This is why I play.
I need a release in life. We all need a release(s) in life. I had a boss once say:
“You need to have a ‘life’ outside of your life.”
Even doing the things you love can get a bit excessive, which is why you need a release or a break from it all.
“Vinnie, when do you NOT work?!” – Chris Eck (Face-off, Boston Cannons)
That was a question from a friend of mine who’s talented enough to play lacrosse on the professional level. My mind has been in work mode – doing and/or thinking, and I just missed 2 weekends of my fall lacrosse league games in NYC. The games are played on Sundays – a day of rest. It’s a time for me, personally, to leave the apartment, get a workout, catch-up with friends and most of all – not talk or think about work. All that on a 110 yard lacrosse field, located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
“Hey man, can you stick around & play goal for us?… our ‘keeper couldn’t make it today.”
My first time back after a 2-week absence and I find myself being asked to sub in goal for the games directly after mine was over. For the 4 remaining games that day, one team in each time-slot was without a goalie. I saved my best performance for MY team only and the rest just had to be glad that I said ‘yes’ and decided to stick around. After the 2nd game, I realize that the Jets game has started and I may miss it. After the 3rd game, my meager bowl of Cheerios and a cup of coffee that morning isn’t holding me up anymore. I’m shell-shocked from shots and starving! Ironically, I needed to be “released” from what is considered my release. I pack up and leave regardless of another team asking me to stay.
Equipment over my shoulder, I make my way on Houston St. towards Ave. A to the sports bar called “Nice Guy Eddie’s!”, where I find a contingent of lacrosse players, pitchers of beer, multiple plates of steaming hot wings, a giant side of cheese-fries and the Jets leading the Buffalo Bills, among other NFL games. I join in on the fun, relax and devour 2 plates of hot-wings! In my crowd of lacrosse players we talk about the dreaded thing coming up as the sun goes down – Monday. Realistically, our release is behind us.
Our Monday, consists of finance & development, advertising & marketing, art & design, pharmaceutical sales & research, IT & computer programing, among a variety of things strange and unknown to the professionals in the group. Each explains what [they] will do tomorrow. Each explains ‘the good and the bad’ about next week. We listen closely to each other while the waitress asks for any more orders. One person says:
“I’m in corporate staffing for x-amount of years… it’s alright. I’ve learned a lot.”
The voice next to him answers:
“Well, we’re increasing our numbers and we’re looking big time.” He takes out from his wallet a business card and says “email me your resume next week… and let’s talk”.
The bar tab is settled. We shake hands.
“See you guys next week on the field.”
The benefits from having a release come in many forms – even hot wings!
This is why WE PLAY!