Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hang gliding on a Dorito

Man, another crummy day. Been feeling lately like every time I solve a problem, whether it's work or hockey obligations or whatever, the solution just presents another problem bigger than the one before it. I was feeling pretty down today, but I had a game to play and I knew I needed it to shake off the dumps.

Then I get halfway to the rink and realize I left my stick at home. I knew the other goalie always brings two sticks so it would probably be okay, but it was more of that feeling like a colossal fuckup.

I get there and hey, look, it's Scott TFCG working with the prep goalies! I never get to see Scotty any more and he's one of my favorite people, so that was nice to have a little chat and that lifted my mood. He stuck around and played our drop in for a little while. I sucked at the start and let in a cluster of goals. I don't know if this was his intention or not, but he had a clean shot at me and put it right in my belly. I was grateful for the easy save and it calmed me down and I played better after that.

My second half was quite good actually, and I was happy to find that the pain in my leg is not nearly as noticeable tonight. It's still there but didn't distract me once I got confidence that it wasn't going to cripple me if I played fully.

What stunk was the pegs for the nets were missing. That's probably the best I've played with slippery nets, but man is that annoying. Only benefit: No blade dings. :)

Anyway, no dumb goals tonight, so I like that about myself, and I like myself and I have a lot of other great qualities as well.

The hot shot I call Crosby has been trying to score on me 5-hole for a few weeks now. He finally got me tonight when he dished a rebound between my knees as I was trying to move across. He was pretty pleased with himself, and I was pretty pleased that I'd made it hard for him. So to speak. Everybody wins!

As I was driving home, I had that all too rare feeling like all was right with the world. In fact, I really felt that from the time I got to the rink. I talked to my folks on the phone this afternoon and we were having a laugh when I said that I didn't think my body was real fond of the things I do to it lately cuz something's always hurting. Dad said, "Yeah, we really passed on those family athletic genes to you, didn't we?" Ha, yeah, the what now? Not an athletic person in the bunch. Dad plays golf. My uncle was a mascot in high school. That's about it.

Anyway, I stood there waiting for the zam to run and finish dressing and just kinda took in the scene around me. If you'd told me I'd be a hockey goalie even 5 years ago, I would have laughed in your face and told you to seek treatment. I dunno, maybe I make too much of this, but seriously, I was in band and the newspaper editor in high school. At the dog park, I throw the ball and the dog looks at me like, "That's the best you got?" I have really severe vision issues related to tracking a moving object.

I'm a writer, an artist, a nerd, a couch potato. I'm everything a goalie isn't and yet, here I stand with big leg pads on and literally twitching to get on the ice, knowing this is the most meaningful hour of my week. Rarely does a day go by where I don't marvel at the chain of events that led to this. I'm so lucky. Someone's looking out for me, that's for sure.

Nonnie, if it's you, can you work some glove hand magic for me?


Nick in New York  October 12, 2010 at 8:17 AM  

Amazing how those reaffirming moments can occur right when you "need" them the most. Hockey tends to foment those moments, I think. Although, as a hockey fan and player, that's probably a bit of confirmation bias.

But still, there's nothing quite like the chord that's struck when all the disparate parts representing the things on-going in life reintegrate into a nearly-physical thing and you focus your eyes and you realize that thing's patronus is a hockey-related object.

Anonymous  October 12, 2010 at 3:24 PM  

Yeah I thought I'd let what I have of a bullet go at you and if you were in position it was yours. What I did really like about the save though was for a hard slapshot you did well at being square and rolling your chest to keep the puck in you and not give up a rebound. It's more of a novice group out there so and I wasn't wearing any gear so I didn't want to push it too hard but I was pretty happy about the passing play with the 3 guys out there where we cycled the puck, I got it low and fed it out front to the big tall guy. He was going to the net and was able to put it in, overall stuff like that where it's a nice goal with everyone working in position I am happy about. I was lighting up the highschool kids pretty good, that was the Austin High team combined with another school. In the screen drill I was outside the hash marks and pretty consistantly ripping it past them. It was funny one kid who was newer to the position than the other had a great attitude while the other was a little bit cocky.

Ms. Conduct  October 12, 2010 at 3:43 PM  

Yeah, Nick, the big guy, pretty much has his way with me and everybody else out there. My gauge for how hard a game it is is how red he is. He's got the hardest shot of anybody I play when he winds up. Christ on a cracker. He's the one who put the dent in my forehead. But yeah, that was a nice play. I didn't feel too bad about that goal.

Love my new chesty. Didn't even feel your shot (and I know you have one). Needed that one and knew what you were doing when you did it. :) It's why you're my favorite, Scotty.

Nick  October 13, 2010 at 12:35 PM  

"This is the most meaningful hour of my week" ... I so relate to that.

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