MY TIME AS A HOCKEY PLAYER BY LYNDA AICHER
A VERY long time ago when I was in college I had a short stint as a hockey player. It was on an intramural women’s league and the winning team was always the one that had the most people who could stay upright on their skates. The star players were the ones who knew how to stop without falling down or crashing into someone to do it.
That probably doesn’t really qualify as playing hockey, not with the level and skill that woman can play at now. But back then—think early nineties—when I was strapping on my worn, used equipment I felt pretty dang cool. Yes, we gladly took the bibs and pads that men had discarded. This meant we also inherited the wonderful stale sweat smell that came with them. Yeah, we were pretty bad-ass in our cobbled together gear. Ha!
It’s been years now since I’ve put on skates, but I still remember that distinctive scent of the ice rink, the hockey bag and (grin) the men’s locker room. Back then, we were a group of women stumbling around in a male sport the only way we could. And dang were we proud to be doing it. It was a big accomplishment even if we were laughed at by the maybe twenty people who came to watch. Heck, we laughed at ourselves. And that’s what made it fun. Sure we stunk, but it really didn’t matter to us.
I still have the jersey from my brief hockey career. It’s packed in a box with other memorabilia and I smile every time I stumble upon it. They’re good memories, ones I savor now. No, we weren’t out to change the world or prove anything, we were simply having fun. Do you have any memories like that? Ones you cherish even if they’re only brought up in far-to-infrequent bouts of nostalgia?
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