Remember in my last post when I talked about non-words-that-should-be-words. One of my favorites is “parent-noid”: when you think your parents are worrying to much.
However, I recently experienced something to the opposite effect. When I was home for my sister’s wedding, my parents were strangely calm; which was contradicts everything that I’ve heard about weddings. We were doing most of the preparations for the 300+ person wedding reception by ourselves; which included food, set up, building a dance floor, a stage, a cake, and of course a cruise ship (well sort of). On top of that my mom essentially remade the wedding dress too. In light of all of this, I expected to come home, less than 36 hours before the wedding, to utter chaos! Things were pretty calm. No one was “parent-noid”. However, I will admit chaos did ensue in the hours prior to the wedding.
It was an outdoor wedding, with no tent, and despite a week of lovely weather prior, the clouds were threatening to open up that day. We had to cover up all the tables with plastic in the last minute and left the hired servers to make final preparations. While we were inside the church witnessing the beautiful vows, it proceeded to pound down with rain in torrential fashion. In the end the rain stopped and we were able to go on with the plan, the reception and dinner was a little delayed and the ground was a little soggy.
In the end, the most important thing was of course that my beautiful sister Clare, who was a perfect bride, was happily married to her new husband Peter…we like Peter too, though he was not quite as beautiful. The party was great, but as the hosts, we felt like some things could have been done better, partly due to the rainstorm and partly due to lack of planning. I think we must have provided enough booze to cover up the flaws, because reports were excellent and everyone had a wonderful time.
Here are some of the photos.
So, this is where I find a way to connect a wedding reception to a game of football/soccer. No, the booze was not the only similarity! Helping host the wedding reminded me of coming off the field after a successful game, where the team wins and you are MVP (in this case my Mom and Dad, not me). The fans, like the guests at the party, are pleased and singing the praises of yourself and the team (my family). Yet, you still walk off the field knowing that you could have been better. Any player worth his salt will always look back on a game and know it was not perfect. In a way, every successful footballer has to be a perfectionist. If not they would not bother going to training and working hard to improve.
I remember one of my coaches once gave a speech on a similar theme . I don’t remember the details exactly, but the idea was that he had just finished a wonderful game, where they had beaten a big rival and he had scored the all important goal. Everyone was happy, but then his Dad came up to him and gave him no praise. He merely told him that he missed a chance that he should have buried and it would have put the game away. The point being that there is always room for improvement. Don’t be happy with good enough. Learn from mistakes. Always look to improve.
Take a quick look at Messi and Ronaldo. Imagine if they had been satisfied with their first record breaking season. Well, they would have likely faded into obscurity by now. However, they kept working and broke their own records time and again. Now they are considered among the best to ever play the game. They looked at themselves and they knew they could be better and they continue to do so. The feeling of a good performance is an athletes cocaine, it is addicting. Players are constantly looking for a better high. Yes, I’m saying Ronaldo, Messi, and I should go to rehab together.
In a way perfection has no limits. I think this translates to anything in life. In my experience working construction, it is the same way. If I build a house or a piece of furniture, I know all of its flaws. I know which room is not square, which window is crooked, and which floor tile is just off-color. However, when I look at my sisters lovely artwork, I focus on the beautiful landscape or the detailed texture, but my sister can’t take her eyes off the the smallest smudge or error.
In the end, the wedding reminded me that in order for me to be a successful footballer I need to be my own harshest critic. Of course I don’t mean that I will be severely negative about everything. There are always positives and the positives need to be realized and built upon. However, being an honest critic of yourself can be very helpful. Not only can it lead to improvement of a skill – in my case soccer – but it can also improve your humility, which can always use improvement in the sports world.
When I woke up in the morning after the wedding (alright afternoon) with an empty stomach and a swollen head, there was yet another lesson to learn. It was just like after I wake up from a game, but it’s usually a swollen ankle, or knee, not the head. I, a little begrudgingly, was obliged to help with the terrifying job of cleaning up. I can’t tell you how much trash there was. If it didn’t qualify as a mountain, it was definitely a hill. I wish I could share a picture, but it didn’t seem memorable enough to take one at the time. In any case, I spent a large part of that day cleaning up from the awesome wedding. This reminded me that no matter how bad you feel the day after a game, or a party, there is always still work to do. You can’t sit around feeling bad for yourself because you have a sore ankle, pinky toe, ass-cheek, or head. You have to start fixing yourself up so you can be prepared to doing it all over again (yes 12 more siblings = 12 more parties).
Leave it to me to turn a wedding into thoughts about soccer! Maybe the blog should be called no-brain footballer instead? Sorry Clare, but i did think about you and your happiness a little too. In reparation, I am dedicating this post to you and Peter.
I must also note that this is a little deceiving. I am taking way to much credit for the wedding. My parents were the gracious hosts and put in way more work than me, both before and after I came and left. There were also many other people who were incredibly more helpful than me. I’m just making the biggest fuss and the biggest critic!
Anyway, if you have some more thoughts to add or more likely want to tell me I’m an imbecile, please oblige yourself. But thanks for reading.
God Bless you all and don’t be afraid to dive head first.