I grew up in Minnesota, in a hockey neighborhood.
Somehow... I became a wrestler.
The scenario is still a head-scratcher. How did a guy who actually grew up skating on a pond with buddies who were 'really' good with a stick and puck, end up battling on a wrestling mat instead of flying across the ice on sharp steely blades?
Maybe I just wasn't ready.
Today at the age of 45, I am a hockey rookie, having more fun than should be legally possible. Once or twice a week, I am fortunate enough to lace em' up with an eclectic group known as the Adult Hockey Association D-2 Maroons. The roster contains a couple of lawyers, accountants, tech guys, one retiree, and a hack journalist (yours truly). We skate against guys of similar age, experience and skill, in games where winning is less important than not getting carted off on a stretcher.
The Maroons have already lost one player to a torn knee ligament, and stories swapped in the locker room suggest this is 'not' an unusual development. I've heard tales of concussions, broken legs, and other odd maladies, all suffered in the name of recapturing, or desperately hanging on to lost youth.
For me, this effort is more about learning something new, and not giving in; not to grinding joints, sore muscles, empty lungs, or complacency. My 11 year old is a traveling hockey player, and I want to know what she sees and hears playing a game that moves 'really' fast. I'm certian if they could see her skate, the Maroons would toss me off the roster in a second, and put 'her' on the blueline.
Thankfully my place is secure, at least until an 11th birthday constitutes being an adult.
(Copyright 2008 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)