• How football keeps me fighting fit

    360 degree, back pass, slide, a header and a goal!

    Yes, last night’s match was pretty exceptional for me. No, I’m not talking about the Romania Vs Albania match, which was pretty epic by the way; I’m talking about the football match that my friends and I play twice a week. It started out as a stubborn whim, and has now turned into this obsessive need to do cardio and of course hone our skills.

    My male friends were delighted that I took the initiative and forced a Whatsapp group named “Football at some point”, on all of them. It started out with just one girl, i.e. me, and the rest being the boys; although now we have managed to involve more girls. Baby steps, my friends, baby steps.

    I was always the child who preferred to play with dirt rather than dollhouses, not that there is anything wrong with that, mind you; but my inclination towards sports remained stronger. So much so, I was found playing volleyball with a bunch of kids at my Post Graduation Orientation day. I was known as that girl for the rest of the year.

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    I’ve started following the sport rather than just playing it. I will now know names other than Christiano Ronaldo or David Beckham or Lionel Messi. I even started watching more football videos and female footballers who performed tricks with the ball. It completely blew my mind!

    Playing football

    Tossing the ball around on the football field

    As Cricket is to India, Football is to Europe. The matches are exciting, intriguing and send chills when you hear the synchronized cheering from the crowd for their favorite team, boy it can give you goosebumps! The ongoing Euro Cup is an example. If you haven’t tuned into the matches yet, you’re missing out on a LOT of fun.

    I’m thankful I have an amazing bunch of male friends who were more than willing to teach us girls about the sport and encouraged us to go ahead with the ball during the game. We have reached a point where all of us actually plan a strategy and take specific positions on the field. I’m a defender, just in case you were wondering.

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    Sports have always allowed me to be myself. It is as liberating as voicing your opinion to a crowd and being accepted for having a perspective. When we talk of a society with no borders, discrimination, barriers; I feel a sports field allows for that innocence to thrive. A player is seen to be just that; not a Black, not a Girl, not a Muslim and definitely not unaccepted. All that matters on the field is the passion for the game and of course how well you play the game. Because after all, that ball won’t score for itself!

    There’s a quote by Vince Lombardi that fits perfectly well here, “People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defences, or the problems of the society.”

    A little Monday inspiration for you all. Have a great week ahead! Kick some balls!

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