Shake it off: My 1st Flag Football Experience

I’m not the most graceful, coordinated person. It takes a concerted effort to keep my eyes open when objects are thrown in my direction, but I am working on it. The single and semi complex movements I can do… squats, burpees, a snatch here and there…maybe a little tennis and golf, but like sports sports? Not so much.

This year is all about conquering fear for me. So I signed up for a flag football intramural league with some friends and decided I’d just go out there and wing it. Well, I had practiced a little… no. No.

I pretty much went out there clueless.

Well apparently in this league it’s a rule that a female has to be in the play once every 3 downs. So that means every 3rd time we line up, the spotlight is on the girls. Noooo pressure…

Fortunately, the quarterback sort of got the idea I was clueless by how I was wandering around the field and didn’t throw me the ball very often, but I did have to defend a couple of times. I was guarding this brunette, “orange shirt” we called her, and she caught the ball. I had my fingers on her flag but didn’t get a grip and fell on my left knee.

Injury #1: Bloody knee

Shook it off, continued playing. We had enough players to be able to rotate out and catch our breath, but the game moved along rather quickly.

ImageDuring one of the offensive plays, we had an all female “gender play” where I was open and the QB took a chance and threw it to me. I stopped and CAUGHT it! Then I pivoted towards the goal and saw my opening…

I take one step forward and fall flat on my face. A 6′ foot guy on the opposite team, who was coming up from behind, was unable to stop completely and ran over my left hand.

I’m a righty anyways…

Injury #2: Crushed left hand

Shake it off Dena. You don’t want to be “that girl” that the teammates try to make you feel included because they are nice people, but give you the positions with the least responsibility .

Once again, pride took precedence over pain, and I continued to play. I even managed to wrap my hands around “orange’s” flag and tear it off. I almost threw it on the ground with a victory gutteral vocal accompaniment before I came to and realized the level of “sportsmanship” the other members were playing. I didn’t want to get a “flag”… like another team mate who, in playing defense, physically collided with the girl playing offense and they crashed to the ground.

Ouch. This was supposed to be low-key, “super” social intramural league. I should study up.. football rules for dummies: Google search..

And let my toe heal. Oh, did I mention that during my epic face plant I stubbed my toe, later to manifest into a minor sprain. The remedy? Good ol’ RICE: Rest Ice Compression Elevation.
No working out.

Can I stop being a spaz for five minutes?

I have been training for overall athleticism at my gym [Atomic Athlete], so I can run somewhat decently fast. My defensive moves were decent. Now to learn a little strategy, get together for some team practices, and keep my eyes open when I catch the ball…

*Eye of the tiger* theme song plays…Image


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