Now, if I were you, the next questions I'd ask would be: "wait, you went to Germany and are learning a sport invented in North America??" And the answer is, well, why not? and then, "Wait, aren't you just like one big slow twitch muscle from all those endurance sports?" and the answer is, well, yes. I think I'm about as good at sprinting as I was in high school, and back then, the splits in my 2-mile were the same speed as when I tried to do any shorter distances....(needless to say, my coach back then never had me do any short races). And, I'm probably the oldest person in the class by almost a decade, and I'm the only one whose German is decidedly not that of a native speaker. But all that is OK because I'm having So Much Fun. Class is on an artificial turf field in the evenings on Thursday, and happens rain or shine (or snow).
SO, last weekend, we went to Münster for a tournament. Awesome. Keep in mind, we are all total beginners, and have been playing once a week for almost 2 months. Two months really isn't much when the first few practices probably looked more like broomball than like Lacrosse (you have you use your stick to pick up the ball, and that's harder than it sounds). And most of the opposing teams actually knew what they were doing. Oh, and instead of outside on the field, it was inside a gym with this bizarrely bouncy rubber-ish floor. But I am serious about the awesome.
|Marburg (the club, not our UniSport team) vs. Münster, I think.|
|Maggie (right, #33), one of our class instructors/coaches in action. She's also on the German National team.|
The first game was a bit miserable. I drew the short straw and was stuck in goal, and while my teammates were trying to figure out how to pick up the ball off the bouncy floor and how to not have the ball snatched away from them immediately, I was being pummeled as time after time the opponents made it to the goal and took shot after shot. I have to say, that's not a sports experience I am used to...half the time I couldn't even
see the ball before it went past me into the goal.
The next games were more fun. Partly because I got to run around more (One of my other teammates was in goal next and then found she actually liked it) and partly because we actually figured out how to deal with the ball some. Although to be completely clear, our coach congratulated us after one of the early games for actually getting in 3 passes in a row...so I'm not talking true expertise here.
Friday night, we camped out in a gym with all of the visiting teams for lacrosse and all of the other sports playing at the same time (it was a crazy multisport tournament, taking over all the gyms across Münster's campus and beyond). It was a strange experience seeing hundreds of sleeping bags laid out in every configuration in a gym, but people were amazingly quiet and respectful of each other. The partying went on outside and in the giant cafeteria building. To that, I can only say that I am about as old and boring as I'd feared. Oh well. I am sure the "extra" sleep gave me a leg up the next day...
|Some groups still hadn't shown up yet, but you get the idea...it was better than it looks|
Saturday, we played the other teams that had lost most of their games the previous day, so we were less out-matched. In fact, for the last game, we played a team from Osnabrück, and they were also beginners, so it actually looked like a game. They scored a few points more than us, but due to some bad calls from the refs, they decided a few of those goals were invalid, so we went into sudden death overtime, and I actually scored a goal (?!?!?!) so we ended up winning and coming in 7th out of 8 teams!! I can't remember when I've ever done that poorly (excluding some of the times I've raced with the men), but it's kind of refreshing to admit that you are going to be really bad at something and do it anyway.
|Marburg UniSport team after the last game|