ISTANBUL — It’s Sunday morning. I’ve been sleeping for the past eleven hours and wake exactly how I feared — hurting all over. This is a product of my own doing. I’ve grown up my whole life watching football and have always had a burning desire to play. When the opportunity came along, albeit in Turkey, there was no chance I was turning it down.
My first practice started a bit shaky — “Stretch your calves, Aleks!” yelled Jokson, the burly team captain leading stretches at the center of our circle. As I repositioned my legs, the whole team went up in fits of laughter, thoroughly enjoying their leader’s elementary English. “Hello by the way,” I thought after this fine introduction, “My name is Alex, pleased to meet you!”