Saturday, January 17, 2015

Soccer Tournament Journey

It was this time of the year again. Seems just like yesterday that a consortium of players made the trip to Lake Myrtle Sports Complex in Auburndale, Florida.

I'm looking forward to this event during the two seasons we are scheduled to play every year, especially in the fall. By then the fields are minefields and the main goal is not to break your ankle. The fields at the sports complex are like pool tables, straight, evenly cut grass, and, above all, soft. Even though the legs are aging along with the body, muscles, and energy, running seems much easier.
This year was not very different, after practicing on a mud field, bare dirt, artificial turf, and the last one on a mixture of ice and snow, the grass was just greener on this part of the country.

Since I made the reservations way back in November I was not aware of the schedule which turned out to be an early schedule. In contrast to earlier years our game on Friday was scheduled at 3 pm, Saturday and Sunday at 9:30 am respectively. That meant rushing. My flight left at 11 am from Washington D.C. to arrive in Tampa, Fl at 1:30 pm.  An hour and a half before game time. The flight was on time, the pickup to the car rental was sparse but finally got me there at 2 pm. One hour left. According to the driving directions the estimated driving time from Tampa to Lake Myrtle Sports Complex was 54 minutes. Though, traffic is always heavy on I-4 inland. I left the car rental in a Ford Focus (nice little speedster by the way) at 2:15 pm. So that required paddle to the metal in order to get there.
Now this is Florida, anybody familiar with the driving habits in Florida should agree that the left lane is for the slow traffic, therefore, stay in the middle or on the right side of any highway. With that in mind, I ventured out determined to make it on time. The majority of the way the speed limit is 70 mph; meaning 75 to 85 mph. After a lot of weaving in and out of traffic, avoiding the left lane and making sure I drive save taking the the obscure mindset of the other drivers into account I did in fact arrive at the sports complex at 3 pm sharp. Changing into shorts in the car, I grabbed my bag and hustled to the field.

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