Last year in November Travis Miller suggested that I tryout for the Dallas Desperados. My whole life I’ve been stopped by people, almost on a weekly basis, and asked, “Do you play football?” And so I decided that yeah, it’s been 16 years since I played football and so I should probably give it another whirl.
After deciding to do the tryouts the idea of actually going through with it has loomed over me like a dark could. Every bite I took, every time I went to the gym, every time I went to my regular office job I was niggled with thoughts of “What if?” These thoughts were like tiny rats that gnawed on me day after day as if I was some huge 350lb block of cheese.
Last night I had to take some Tylenol PM because I was apprehensive about the tryouts today. I wasn’t afraid of not making, I was afraid of making it. It would be a dream come true coupled with a nightmare. I’d be leaving the safety and security of my job and my cushy life to face a grueling lifestyle that while possibly filled with a lot of reward would probably break my body down even further than it already is. It was all a chance I was willing to take. I at least wanted to go out and give 110% and see if I had the option of playing or not.
The morning started out with me arriving at the stadium 2 hours early. I checked in and watched the wide receivers going through their routines: running 40 yard dashes, passing routes, and a myriad of other drills. At noon they called all of us linemen down onto the field and we went through a long series of warm ups. By the time we were through warming up I was pretty tired. After that we went through the shuttle, the long jump and a 20 yard dash. We did every drill twice and I thought I was holding my own. When I looked around at the men in my group I was slightly above average in size, but there were two guys that were taller than me and a number of guys who were short, squatty and quick.
Finally we got through a series of drills and the line coach pulled us aside to jump over some bags with high knees, then run through them in a zig-zag pattern. Back and forth it went and my body was screaming out – STOP! But I was hiding and through these first 8 drills the line coach made 3 cuts. Out of 35 or so guys were were down to 20. We started doing some basic 3 point stances and then jumping up and I thought I was doing great and this is where I got cut. What? Cut already? I mean I haven’t shown you how hard I can hit, you’ve hardly seen me do anything, and why did you make me do all those runs and jumps if you were planning on cutting me when I did a three point stance? WHY?!?!?! Why not tell me that is going to be the key thing that you are judging and then I could have practiced it.
Either way, I’m very glad I tried it. I’m proud of myself for getting through 4 rounds and going through with the whole ordeal. And I’m elated that I no longer have the dark cloud of “what if” looming over my head. Life can go back to normal. I can concentrate on getting my MBA and doing my myriad of projects and just being me.
Thanks to everyone for your words of encouragement and support. I’m not the least bit disappointed so no need to post comments of regret.