Football Crazy

By Nicole Carter

This article first appeared in Issue 7 which was published in March 2018.

I was about as crazy as they come
Studying a textiles degree at the Galashiels campus
Of Heriot Watt uni, from the late Summer of 2000 until Spring 2001
I should’ve kept taking my Bi-Polar meds
But I stopped

Off my meds and off my head
Skint, vigilante-vegan, eco-freak
“Don’t you dare not recycle that cardboard packaging”
“You’re actually going to eat the flesh of a sentient, conscious creature?”
Aye, my fellow student-residences lassies
Must have been at the end of their tether with me

However
A brief glimpse of sanity came every week
When I started training with The Borders Ladies Football Team
I used to run about the pitch like a headless chicken
Never remembering The Rules
Often offside
Never remembering the names of who was in my team
So I would probably kick the ball to my opponents quite often

But
For two hours each week
I was simply……..
Ball hungry
Focused
Determined
Fit

I didn’t care about all the other shit going on
I enjoyed myself at a time when there was
No other enjoyment in my life

I only trained with them for a few months
But
I’ll never forget
The time I was tackled and lost the ball without noticing
The time the ball was kicked into my crotch, which hurt so much I cried
The times we did header training and I hated it
Buying my first pair of football boots and shin-guards
Feeling so free as I galloped across the pitch
With no idea where I was taking the ball
Scoring that one goal I still boast about

These days, now I’m in my 40’s
I look back at those training sessions with great pride
I may not have ever played for them in a proper match
But
I played to keep myself happy
I still prefer to actually kick a ball about rather than watch football on TV
I definitely “keep taking the meds”
And I have to have a steak pie supper every month

This article first appeared in Issue 7 which was published in March 2018.

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