Push Yourself: How Football Saved My Sanity

Football Player

Every women, especially those raising children need to be reminded that they are more than an employee, more than a housewife, more than a mother; how playing football saved my sanity.

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I started playing full-contact flag football at 30 years old. Picture it: a housewife and mother of two shoving people (down) around a field and running plays; if what you are picturing looks a bit awkward you are on the right track.

An add was posted a couple of years ago that said there was a flag football organization establishing a team in my area. My first thought was “heck yeah” followed by “you’re too old for that.” I ignored the latter and decided to see what it was all about. Driving out to the field for practice that day had me so nervous I was nauseated, I wanted to turn back and go home but I already had my tennis shoes on so I kept going.

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A Step Out of My Comfort Zone
Once on the field I realized I was in good company. The large majority of women there were my age, several were quite a few years older and it was obvious none of us were professionals but there is something empowering about jumping in and looking awkward for the sake of having fun, and we were all having a lot of fun.

I Needed Something just for Me
Fast forward a bit through several practices, a couple of decent injuries and a handful of well-played tournaments and I was hooked. Not only was I hooked on flag football, I was hooked on the friendships I was forming, my sense of accomplishment, and consistently being shoved out of both my physical and mental comfort zones. It also marked the first time in my adult life that I took some “selfish” time; it was a time-out from the daily demands of raising two little boys and all of the other stuff life throws at us.

This game taught me to push through frustration and exhaustion and to keep going when I thought I couldn’t. I was able to surprise myself with the amount of enjoyment I was getting from learning something new and getting fit. I began running throughout the week, something I would never have pictured myself enjoying at any time before.

Football Saved My Sanity
I started playing full-contact flag football at 30 years old; I felt foolish, I felt silly but it was taking that time for myself that made me feel more like myself than I had in several years. So how was it football saved my sanity? It made me feel capable of being something beyond someone’s mother and wife. An added bonus is my oldest son thinks it pretty cool that his mama can teach him plays. Should everyone play football? Absolutely not. I would however love to persuade you to find something for yourself; something that challenges you and that makes you feel strong and confident. What do you do to take time for yourself?

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