Wednesday morning, after getting back from class, I decided to play a little soccer in the large field behind my dorm. I checked the news to see what the weather was supposed to be like for the day and, other than some “mild” wind, it seemed like it was going to be a fairly pleasant day. I quickly grabbed a bite to eat and then grabbed my soccer ball, threw on my cleats and headed for the great outdoors.
Either whoever had given the weather report for the day had clearly not stood in the general vicinity of where I was standing, or they just truly didn’t know the meaning of the word mild, because as soon as I stepped onto the field, the apparently “mild” wind made and exaggerated attempt at trying to kidnap me.
I knew it was going to be pretty difficult to play any soccer with all that wind, but I figured it was at least worth a try, since it was the warmest day we had had in a while.
About twenty or so feet behind the soccer net I was shooting on, there was a semi-small creek. Normally I might have been a little concerned about accidentally kicking the soccer ball into the creek, but I figured that the four-and-a-half-foot-tall hill in front of it was enough to stop any stray balls from making it that far. Boy was I wrong.
On my third shot I accidentally shanked a ball off of the top crossbar and it went sailing behind the net. I watched as it rolled to a stop right at the base of the small hill, where it stayed for about two seconds before an especially determined gust of wind rolled it up the hill and into the creek on the other side.
I ran to the edge of the creek to find the ball floating in the water out of arms reach. Looking about three feet to my right, I saw a small dirt ledge jutting out just far enough to put the ball within an arms length from me and I proceeded to climb out onto it. Apparently the dirt ledge thought that I was still not close enough to properly reach the ball because, just as I thought I was about to grab the it, the ledge decided to give way and threw me into the water on top of the ball.
The creek was not all that deep, just about two feet, but man was it freezing. I thought that the bottom would have been covered in rocks, but as my face and upper torso pressed firmly into it, I found it to be primarily comprised of very soft muck.
I only paused long enough to mentally recover from what had just happened and then shoved myself to the surface of the water. Finding the soccer ball immediately to my left, I launched it out of the water and then quickly followed suit with throwing myself out onto the bank of the creek as well. Looking down I could see that I was completely covered from head to toe in the slimy, brown creek mud.
I’m not 100% positive, but I’m pretty sure that my appearance scared the five year old girl of the family walking on the sidewalk about twenty feet to my left. My reasoning to that conclusion comes from the fact that, upon seeing me, she stopped dead in her tracks and stared at me with a wide-eyed and open-mouthed expression. I think she opted for the “I just have to run faster than the person next to me and I won’t get eaten” approach, because she immediately took off running down the street ahead of the rest of her family.
I decided it was best to not risk scaring any more children and I chose to head back inside. As I walked back to my dorm, while still covered in muck, I couldn’t resist laughing at the whole situation. It was unexpected, unfortunate and unwelcome but I figured it would sure make for a good story.