledge that I’d be booked every day I had off for the next three months.. which means no playing in the woods, and that’s what I love most, even more than scoring touchdowns.