The time when players step up and perform their best.
In high school I practiced hard, maybe not maniac-hard like some of the monsters on the team, but I showed up good enough to keep my backup role intact. Until I pulled my hamstring and Achilles making a tackle.
That took me off the roster and I ended up rehabbing and then lettering in Cross Country distance running.
I peaked very early in my athletic career. When I say early, I mean very early.
After both my older siblings had left me as the only child, I pretty much did what I wanted, when I wanted, and where I wanted.
Soccer, or football as I still call it, became the sport in which I achieved the most success. At age twelve, my parents and I were approached by representatives from a first division German football club. I remember they were very nice and gave me a ton of free gear. This was at a time when there was no Premier League in England, only first-through-fourth divisions with yearly relegations.
Mom was totally against it, but she had held me back when I was a first and second-grader, and she finally caved and gave her approval. All I had to do was play a match on Sunday and I was going to play as a junior on a German Youth League team after signing a contract to be paid on Monday.
You guessed it.
The other hamstring and the same Achilles.
Ripped them both.
I ended up taking up tennis after that and I wish I would have been able to keep playing it through the many wasted years of looking for the meaning of life in the bong resins at the bottom of my five-foot Grafix.
I went from totally fucking up my lower body to making sure I can no longer do a simple military press without my left shoulder popping out of its socket.
My left shoulder is shot.
I was raised with the Vince Lombardi saying “Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.”
My favorite sport was basketball, but with poor dribbling skills and a non-existent vertical leap, I was always a sub.
Murphy had his own version of GameDay.
Karen faithfully took Bruiser and Murphy to puppy training at our local Pet Smart store in Phoenix.
Bruiser was a little testy, but Murphy was a total disaster, barking, chasing dogs, trying to mount the females, knocking over store items on the shelves, and generally, just being a colossal pain-in-the-ass.
When it came time to learn and perform eight simple tricks in preparation to be tested on them, Bruiser seemed to pick it up pretty naturally, but Murphy could not be bothered. As the trainer put each dog through their paces, Murphy was disrupting the whole exercise.
This went on for seven more weeks as each week they would learn a new trick, and so on.
Karen is fighting with Murphy the entire way to the Pet Smart.
Bruiser goes through his paces and does pretty well hitting five of the eight tricks.
Murphy kept trying to escape the entire time, and finally, it was his turn.
To the absolute shock of everyone, Murphy nailed every single one of his tricks.