Off the recovery couch thanks to WPS

In the process of recovery week, there are moments of fighting of depression. In the midst of my crazy Ironman training, it was hard to imagine missing my two-a-day workouts and weekends which were lost in a haze of running, biking and working. I knew the void would come.

And it did.

Luckily for me, there was other craziness in my life to keep me occupied. Issues and assignments related to my job as a sports journalist became numerous and demanding. And then there was the oil-change gone bad — which still will require some industrial strength cleaning this afternoon.

Yes, if the universe brings you exactly what you need, it brought me the antidote to post-big race depression — chaos of activity.

Part of that activity included chasing down a story. (Not literally chasing, mind you. I’m still not running all that well these days.) It involved Buffalo and Women’s Professional Soccer and the seemingly inevitable awarding of a franchise to the area.

Indeed today, WPS will formally announce that Western New York will be awarded an expansion franchise for the 2011 season.

You can read my story in today’s edition of The Buffalo News with specifics about the team, which will take a regional approach being based in Buffalo while playing games at Niagara University and in Rochester.

But for right now, the whole concept just makes me smile.

Yes, women’s professional soccer has had a difficult time surviving in the United States. Point to the American public’s indifference to the sport in general, indifference to women’s sports in particular and difficult economic times. In fact, the WPS has some financial concerns even now as the league heads into its championship match on Sunday.

Still, there is something inspiring about the venture. It’s not a gimmick. It’s not forced by law. Heck, it’s not even in the mode of political correctness or some sense of social justice.

It’s a group of businessmen and businesswomen trying to create a spot for women’s soccer in the crowded professional sports landscape. A difficult task? For sure. But by trying, you expose a new generation of girls to yet another option of what they can be. It’s not that the dream of playing in WPS is the particularly important part — it’s the actual dreaming part. It’s the idea that girls and boys (and young adults, and middle-aged adults, and retirees for that matter) are given glimpses of things and events and people and places which inspire them.

Creating a viable women’s professional soccer league with a popular and winning franchise in the Buffalo region? It’s a challenging task. It may or may not work.

But they have the guts to show up and try.

This week, that reminder, that inspiration, calls me forward to deciding my next challenge. Because you never know what will happen when you decide to show up.

It’s time to pack up the recovery wagon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: