Back in the day, I played futbol/soccer all the time. It all started when I moved back to Peru for a year and went to school for 4th and 5th grade. Recess was spent playing soccer in the park in the most ghetto way possible: using a hackeysack. Some days we would play by the stadium with an actual soccer ball! All the rookies/new kids were usually sent to play defense, which included myself. I ended up loving defense so I stayed in that position. When I went back to the States, I continued to play soccer with my community up until middle school. Combined with homework and other things, I no longer had the time to play. I remember playing once for old time’s sake during my freshman year in college, resulting in my legs being sore for about a week and a half. I was definitely out of shape.
Last year I began to regain my interest in soccer. I had started to go watch my friend’s games and had the desire to play again. For some reason, I never got around to it. However, right before I was about to head out to Japan, I saw someone advertising for the Osaka JET futbol team. Seeing that this was the perfect opportunity, I decided to ask the captain if I could join. I eventually learned that every week they didn’t play futbol, but futsal!
What is futsal? I had no idea until he explained it to me. Basically futsal is a miniature version of soccer; it’s 5 on 5 with about 7 minutes per match. It was played outdoors but the field was a lot smaller than a regular soccer field. When I went to the first practice, it took awhile to get used to. Since there are fewer players and the field was smaller, I was running around a lot more than I had in the past. Playing defense had now turned into playing defense and midfield. It went on for about 2 hours and I was completely dead by the end of it. Actually, I was dead by the first hour and shocked to hear that we were only halfway done! The next day I was extremely sore and combined with my long walks to school; my ankles turned for the worse and I couldn’t really walk without being in pain. As a result, I didn’t go to practice for two weeks in order to rest up.
However, I did go to one the after party to bid farewell to the former captain of the team; he was heading back to the U.S. I got to know the players a bit more and they are really nice guys. It’s kinda hard to socialize with them while you’re playing because usually everyone has a different mentality when you’re playing. Everyone is barking orders, cursing at their own mistakes or just praising one another. One guy that stands out of the team is Yong, a Korean player. Every time I see him, he is always ecstatic. He’s one hell of a soccer player too…he scored a bunch of goals during the first practice. I think he’s the person who’s most psyched about going to play futsal. “I waited all summer to play again!” he excitedly told me. “I tell my boss to never keep me late on Tuesday (when we play) nights!” was another line of his. Whenever it feels tense, he seems to lighten up the moment.
Here are a few pictures of the party at Tin’s Hall. The bar itself was nice and had delicious burgers…it felt like eating at home! It was a fun night:
Yesterday I played again for the first time but only for an hour. I figured that I should start little by little first rather than go all out. While I am a bit sore today, I’m definitely feeling better than last time. Vince, our group’s photographer (and curser!) decided to film a short clip of us playing futsal. I ended up being in the video and I didn’t look too terrible! I actually passed balls to my teammates as opposed to the opposite team!:
There’s an actual soccer tournament coming up in November but I can’t make it because it’s the weekend of my birthday. As much as I like soccer, I’d rather be doing celebration-related stuff. I’m glad I got back to player soccer but I really do need to get the stamina to play it again.