With apologies to Dove Men+Care for borrowing their slogan.
He had run from one end to the other, one side to the other, chasing down every loose ball. He was out of position, but he was the only one trying. His teammates will make errant pokes at the ball, more than kicks. If they make contact, they stand and watch it go, rarely do they move into space, anticipate a play, or chase down a loose ball.
Zacharie does. And does. And does.
Down 5-0, he was frustrated at another impending loss. In fact, he hasn’t known what it’s like to be on the top side of the scoreboard in more than a calendar year. 2 complete seasons of indoor and outdoor soccer and the best his teams have mustered is one draw. The rest have been losses, bad losses, often a lot to nothing. This was another one of those games.
But he didn’t want to give up. So he chased. He made runs down the sideline. He made cuts across the middle. He challenged players twice his size.
They landed on him, he got up, took a breath, and played on.
He took a free kick in the face, he took a breath, and chased.
He ran so hard, fueled by frustration that he finally just collapsed. He was exhausted. His heart as empty as his lungs, his spirit as tired as his legs.
I’ve already written a long post about the lack of care on my son’s soccer team. From parents, from the players, from the league.
He’s in a learning league where fun is the main objective, but when you’re the only one chasing down balls and putting your head in the game, playing position, and showing intensity, it’s crushing.
So I won’t belabour that point again.
When I started this blog, the idea was to have a place where I could save the stories of my sons’ lives. It’s evolved beyond that simply diary, but I still like posting the photos, writing the stories, and saving the memories in this spot.
That’s what this brief story is supposed to be. Just some pictures of my son dumping out his care onto the soccer pitch. Running like the wind, never giving up.