Becoming a Parent (or Life on the Injured List)

It is official, I have now become a parent.  No, Lauren is not pregnant nor have we adopted a child so don’t get too excited.  Rather we have been adopted by the JU Men’s soccer team.  At our first meeting as a team my age was announced to the team during our coaches speech using me as an example of motivation.  He also used this as a time to let them know that “I am not their Daddy.”  This was somehow related to their being responsible adults.  However, all they took out of this was that I should now be called Dad or Daddy.  Daily I have request from some of the international players to adopt them so they can stay in the States after college.  There are daily arguments between two in particular, Danny and Darko, about which one looks more like me thus means they are really my child.  Danny has a beard which he constantly uses to show how much he looks like Dad while Darko claims I like him more.  So, now when I am walking through campus I will inevitably hear someone yell “Hey Dad!”.  I already felt old enough hanging out with 18-21 year old kids on a daily basis and now I have the nickname to make me feel even older.

Besides getting a new nickname on the first day with the team I also got put on the injured list.  I had been having pain in my groin, hips and abs since the Spring semester but it just felt like a muscle pull that I thought would go away.  In the summer, it started becoming more painful while I played with my NPSL team, Jacksonville United FC.  I still didn’t think it was anything more than bumps, bruises, and sore muscles.  I continued playing over the summer with my hips fully wrapped and a whole lot of ice after each game.  I was glad we did as my team won the NPSL National Championship after starting the season 0-4 which you can read here.

And while we are on the subject I also made the National Championship Best 11.

It turns out however that playing on it was not that good for my college career.  I was unable to complete the first fitness test at JU.  The dreaded Cooper test which basically requires us to run 2 miles in 12 minutes.  I did 3 1/2 laps and that was the last running I have done in two weeks.  Since then, I have had an MRI which diagnosed me with stress reactions on my pubic bone.  Basically, the wear and tear of constant soccer in Spring caused undo stress which has caused the pain.  Quote from the doctor, “This is a terrible injury because there is nothing I can really do for you.”

Rest, rest, and more rest.  4-6 weeks or until I am not symptomatic.  From what I have read online it could be even longer with some people not able to return to activity for 3-6 months.  What’s most frustrating is that I can’t participate in any activities with the team.  Since so many different muscles connect down there even doing upper body can cause me to tighten my abs and hurt myself again.  So, not exactly the start to my college career that I wanted.

A new parent on the injured list!

But at least I am still on the team!

Funny story about that link.  I was asked to provide specific information for my biography.  I was asked what high school/ high school awards, parent’s names,  and major.  So, I obliged no big deal until I look at everyone else bios with paragraphs of information.  Apparently, I could have put more about myself on there.  This argument didn’t get me very far with Lauren as she is not represented on my bio either.  Whoops.

Becoming a Parent (or Life on the Injured List)

Soccer Mom in Training

I could write an entire blog just about learning how to be a soccer mom to nearly 30 grown men…but then I’d stop posting here and eventually would stop posting there as well. (Seems to be the constant in my blogging efforts…except for Teague FC!) In an effort to keep this both fresh and fun, I’ll share with you my latest ‘team mom’ escapades.

Jacksonville University (JU) had two exhibition games last week. I missed the first, opting for a running course instead (good: attending class. bad: not running since) and deciding to save my gas rather than rush up to the JU fields for the second half of the game that Garrett wasn’t even playing in. (Catch up note: Coaches put G on mandatory rest to start the season, as we try to get a diagnosis and treatment plan for his ab strain / stress reaction that has been bothering him all summer. Insurance delayed the process, as does once-a-week doctor availability. Hope to know more tomorrow.)

Fast forward to Friday — learned that I can leave my office in Ponte Vedra at 6:28pm and arrive at the JU soccer field literally right as the 7 pm kickoff happens. (Filing that one away for later in the season…) It was freshman orientation week, so I had to grab a seat in front of about 30 freshman or sophomore university students. Spent the entire game listening to them talk about “Justin Beiber. Taylor Swift. Parties. Quidditch. Movies. Parties. Sorority. Beach.” If 90 minutes of that was my own personal hell, I have much more sympathy for Garrett sitting through classes every day with these kids. Back to soccer: JU tied the exhibition 1-1. The team didn’t look nearly as good as I had hoped, playing a D2 school, but we went through this in the summer too (lost first four, won next eight), so I’ll be more optimistic. (Also, they beat South Florida 2-1 in the first exhibition match.)

Before I left the field, I snagged a homemade “Dolphins soccer” poster that one of the froshie sorority chicks had brought. She didn’t want to hang onto it, and I told her I was having team dinner the next night, so I might as well have team artwork too.

Saturday night was the first JU team dinner that I’ve let Garrett rope me into…and by “rope”, I mean I totally offered because who doesn’t love to cook for 12 hungry grown men in a 1,100 sq ft condo? The menu was fairly basic but the Costco shopping trip was anything but (Garrett sent me all alone, this was his mistake.)

  • Herb-crusted Sirloin tip roast (two x 3.5 pounds each)
  • Summer vegetable ratatouille (two pans)
  • Sweet potato fries (cheated and bought the big bag at Costco!)
  • Fusilloni pasta, lightly sauced, with fresh tomato & basil (big pot)
  • Costco rolls (one bag)
  • Apple pie and vanilla ice cream (Costco sized!)

The dinner was surprisingly easy to pull together, though our oven proved (again) that it doesn’t cook as quick as recipes suggest. I need to start remembering this! (Any tips on oven cleaning or optimizing for power/cook time?) Once the guys showed up, it wasn’t long before the chips and salsa were devoured and dinner was ready (buffet style). Helpful tip: The pack of 30 aluminum buffet pans for $3.50 are worth every penny. From cooking to serving to clean up, they were so easy!

JU Mens Soccer - Defense Team Dinner

After dinner, Garrett pulled out the cribbage boards and started to teach some of the guys how to play. Go figure, the married couple throws a college party and the craziest we can get is playing cards (and Playstation3). Team Europe (Toby from Germany & Henrik from Norway) took the first game (beginners luck!), but I was part of Team America that had two dramatic comeback wins to steal the honors of the night. Pretty sure that there is at least one cribbage board in the team locker room now…

Team dinner part one was a success, including one review “the best meal I’ve had since coming to the States.” (nice!) Part two, with the midfielders and forwards is tentatively planned for Labor Day weekend. 15 new guys…no sweat, right? If you have any menu suggestions that don’t include using an oven, please leave them in comments. I’m likely going to be doing this a few more times!

Soccer Mom in Training