On Goalkeeping and Footkeeping

Greetings from the air en route to Washington, DC. 
I am something of a podcast junkie. I generally listen at night– trying to capture the feeling my mother and father told me about when they curled up next to radio sets as kids. In fact, I’ve listened to shortwave (and later podcasts) ever since my childhood. Every now and then a program comes on that helps to explain the human condition– or at least someone’s condition. Tonight, as we zoom across the middle of the USA, I heard a superb 22 minute program– first broadcast on the BBC and later on Radiolab. Entitled “The Loneliness of the Goalkeeper”, it speaks to the psychology of the keeper. He (or she) is something of a self-imposed breed apart on the soccer squad.  While a flashy striker can score once in 5 tries and be the hero, the inverse is the case for the fellow between the sticks. In many ways, one would wonder why someone would ever subject him or herself to such a sporting station. It seems almost a punishment.
I played some 20 years of organized soccer. All but one of those games did I play in the goal. The one time I ventured out (we were up 5 nil in a late season game and I wanted to score), I ended up catching a volley straight in my eye and spent a solid week in the hospital. I learned my lesson. My place was at the back– defending. 
I grew up with podiatry– in my Father’s office and around so many of the luminaries in the profession. I literally I grew up in this field. As I had everything handed to me by the best folks to play the game, I had no excuses but to grow up and prosper. However, I think it was the love of tending goal that drew me to my position on the field— in “diabetic football”. 
Thanks largely to those that have come before, I think I’m the luckiest goalie on the planet. I also am willing to wager that those of you that do the same feel the same. I look forward to seeing you on the pitch.

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