Athens, OH 27 October 2015 –
This was the first year since I was 4 years old that soccer was not a consistent part of my life and to say I miss it would be an understatement. However, I’ve been finding ways to keep the game I love a part of my life. This weekend I finally made it up to a Columbus Crew SC game, which is something I have wanted to do all year.
It was “Ohio University” night at the game, so students got discounted tickets. One of my friends and I drove up to Columbus for the game and my brother and some of his friends were in the same section as us! We hadn’t planned it so it was a nice surprise to spend some time with him as well.
Another thing I’ve been trying to do more this year is read books. My brother gave me a book called Finding the Game by Gwendolyn Oxenham, which I finished at the same time I was starting to play intramural soccer. I mention these together because the book is a personal account of a girl who traveled the world with her boyfriend and two friends looking for pickup soccer games in 29 different countries. Playing with my team makes me feel like I am living that book, but instead of traveling thousands of miles, I just go to the other side of campus.
The majority of the people on my team are engineers, but of different disciplines and cultures. We have kids from Oman, Angola, Spain, China and the United States and although everyone speaks English, most default to their first language when we play. At first I thought it would be difficult to play because of this, but we communicate through the universal language of soccer with passes, claps and high fives. We have won both our games so far (5-1 and 12-1) and I am looking forward to the rest of our games.
Soccer’s ability to break barriers is one of the things I admire most about the sport. There are kids I’ve had many classes with, but had never talked to until we started playing soccer together. This connection not only has affected our social interactions and cultural understanding, but it has enhanced our collaborations as engineers which, to me, is invaluable.