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I live on the ocean, write women's fiction, love to read so much that it's an addiction rather than a hobby (I read an average of a book a day). I live on the wet west coast so it's a good thing that I like to walk in the rain.

Monday, June 28, 2010

It's a small world...

And it's especially so this month. The whole world is watching the World Cup and why not?

There's the old... although Zinedine Zidane, a great French soccer player definitely wouldn't appreciate me calling him that.

He was - and likely still is though he doesn't play professionally any more - an amazing player. He could do almost anything with a soccer ball and I loved to watch him, loved it when he accepted the World Cup in Paris in 1998. That tournament got me hooked on footie. I'd spent a fair amount in France in the preceding 10 years and so watching the matches there brought back great memories.

And, because I'm a sucker for the underdog, I couldn't help but cheer for the Cameroonian Lions. I love watching them.

And there were Les Bleu and I had to cheer for the home team to win the whole thing. And they did. It was a joy to watch and soccer showed up on my to do list.

And then there's the new...

Christiano Ronaldo - who's playing for Portugal in the 2010 World Cup. He's a truly generous and gracious player to watch - he passes the ball to his teammates when he might have been able to score and he's humble about his accomplishments.

In general, though, what gets me about soccer is the skill and grace and stamina required to play this game. I grew up - as most Canadians did - sitting in the family living room watching Hockey Night in Canada and I'm still in awe of hockey players.

But they play 30 second shifts for three 20 minutes periods, broken up by lengthy intermissions. Soccer players play two 45 minute halves broken up by a short intermission. And no, there are no shifts. They play until the game is over - they're replaced (and there are only allowed 3 substitutions for each team) or they're injured. That's it. They run that field for 90 minutes with only a very short break.

I get exhausted just watching them. But I also get exhilirated.

And even more, I get excited knowing that I'm getting up at 4:30 AM to watch the match in Vancouver and people are getting up all over the world - in China and Ghana and Uruguay and the Netherlands and Slovakia - every other country you can name to watch the exact the same match.

It's one of the few times when the world is in sync. We're all watching - if we can - these matches lives. We're all focused on the same thing at the same time and we're all stunned by the grace, by the power, by the skills of these players.

Lucky, aren't we?


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