Working at a college has its benefits and detriments. A clear benefit is that proximity to youthful enthusiasm keeps you excited about the possibilities of life. Yet a closely related detriment is just because you're in the midst of youth does not mean that you are actually young.
I pride myself on staying in shape as I get older. Exercise and healthy (or close to healthy) eating means that I don't feel my age. So when the students were playing bubble soccer, I was ready to rumble. My thought process was that I'm pretty good at soccer, so adding a bubble to the equation wouldn't prove an impediment.
You can catch a glimpse of bubble soccer here, and something that I obviously missed, is that the point is less about soccer and more about laying a beating on someone. Adding to the situation is that my team was filled with young ladies and we were playing some of our new football recruits.
At the kick-off, the very first play mind you, I went for the ball and got a great kick in. But immediately as I kicked the ball, I was completely leveled by this dude. But a peculiar thing happened: instead of safely bouncing back, my bubble collapsed and I hit my lower back hard. I later determined that because my bubble had a small leak in it, it gave way. Instead of cushioning my fall, I smacked the ground.
I was in decent pain and took a breather, but I couldn't let the kids see me struggle. I ended up finishing the game, but I was hurting. The entire next week, my back was killing me. I finally relented from my stubbornness and went to the doctor who gave me the report from the above X-ray: I broke a bone in my back. Fortunately, there was no surgery required; it's not a load bearing bone and it's healing nicely. While it's still painful, I'm back to running long distances with little discomfort.
I try to use every failure as a learning opportunity. I'm not sure if I failed at bubble soccer, but the outcome was definitely less than desirable. If there's anything I can glean, it's likely that I need to measure my passion. It doesn't mean I'm going to stop taking risks, but sometimes the reward just isn't big enough.
My back agrees.