Saturday, May 16, 2009

Stick and puck, the kinder, gentler version

Went to another stick and puck yesterday, but it couldn't have been more different from the one I usually go to up at Willowbrook.

This was out at Space City and the timing is such that it's not conducive to the high school crowd popping in, at least during the school year. So, as it turned out, it was just me, two other guys, and a couple of rink employees.

But it was good to finally have some true stick and puck time rather than a drop-in, so I could work on my own things a bit, play around in the crease. That's really fun time for me because I get that chance so rarely. I even got to practice moving the puck a bit. (I still suck at it.)

Also helpful was that one of the guys was a true novice player, having just started last week, so his shots were very similar to what I see on Sunday nights. And the other guy has been playing since he was a kid, has coached at all sorts of levels, and now plays for the Maple Leaf Pub team. So he was great about putting the novice guy through some really valuable drills (including one I wish they'd do here for our novice league practices, which is learning to stop pucks with your skates when it's rimmed around the boards).

He also gave me a few pointers and helped me work on some lateral movement, which was awesome. I didn't catch either guy's name but a hearty shout-out to both of you for making that a positive experience that I got a lot out of.


Here's kind of a funny thing. The two guys are leaving the ice at the end of the session and they introduce themselves to each other. I'm leaving through another door so I don't get involved in the introductions, but as I'm heading off, the Leaf guy says, "See you at the pub sometime, goalie?"

Goalie. I laughed to myself a little because I'm finding that rather often, in these sort of anonymous stick and puck environments, we're just called, "Goalie." Like on Wednesday, when I let the first shot on goal in and Green Hottie says, "Come on, goalie!"

All throughout my adult life, I've found it interesting to ponder my "identity" as it's perceived by the rest of the world. I'm my husband's wife, especially to his coworkers. I'm NOT anybody's mother, but because I'm of a certain age and female, people assume I have kids (I am my own kid, TYVM, and loving it).

I guess the only label I've ever really been okay with was "writer." Because, yeah, there's no denying that's The Thing I Do Best. Maybe it's not always all that good, but I am comfortable with "writer" as a key piece of my identity.

But now I'm being called "goalie" and again my name, or my individual identity is kind of irrelevant to a certain population. It's almost like being a department store Santa. Yeah, there's a bunch of us, but we're all just Santa when we're in our costumes. And we inspire awe and, sometimes fear, in little children. (Lemme tell ya... if you ever want to get stared at like a super hero by little kids, put on goalie gear.)

Anyway, I just thought that was a kind of funny phenomenon that I started picking up on this week. It doesn't bother me. I love being "goalie" but maybe I need to start telling people my name. "That's Ms.Goalie to you."


Sunshine36616  May 16, 2009 at 1:19 PM  

Another great post for me to live vicariously through.

I immediately thought of the movie "Gladiator." The emperor asks Maximus his name and he says "my name is Gladiator."

"Dave Schultz"  May 16, 2009 at 1:31 PM  

you totally must do the "it's Ms. Goalie to you." because it's awesome.

hipcheck  May 16, 2009 at 8:41 PM  

When I don't know a goalies name, I call them "goalie". At the road runners games, I called their goalie, "Goalie!!" and I got yelled at by a friend that he has a name. I say it's way more fun to call "Goalie!" then try to say some of their last names... :)

Sorry if this makes no sense, I stood outside in 100 degree weather for about 3 hours today.

Ms. Conduct  May 17, 2009 at 12:05 PM  

Yep, that's what I mean! It's like, you wouldn't yell "Forward!" or "Defenseman!" at a skater. I just thing it's funny how "goalie" is such an identity unto itself.

nhl94  May 18, 2009 at 12:11 AM  

It's funny, the calling you "goalie" thing. Some dudes I have played with for years still call me goalie makes me think they somehow don't remember my name but I don't say anything. You really should say "It's Ms. Goalie to you."

Goody  May 18, 2009 at 6:48 AM  

I to do that. Handshake line after the game, mostly to the skaters it's "good game" or if I know their name I throw it in. Always when I get the person wearing the big pads I say "good game Goalie". Think of it as a recognition that you are special. By calling you "Goalie" we are letting you know that you are one of the few, the proud, the insane that wish to serve as a target for our shots.

Ms. Conduct  May 18, 2009 at 7:38 AM  

Yeah, that's definitely how I look at it, Goody. BTW, the novice guy from that stick and puck is a native Minnesotan. But he'd learned to skate roller-style (you can always spot those guys in how they turn and stop), so I thought that was pretty funny that mid-life as a Texan, he's finally learning to play ice hockey. :)

Justin Bourne  May 18, 2009 at 1:27 PM  

First, I want to apologize - I read one of my comments today and it didn't come off how it wanted to. Instead, I came off like a dick.
Second, you really like this hockey thing, huh?
I could probably learn to appreciate it a little more. Good on ya.

Ms. Conduct  May 18, 2009 at 1:34 PM  

Justin, I whacked a guy in the junk with a goalie stick last night (and laughed about it). You got nothing on me when it comes to being a dick. You're adorable. Forget about it.

Yeah, hockey=good.

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