One Saturday morning, a neighbor joins a friend to watch the friend’s daughter play in a high school soccer match. A midfielder, she runs hard for the first sixty minutes. At that point her calves cramp up and she has to come off. But ten minutes later she is back in, running hard, grimacing with each stride. After the game, which her team lost 1-0, she limps over to her father and the friend.
The father checks his watch.
“Good game, hon. It’s quarter-after. You better get going.”
“I know, I know.”
With that the girl hobbles toward the parking lot.
“Where’s she headed?” the friend asks.
“She’s got club practice down in New Brunswick.”
“Lou, you gotta be kidding,” the friend answers. “She just ran her ass off for seventy-five minutes. She has cramping calves. Now she’s going to drive forty minutes and then practice for two hours?”
Lou stares across the field.
“She likes to push herself.”
“Come on, Lou, professional athletes wouldn’t abuse themselves like that.” “She knows where her breaking point is. You can get a real high seeing how far you can go.”
Both of Lou’s daughters had played soccer since age four. One went to college and quit halfway through her freshman season. The other went to college on a partial scholarship and quit after her freshman season.