Freezing my ass off watching my husband and his friends in the over 35 soccer beer league is how I spend one evening a week during the months of September through to the beginning of November. While I do appreciate the comfort of coffee and Bailey’s, the warmth only lasts for so long until my fingers begin to freeze. However, watching over 35 beer league soccer also doubles as my much needed comic relief. Especially when the ‘tough guys’ show up and start mouthing off. I mean, really? You’re over 35. And this is beer league. Get it together.
The same is also true with basketball and baseball. Although with baseball, it is normally a beer from my folding chair along the side of the diamond, while trying to not get eaten alive by black flies/mosquitoes/stung by wasps. I don’t usually drink inside a gymnasium during basketball though – people might start to get the wrong impression.
I was extremely athletic in High School and University. I played rugby at the post secondary and Provincial levels and when I wasn’t riding/playing rugby, I was out doing something active. My husband was the same. Actually, we met because of rugby – we were both playing for the same club…now, as is the case with most rugby boys, I really wanted nothing to do with him at the time as he
was is ‘that guy’. You know the one. The one that always shows up to any sort of social gathering, can out-drink/chug anyone, thinks he is God’s Gift and always seems to be the life of the party. If I didn’t love him madly with everything I have, I would probably hate his guts. I truly say that lovingly. While he makes my want to put my head through a window – he really is my best friend and I don’t know what I would do without him.
Five years ago Aaron (my husband) ruptured his Achilles’ tendon – playing in that very same over 35 soccer beer league – in the last game of the season ending tournament. It was life changing as all of a sudden – he wasn’t able to play competitive rugby anymore…which, at the time of his injury, he was still doing and doing well. From that day, he hasn’t played in another game – and that breaks my heart. He lived and breathed rugby. And he was good. Very good. To the point where I could watch him play and learn something…just don’t tell him I ever said that.
Since his injury – he found ways to keep himself active while participating in the less physically demanding sports I mentioned above…funny how his injury was caused playing soccer and not rugby eh? Although he would never admit it to anyone – I know it just isn’t the same level of satisfaction for him when he went from being extremely good at the sport he grew up breathing and being passionate about to having to settle for something else in a less competitive and demanding atmosphere…. Because of an injury – not because it was time to ‘retire’. Sucks right?
When I started riding again about 5 years ago, after a 10 year break to ‘grow up’ – and when I realized my body could no longer take the pounding that playing competitive rugby for 15 years had done – Aaron was extremely supportive. He encouraged it even – knowing how much I missed it and what a big part it played in my life when I was growing up. It started slowly – lessons once a week. Then I found a been there done that horse to lease – it was he who helped me to get the courage to event again. As is typical, my one time a week translated into being at the barn daily with my leased horse. I remember going to my first event in like 10 years with him and knowing that he would take complete care of me. It was a great sense of accomplishment – and something I am extremely proud of.
Then I found Chester – he was meant to be my nice prelim horse. We were working to achieve things which I hadn’t done in 10 years. I was pumped, on cloud 9 – he was everything I wanted him to be. I had a great fiance (at the time)…Chester and Aaron: My two redheads, as I had named them. Both tall, both charming and both extremely handsome. What more could a girl ask for?
Aaron – not knowing anything about horses – tried his best and came to a couple events – and learned how to ‘groom’. As in “Babe, can you please hold Chester while I go walk my course with my coach? Great, thanks.” As I left him looking panicked. I remember coming back from course walks and seeing Chester – with his bridle on – eating grass and Aaron holding him with one hand on his neck. It melted my heart….aside from the fact Chester was eating grass with his bridle on after I had told Aaron not to let him do that. No biggie. As with most non-horsey people, they just don’t get it.
Aaron tried really hard and came to 2 or 3 events with Chester and I. I’ll give him credit – he didn’t really want to be there as he doesn’t have an interest in horses/riding – but, he came because I asked him too. Eventually, it got to the point where he stopped coming to events and didn’t come to the barn anymore. I did my thing, he did his. He was supportive – from a far. That is fine, I get it.
And, well, we all know what happened next. Throughout the first year in which Chester was off, I grew more and more depressed. And poor Aaron, didn’t really understand where I was coming from. ‘It’s just a horse Carrie.’ I tried to relay it in terms which he could get. i.e. making comparisons to playing rugby, being on the brink of achieving your goals and then having them ripped away from you – because of something you had no way of preventing/controlling. Exactly like what happened to him when he ruptured his Achilles. I remember the flash of recognition in his eyes – as he finally understood where I was coming from.
Then, in July 2011 – I found Colby. Aaron, has yet to meet her….