Today was an unexpectedly warm day for November. Because of this, my daugher and I ventured out to the our local park - somewhere we haven't been in awhile with all the cold weather. The park was very crowded with families also enjoying the lovely day.
I really wanted to spend at least a couple hours at the park, but there is really only so many laps around the paths that a pregnant woman can take. As we rounded one of the fields, we noticed a soccer game currently taking place. The air around the field was filled with tension and excitement as parents and siblings cheered on their teams from the sidelines. It was at that moment that I realized how to keep myself and my eight month old daughter entertained for an afternoon and remain in the outdoors.
Now my husband actually has told me before that he thinks it's a little creepy and strange that I like to watch local sports games even though I don't know a single person playing and have no affiliation with the team. However, I argue that it's the same to me as watching a professional sports game. I don't really follow sports, so I have no idea who the people are on the team. I have no connection with them - I just pick a team to root for, and then they have my support for the duration of the game.
And so, if I happen on a local sports event, I approach it with the same mindset. I pick a team (usually whichever happens to have the child of the people I sit nearest, since their excitement is usually contagious) and get lost in the triumphs and letdowns of the game. It helps that my daughter is also contented to sit and watch people chase after all a ball (since no matter which sport it is, they are always chasing after a ball) for hours. Today was particularly exciting for her as well, as she just learned to clap and would join in enthusiastically when the people around us clapped.
And so, I encourage you, despite my husband's nay-saying, to stop and cheer on your local sports teams. Not only is it much MUCH cheaper (usually free unless you are attending some high school football games - which I highly recommend, as they can be super exciting) than attending a professional game, but you also find yourself much closer to the heart of the game and the players at this level. Nothing draws you into a game faster than hearing a player's sister cheering when he almost scores or his father encouraging him to keep after the ball even though his shoe just came off or his mother gasping when he gets hurt.
Of course, some of you may be that sister or father or mother. If this is the case, then stop and watch someone else's game once in awhile. It is incredibly rewarding to invest a short time of your life to something of which you have no control, but that you can walk away from knowing that the outcome has no real bearing on your life. And besides, it just fun - and that is the main point really.