So I decided to take an undergrad soccer class this semester, mostly to get in shape and help improve my skills for weekly pick-up games. I realized going into it that I was going to be playing with kids literally half my age. I don’t really think of myself as old by any means and 36 is the new [insert some hip cool age here]. Then the reality of playing with 18-20 year olds struck me as we were picking teams. After about two picks I knew the odds were not in my favor. Nobody wants the old guy on their squad. As this was happening I was quietly laughing to myself on the inside. I thought I should have felt all that youthful insecurity, but it never came. Nothing, I felt nothing, but amusement as this classic childhood amalgamation played out. All a part of growing up. What played out on the field amazed me even more. Some of those who had been captains and stars of their high school teams just wanted to show off and try to score from mid-field or just boom the ball down field to no one in particular on goal kicks. Thats when I knew how much getting picked last could have impacted them – here they were with skill and talent, but screaming look at me, help me validate myself. I’m looking forward to the social observations that I never expected this class could provide. I was amused at being the last pick and perhaps I spared someone who’s skin had not yet had a chance to thicken.