When I was young, I ran track and played volleyball. I was pretty quick, so enjoyed track, although anything over 200m was long-distance in my world. Training was a drag… I loved to play volleyball too. I managed to play all through high school and for a year into college. The end of that year my right ankle gave out for the second time, so my competitive collegiate career (which was tenuous at best) ended as quickly as it started.
For the next several years – throughout college, grad school, and in my first job post-grad-school – I played on various intramural and club teams. It’s a fun sport, but finding a team in Iowa proved to be the downfall of my volleyball career.
Fast-forward to last summer (2005). I’d watched Amy play more than a few hockey games and one day turned to her and said “Let’s go buy me hockey gear. I want to play.” The shock on her face was apparent, but she was game. Several hours and several hundred dollars later, I was completely outfitted with all my gear.
We skated a few times before the season started. It was good we did, because hockey skates are NOT the same as figure skates. Ask me how I know this….
And last season was good. I learned a lot of the fundamentals of the game – where to generally be as a defender (cutting off passing lanes), how the game generally works (get the puck into the opposing team’s net more times than the opponents get the puck into yours) and what the basic rules are (don’t be an a**hole, and stay behind the blue line if the puck’s not in the zone yet).
This year has been even more fun, if I dare say so. And it’s because I’ve caught the bug. I find myself reading the USAHockey magazine cover to cover. I find myself thinking about hockey at work (shhhh… don’t tell anyone!). I read some hockey blogs.
I love this game more than I loved track, and more than I loved volleyball. I didn’t think it was possible, but am so glad to have had the chance to figure this out. Can’t wait for practice Wednesday morning…