Is your name flying high on that banner yet?


April 22, 2015

“You play hockey? Seriously?”   Usually followed by a strange look…. And then a second glance…”Really…. I do.” I reassure them.   I’m sure that disbelief comes from the fact that I have all of my teeth. In their original position. And my face is intact. And I have all the proper female parts.   So, yes, women do play contact sports on a frictionless surface. I do my best to keep my checking to a minimum….less time in the penalty box. I’d rather be playing than sitting in hockey timeout.

But isn’t that a reflection of life? Wouldn’t we rather be playing in the game versus sitting in time out? Or sitting on the bench while others are out there playing the game? Or on the sidelines? I don’t get it. I want to be out there playing.   Growing. Evolving. Living. Experiencing a life. Trying new things! Bring it!

I’m on my way to Tampa for USA Hockey’s national tournament. Remember, I grew up in Dallas in the 70s and 80s.   We had a small skating rink at the mall that I went to once a year during the holidays to test my skills at skating. I really sucked at skating.   Now, a soccer ball? That I can do. But skating? Much less hockey? Ummmm…. You’ve got to be kidding. Nobody my age, who grew up in Dallas, played ice hockey back then. Nobody. So, at 33, after the birth of my third child, I laced up and stepped out on the ice. I’m Wanda.   I can do anything! Right? Wrong…. Ok…. Not totally wrong but let’s talk about a SERIOUS learning curve. Growing up, we used figure skates. You’ve seen them. They have “brakes.”   A very sharp point that can stop you.   Ummm…. Hello, where is the brake on the hockey skate? It’s completely curved. I can’t find it??? Where is the sharp point that helps me stop? Yeah right.   They call it a hockey stop for a reason. Better learn how to do a hockey stop.   Don’t worry, if you can’t stop doing the hockey stop, there’s always the boards to help you stop.   33 years old, three kids and I’m attempting to teach myself how to stop so that I don’t break my bones running into the boards.   I couldn’t be a bigger fucking idiot if I tried!

But, that’s just me! I’m either an idiot or refuse to be told I can’t do something. I’ll prove them wrong! It’s not really about proving them wrong but more me proving to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to! It’s about me living. Trying new things. I am that person. 12 years later and I’m off to Tampa with two of my children (in case you don’t remember, I have 4 so anytime I only have 2, it’s a piece of cake!) and my teammates to defend our National Championship from last year.   Yep. National Champs. My name is hanging high on a banner at my ice rink. The very same rink where I had to figure out how to hockey stop without a brake! I admit it. I beam with pride whenever I see that banner. Please. I’m 45. Why would I care about some banner at a smelly ice rink?   It represents the choices I made to challenge myself and live my life and NOT sit on the sidelines.

So, what’s holding you back? What’s your excuse? We all have plenty.   I say, lace up and get your ass on the ice! Or wherever it is you want to go.   And, yes, you will fall. And, yes, it will hurt.   So? Or you could just sit on the sidelines and watch. Your choice. Not mine. I’m just trying to figure out what my next crazy adventure will be.

Who knows, maybe your name will be on a banner hanging high in sky. Not bad for a girl growing up in that fucked up household.  I’m successful despite my parents. Not because of them.