It is interesting to reflect on several years of playing power soccer because not only does it provide a community as I mentioned on Monday or an entirely different perspective on sports as I wrote about on Wednesday, but it also provides an outlet that very few people have the opportunity to pursue.
There are very few people who can say that they get to play a particular sport on a regional or national level. Obviously, professional athletes get that opportunity, but for normal, nine-to-five people like myself, this is a pretty special opportunity. While it would certainly be awesome to have the opportunity to play power soccer for a living, that obviously is not feasible. As a result, I find myself in a very special situation that most people simply do not have the ability to experience.
As an example, I have gone to men’s league basketball games before. It can be a lot of fun to watch, and I have no doubt that the guys who are out there playing love what they do. Presumably, they had formerly played in high school or college and still want to have the opportunity to get on the court. I can appreciate that, and I totally understand why they want to play. When you love a sport, you want to be able to keep playing as long as you can.
However, when you go to men’s league, there really is not another level to elevate the competition to. You might win the championship in your particular men’s league, but that is virtually the end of the journey to the top.
That is why power soccer provides such a unique opportunity for people like me. I am a lot like most of those men’s league players. I have a day job; I am not a professional athlete. I play because I love to play just like they do.
That being said though, my power soccer career does not remain in central Vermont even though I am simply an amateur. I have been blessed with the opportunity to compete against some of the best players in the United States and the world. My team has traveled around the northeast and across the country to play this great sport. In the spring, we compete in a large tournament in Montréal where we have faced off against teams from Uruguay and Brazil. The opportunities I have had because of the sport are remarkable to say the least.
The sport provides an escape from the status quo. We recently competed in Indiana, and I have to admit that it is really fun to come back to Vermont after having that type of weekend and talk about the experience.
Any type of adult sports league is excellent, but I think this is something special about power soccer. It has not only given me opportunities that are unique in my experience, but it also has given me opportunities that are pretty unique for anyone.
I don’t know who might end up reading this, but if you are a power wheelchair user and you are wondering how to get involved with the sport, please feel free to email me. I am obviously in Vermont, but I know athletes from all over the United States, and I can try my best to help connect you with a team if you would like to participate. It is an excellent game, and if you try it, I think you’re going to be hooked.
Photo credit to Sarah on this one.