After losing her marriage, life savings, and waistline, Autumn Kovac is terrified of being hit by more heartache. So when her only child decides to try out for the football team, the overprotective, sports-illiterate mom has a near phobic reaction. But Zachary hasn’t smiled since his father left, and she’s desperate to make him happy (and doing nothing and hoping for the best hasn’t been working). She reluctantly enters a new world of youth competitive sports, full of overzealous coaches with Vince Lombardi dreams and fanatical parents trying to achieve vicarious glory.
Unexpectedly, Autumn begins transforming within this strangely addictive new culture, finding her voice, facing her past, tackling her fears…and uncovering the secret that’s been keeping her from her son. After meeting her ideal catch, she finds herself back in the dating game and discovers some fierce competition of her own. Will Autumn make it off the sideline? Can the underdog finally win?
I’m not the kind of person who likes to sweat, run, or exert myself in anyway–unless I’m being chased by an angry mob threatening to tear my limbs off—but even then, I’d probably just lay down and hope for the best.
Working out is a cruel and inexplicable punishment. It’s literally the consequence given at a military school to high risk juveniles for delinquent behavior. To drop down and give some irate commanding officer twenty push-ups after he yells in your face. Push-ups are not something I’d ever do voluntarily, when instead I could, say, watch television, eat a taco, hang with girlfriends, read a book, virtually anything else would be better than wielding unnecessary energy.
Don’t get me wrong, I would die to have Jennifer Aniston’s body, but, nonetheless, I would not diet or exercise.
I still have post-traumatic flashbacks of times I was forced into acts of physical fitness. The images of dodging balls, and that impossible climb to the top of the gymnasium, followed by the rope-burning descent, still gives me nightmares. I can’t forget the disappointed faces of the captains who got stuck with me on their kickball teams. Not being able to live up to the expectations of our beloved President, in that impossible physical-fitness challenge, no-doubt turned me into the maladjusted adult I am today. These experiences are unquestionably the root to all of my insecurities.
So when my only son announced that he wanted to try out for the local youth football team, it left me with feelings of confusion. How can the fruit fall so far from the tree?
Amy Avanzino is a former advertising executive, who has spent the last several years writing while doing extensive hands-on research for her WAKE-UP CALL series. She’s a contributing writer of Hap Scotch, a play performed at the 2008 Frigid Festival in New York.