You’ve got to do something in life.

IMG_2843 soccer

Sport is something that one has to be brought up with. Like lumpy porridge, it becomes an acquired taste. It did not feature much in my upbringing and unlike in Australian education, it is not much part of Dutch schools although I do remember gymnastics being a subject that one was supposed to engage in. At high schools in The Netherlands we had four languages on top of history, geography, mathematics, algebra. We were encouraged to join libraries or if time allowed it, learn to play the sport of chess.

I noticed at schools here in Australia that sport is almost the main subject. Private schools are proud of their swimming pools, extensive football field, hockey and tennis greens. At the main entrances they offer varnished head-boards on which with gold-leaf lettering, names of sport champions both past and present who were educated at that school are proudly exhibited. One does not get any names of those that were champions in mathematics or French!

In my formative years and before settling in Australia I joined a couple of sport clubs in Holland but always ended up with either a bleeding nose or broken glasses, sometimes both. Since those days and after arriving in Australia in 1956 I always ran away from any ball that rolled towards me. Of course, watching outdoor cricket when I was not mature enough (or properly warned and prepared) meant the final nail in the coffin of sport and round objects in general.

However, and this is what is so fascinating in life, there has been a late turn-around. I am now playing soccer. If you look careful at the above picture you can see me on the left without wearing shorts. I was asked to make up for an elderly player struck down with onset of bouts of intestinal hurry and of course, I stepped into the breech.   I played well, and remembered well from all those decades ago that scoring a goal was the main aim of the game. I did score a goal but also passed the ball to the opposition several times. They thought I was just being devious and I did not want to correct that opinion. 

I was asked by the sporting administrator’s secretary why I don’t wear shorts and my answers is always;  If I did, you most likely will call the police or an ambulance. They look down then and don’t know what to say.

I now love playing soccer. It is never too late.

29 Responses to “You’ve got to do something in life.”

  1. leggypeggy Says:

    Good on you for getting into soccer. It’s a great game and so good to keep moivng.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dora Says:

    Congratulations Gerard….Didn’t ever think I would see this in my life. Goes to show…never say never.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Forestwood Says:

    Fancy you starting to like soccer. Well done for giving it a go. Never too late. Watch those knees!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    YAY! You go, Gerard! This is so cool! 🙂
    But, I, also, gotta’ say be careful! 🙂
    A friend of mine started wearing shorts in his late 60’s after not wearing them for decades. He said, “I don’t care any more what people think of my snow white chicken-legs. It’s all about comfort now.” HA! We were so proud of him! 😉 😛
    (((HUGS))) for you! 🙂
    PATS and RUBS for Bentley! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. freefall852 Says:

    Gerard, Gerard…no good can come of taking up physical sport in one’s “gentile age”…I should imaging just doing a header would put your neck out for six months!
    I remember a cartoon by Leunig..a long time ago..where a man commences to construct a huge concrete boat in his back yard..it is never completed, but he then converts the hulk into a chook-house, then he uses it as an astronomy deck with his telescope and finally..”…now he is a philosopher.” …I think philosophy is the best sport for the retired gentleman.

    Liked by 2 people

    • freefall852 Says:

      Oops!…make that “genteel”…although I should imagine you are a “gentile”…

      Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, so true Jo. Perhaps I am in the process of making soccer into an art form. When you think about, it has ballet type movements especially in slow motion, and soccer by septennarians (octogenarian in my case) is perfectly pitched to combine sport and art.

      Of course, it does carry risks, with the exertions and prancing about, leaping into the air! But isn’t the passing of this life on a green field surrounded by cheering people not a sublime way of celebrating?

      Liked by 1 person

      • freefall852 Says:

        ” But isn’t the passing of this life on a green field surrounded by cheering people not a sublime way of celebrating?”

        Yes, Gerard…but I cannot help but reflect on the creation of, circumstances preceeding and..perhaps..the cheering following on from the saying..: “sink the boot in ya mug!!” could very well be a child born of the game of football…just don’t fall over mid-scrimage (if that is the correct term for a soccer mellee)..

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Sandie Says:

    I like your story. I say keep it up if you are enjoying what life now gives you. I say no regards!. At our age, we know that our last foot is on the banana peel but might as well go down with joy in our hearts doing what we love to coat the moment. Have fun
    Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, the enjoyment of leaping about kicking a round object is as good as anything. Perhaps all of life is a kind of sport. We do our best to enjoy what is free and for the taking.
      We keep on trying to side-step the banana skin on the doorstep of life.
      xx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. catterel Says:

    You mean you can RUN? Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Will Says:

    Nooit te oud om te sporten
    . Ik maak wekelijks rondjes op de racefiets of mountainbike. Never give up.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. gerard oosterman Says:

    Inderdaad, Never give up. Holland is the perfect country for bike-riding.

    Like

  10. rangewriter Says:

    Oh my gosh! This is wonderful! And for some reason unexpected. I don’t know why. I should know by now that you are the king of remaking yourself. Interestingly enough, In high school I didn’t understand American football AT ALL. It wasn’t until I got conned into playing “Flag football” with a bunch of co-eds in college that I began to understand the game, the strategies, the field positions. (Flag football is a version in which players flag or touch each other instead of tackling each other and bringing players to the ground.) I still only understand a fraction of the rules, but I do enjoy watching my favorite college teams play. I think this is not so different from understanding music from the inside by having played an instrument. I never thought of it that way before. 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  11. shoreacres Says:

    I say Huzzah, Hooray, Gerard. We can’t turn into “what-iffers” — asking, “But what if I get injured,” or “What if someone makes fun of me?”, or “What if I lose a game for the team?” Engagement is the name of the game, and the more, the better.

    I did laugh at your account of your sports ‘career’ in your youth. I never could throw a ball, I fell down at the starting line at my first track meet, and I developed a conviction that I wasn’t at all coordinated or capable of physical sports. Then, I started sailing, and before I knew it I was climbing the rigging, steering courses through fog or storms, and cruising the north Pacific. It helped to transform my life, and it’s sure not too late for a little soccer to transform yours, too!

    Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Your account of climbing rigging and sailing through storm and tempest is so on the mark Linda. I remember sailing a few times and I loved it too. Of great benefit was that neither Helvi nor me were ever seasick. We just could not get sick at sea. Not even during the biggest waves.
      Of course, things can happen but the exhilaration of gaining experiences is what makes life so worthwhile.
      Next Wednesday, the soccer is on again in the late afternoon at sunset time.
      It was a bolt out of the blue being asked to play soccer. Who could have thought?

      Liked by 1 person

  12. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Well now I think you doing very well. You see it is better late than never and a little physical activity is good, But have you been approved by your doc to engage in the sport of soccer?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. freefall852 Says:

    Oh well…best of luck to your physical exertions at this time of life, Gerard…and I can only admirs your efforts and I can honestly say thet I would be out there flanking for you but for this terminal affliction of lateral spine that keeps me abed..but hey…as they say in the best of United States tradition..: “I’m rootin’ for yers!”

    Like

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