Not Just Chasing The Ball
Hours have been merging into days and days have been merging into weeks. It's already 2021, and I've brushed off the "new year new me" nonsense with the possibly underwhelming feat that I am still the same me. While I haven't written much in a while, it also feels like it's been five minutes since I sporadically took to this keyboard and threw something together on the subject of the little things.
So much of me can't help but think, "goodness, we are going through the biggest international pandemic ever, how could I be here chatting about little things ..." But then I have to stop myself to remember that what is getting me through this pandemic is little in comparison to it all. It is a ball.
Through most of my life, I have kicked and chased the ball. And during this pandemic, I feel so lucky to say that has been no less the case. I've chased the ball, in awe and dependence with all my might and optimism, knowing it is but a cancelled game away from rolling to a stop, a snowstorm away from halting under the crunch of the white stuff, or a positive test away from being postponed for health and safety reasons.
Almost every day I am reminded of how fortunate I am to be able to continue working; when I wake up, listening to testimonials on the radio of parents struggling to home school; on my drive to training, as I chug down the road through the blurred patchwork of shop shutters padlocked close due to this lockdown; and when I scroll through social media, coming across all the amazing initiatives in action to support families, businesses, and individuals struggling during this time.
Without belittling the hardships or jobs of others, I want to express my feeling of gratitude to be able to continue playing a game that is acting far beyond its game-like capabilities - being grateful for just a game would be un-tasteful and doing it a disservice - football is so much more.
I have seen it put smiles on faces, lift people from lowest lows, given hope, fight racism, and ignite free school meal initiatives. I will never undermine the role that football plays in other peoples' lives. It isn't just a game. It is a lease of life, progression and possibility.
For the women's game, I can't help but bring up, the somewhat now obvious and taken for granted point, that Women's Football is deemed elite enough to continue! 10 years ago would this have been the case? I'm not sure. With all being said, I am so thankful to be a woman able to continue playing football during a pandemic, to continue working.
I hope that in the weekends to come - after a long week glued to zoom or feeling out of depth teaching math to your 10-year-old child - my teammates and I can provide some entertainment for you. I also hope and know that there is light at the end of the tunnel for us all.
Hang in there x
(Photo creds: David Price)