Every year during homecoming week, my school has a series of powder puff football games. (Powder puff is when the girls play football, and the boys do the cheer/dance routines). Day 1 the seniors play the freshmen (seniors usually win), Day 2 the sophomores play the juniors (juniors usually win), Day 3 the juniors play the seniors. And of course, the seniors win, which means they play the faculty.
This year I decided that I’ve lost enough weight, gained enough confidence and cardio ability, that I was able to play on the faculty team this year.
We decided that we were the Pink Panthers (our school mascot is the panthers, but a much more vicious, intimidating panther). We held 4 after school practices to get ready for the game. Our coach quickly decided that I’d be Center, which was fine with me. It meant I didn’t have to memorize the different plays, could use my lower body strength to protect my quaterback, and that I didn’t have to run too much. Those girls are fast!!
The practices were challenging, but I surprised myself a number of times by realizing that the fast runs didn’t leave me out of breath. Because I only had to run in quick bursts, I wasn’t getting winded. What a dramatic change! I really enjoyed the camaraderie of working out after school with my colleagues, some of whom I don’t get much opportunity to really talk to, give our different departments and rooms on the other side of the campus.
Today was the day we’d been working for – the matchup versus the senior girls. We’d heard how fast, how vicious, how tough these girls were. And I’m not going to lie – as I took my place on the field, my heart was beating fast. I was nervous, and I wanted to do my best.
More than a few times, I hiked the ball way too hard, way too high, making it difficult for my poor quarterback to reach it. Still, I did pretty well, considering we only practiced a few times.
The game was sad – those girls had us in age, speed, and endurance, but I am proud that we were able to score once, and that we gave them a run for their money. It was intense down on the field, but it was also so much fun. And I think my students saw me in a different light, too. So many of them came up to me afterward with compliments. Even though I know I didn’t play very well, it was cool to try something new. I’ll definitely be out there next year.
This was my uniform. To see the rest of my outfits for the each of the Dress Up Days of Homecoming, check out my Instagram.