I was looking through some of my old blog posts and stumbled upon this little gem from 2009. This was the level of my sports fandom, which reading it now…well…I was not really a sports fan. To help evaluate progress, I used to read my old journals and see how things were measuring up given my pontifications about the future. Now, I look at my blog. My penchant for categorization helps given my consistent use of labels…this I owe to my days working in IT. Sometimes I remember what I write but most of the time I don’t. If you asked me the names of my main characters in the novel I barfed out in November, I couldn’t tell you. Crazy right? But I can easily go to the label for my National Novel Writing Month adventure in 2012 and learn all kinds of things I have forgotten. Like my triumphant finish at Panera surrounded by my writing friends where I wrote 5K words in 2 1/2 hours.
Just like reading old journals, reading my blog helps me to see how things have changed over the years and the new directions that life has taken me. There is always this path that you think you want to follow. There is a “place” where you think you want to end up. The older I get, I realize that the best part is when you veer off of the path and then things change in unexpected ways. When your sister invites you to a soccer match, you should just go, even after ignoring her Google invitation. You never know what can happen. In the those first moments of wondering if you are going to understand what is happening…you are taken over by the ebb and flow. You know that the ball needs to get into the net but the path to get there is not clear and it changes moment to moment. It is a constant adaption for 45 minutes straight…it rarely stops. It appealed to the writer in me. It is like a novel. It is like life. It is beautiful.
This was how I became a real sports fan. A soccer fan. One who goes to every game. One who has rituals. One who has lucky earrings. One who tailgates. One who has a team garden gnome in the front yard. One who could talk for hours about my theories on group dynamics and team performance. I have become so real that I am actually starting to realize that whether or not I tailgate is not going to change the outcome of a game. Sometimes there are technical things that the love in your heart can’t mitigate. Sometimes there are mental blockages that your unrelenting belief can’t will away. Sometimes…the losses keep happening…and it is then that you discover that you are a true fan. Whether you win or lose or draw…you pick a side…you stand by your decision…you never give up.