When I first heard about Goalball, my initial reaction was ‘absolutely not; never; that just sounds awful’. But over the last year of so, I’ve changed my view on Goalball, wanting to try it.
Since I can’t drive, GLASA’s programs in Lake Forest aren’t feasible. At a minimum, I’d spend 8 hours in transit or $100 in Ubers/cabs. So when I saw the Chicago clinic, I was excited to do it and finally have a chance to try Goalball.
As I was on the way down, I had started listening to Simon & Lesley’s book. One of the points that stuck with me from the first couple chapters was ‘you know you can get through the pain because you’ve experienced it before and it hasn’t killed you’. That point will become key/apparent later.
During the initial drills, the two Dans stressed form. I think the best way to describe it is Superman with bilateral breathing. I know, I know, that’s not an exact representation; but it’s the best I’ve got. And since you can’t see anything, have at most 3-5 seconds to react to the ball coming at you, you just have to work at form until it’s catlike muscle memory strong.
Having never done Goalball before, the form wasn’t always there or perfect. During one of the opponent’s throws, I didn’t get my arms in the right place, so the ball went right into my face – hard, hitting the nose painfully.
All those falls I mentioned during the CA camp sucked, but I think the last one (where the bike was on top of me) just confirmed the fact that a fall won’t kill me. So instead of the reaction being ‘[Explitive, explitive, explitive], walk to the side’, it was ‘Is it broken? No. Okay, give me 10-15 seconds to get blood flow back to it and let’s go.’
It was a tremendous amount of fun, and I really hope that the 2 Dans can get legs under a Chicago program. Even though it’s 90+ min of transportation each way, that’s far better than a minimum of 4 hours.