“Who plays soccer at 8 o’clock at night?” my sweet granddaughter, Katelyn, asked me with a doubtful look on her face.

Wearing my new shin guards and soccer shorts, I thought for a second and said, “old people.” 

I was invited by another grandmother while we were watching our grandsons play baseball. She had said she would be going to play soccer, and I thought it sounded like a lot of fun. 

I thought I was getting enough exercise hanging out with and keeping up with the grandchildren. I was wrong. 

Actually, I had no clue as to the amount of energy it takes to play soccer — or the number of muscles involved. It has been quite awhile since I have coached and practiced with a team. 

I grabbed a bottle of water on the way out — and because the facility the women meet in is an old mill, I took a small can of hornet spray to use as mace if needed. 

So, I met up with a dozen or so women I didn’t know. We climbed up the stairs to the fourth floor. I thought, “OK, I’m done already.”

But I went out onto the indoor field. I felt right at home as a right forward, remembering the position from playing field hockey for good old Case High (Swansea). 

The ages and experience of the women varied. Some had been playing for 30 years and others had never played before. 

Not five minutes into the game, I was kissing the green astro turf. My knees got the brunt of it. The ladies all asked if I was OK and they all said in unison, “It’s the shoes.” Apparently sneakers are not the best footwear for running down an indoor field. 

It felt like my feet were stuck to the green shaggy floor while the rest of my body kept going. 

One woman — remember I’ve never met them before — said she will bring me a pair of shoes to try next week. 

While running up and down that field, I could feel the sweat dripping into my eyes. “Well, this is exercise,” I thought. “Sweat, thirst and pain.” 

Not wanting to overdo it the first night, I sat out the last 20 minutes and got to know the coordinator of the recreation program. These women are really great. They make it fun and teach you as you go along. 

It would be an understatement to say every part of my body hurts. 

I can’t wait to go back next week — for more torture.

For more information about joining the group in Fall River, call Tina at 508-612-3266. 

Email Debra Ryan at dryan@s-t.com.