How to describe hockey? Maybe it sums up my word of the year for 2010 “courage.”
Why did I play? For the challenge of it. Physical challenge. I needed a physical challenge and I got one. I was challenged to go outside my comfort zone mentally, physically and even emotionally. Mentally I learned something new, a new language, a new game. Physically I had to learn to skate. To start something new I had never done. Emotionally I had that one rough practice, I had to learn to deal with that one woman. We’re not best friends, but I worked through it. She is no longer a threat.
I also learned that I can do it alone. When I trained for the triathlons I always enlisted others to help me, to workout with me, I had a swim partner, a run partner and a ride partner the very first time around over 10 years ago. I had one person who would do any of those workouts with me if our schedules worked out the second and third times around. In hockey it was all about me. Testing myself and not competing against anyone else. I didn’t worry about impressing anyone. I didn’t worry about someone beating me. It was just me against me. I liked it that way. It was hard to say, but I was glad that it was just me. That no one else was able to do it with me. It was totally my thing.
I have never considered myself competitive at all. But I sure do compare myself to others I know a lot. Is there a difference? Not really. So it was nice to have this thing where I had no one to compare myself to. I didn’t know anyone so I didn’t really say “oh, she is doing so much better than me” because I didn’t have any frame of reference. All I had was my first practice, my second practice and so on. I didn’t have “she did that and I didn’t get it” or vice versa. I didn’t have pressure to be as good as anyone because it took me awhile to figure out who the novices were I was so wrapped up in myself. Staying upright, learning cross overs, learning backwards, forwards, puck handling, STOPPING!
Our last scrimmage on Sunday was pretty good. We rotated drop-in style which is to say we just waited our turn instead of changing out three at a time, in a line with the same people. It was hard for me, I didn’t want to take too much time on the ice, but I sure the heck wanted some ice time too. I had a couple good runs up the ice WITH THE PUCK and some great steals (well, I thought so) and some good blocking and intimidating. :) hee hee hee.
I already miss looking forward to the workout, the girls and my hockey-playing-me. I turned in my borrowed stick and soon will return the borrowed pads. It’s bittersweet. I can’t believe how much I loved it. I am surprised that the end has been so emotional for me. Not like I’ve sat and cried for hours over it, but I have been a regular grouch this week and it could only be because I’ve lost something meaningful. Good thing is I can have some ice time during stick and puck as soon as I get my own stick and I think I will put the kids in a learn to play class so I can maybe “help” Coach T, who just happens to be the instructor.
What is “my-hockey-playing-me”? I guess it is the focused me. The me that can learn something new at 40 years old. The athletic me I had no idea existed. The team sports player me. This part of me that has been in there all this time that I had no idea was there, that I still can’t name exactly. I found something that meets me where I am spirit, mind and body. It touches all three places of me. Not like I am on the ice praying, but it quiets that part of me. It challenges me physically and mentally. It is just plain old good for me.